Maintaining and Cleaning your Clothes

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Though you might not have the most expensive wardrobe, it is still important to make sure you get the most out of your clothes before they give in to wear and tear.  (Find great deals on suits, shirts, and trousers at our Italian Suit Store: Casa Di Moda).  Maintaining and following the few small steps listed in this guide can help lengthen the life of your clothes and help you uphold the most respectable, professional look.

Suits

Always dry clean your suits.  Since the process of dry cleaning uses many harsh chemicals, you should only dry-clean your suits 3 to 4 times per year.  Any more than this, will begin to shorten the lifespan of your suit.

To keep your suit looking new in-between each dry cleaning, you can steam your suit at home, by hanging it in the bathroom while you are taking a hot shower.  This will help release any odors and bacteria-filled moisture stuck in the fabric of your suit.   To prevent moisture and sweat from building up in your suit, it is important to only wear the same suit no more than once every 2 to 3 days in order to let it air out.

When returning home after wearing your suit, take off your suit right away to hang it up.  You should hang your suit on a strong shaped hanger (one strong enough so the suit doesn’t weigh down on the hanger – preferably a hanger that will maintain the suits shape as well) and brush off your suit with a hard thistle comb.

Trousers

Trousers should be easier than your suit jacket.  First read the label to find out if you need to set your machine to gentle cycle or if hand washing / dry-cleaning is recommended.  To help prevent your trousers from fading turn them inside out before throwing them in the washer.  If your trousers have the smell of alcohol and smoke still after a wash, try steaming them with your suit.  If that still doesn’t help, then try soaking them in water and a tablespoon full of color-safe detergent before washing them again.

Dress Shirts

If possible, avoid taking your shirt to the dry cleaners and hand wash or throw them in the gentle cycle.  You can save some time from having to add starch to your dress shirts after each wash if you invest in high quality cotton shirts which don’t need starching to look neat and pressed.  
After the wash, always, always, check dress shirt stains before ironing them or putting them in a dryer!  The heat from the iron or dryer will help most stains bind permanently to the fabric.  Avoiding the dryer will also lengthen the wear of your shirt.  It is best to iron the shirt while it is still damp from the wash.

For most stains, you can soak in cold water and scrub.  For a sauce stain that won’t come out, use warm water and vinegar.  For blood stains, do not use warm water.  Instead, first scrub the stain with cold salty water then apply cold soapy water.  Ink stains aren’t fun, it’s easiest to just take a shirt to the dry cleaners to remove ink.

Ties

Hang your ties up immediately or roll them up gently and store them somewhere where they are not squished to avoid getting wrinkles.   If I tie does get wrinkled, roll them up very tightly starting with the narrow point first and leave them rolled this way for a few days.  For a crumbled tie, try steaming in the bathroom during a hot shower, or holding over a pot of boiling water.

Unless you plan to never undo your tie knot ever again, remember to always untie your tie.  Leaving a tie knotted so you can put in on easily the next time you wear it, will cause permanent wrinkles when you do get around to unknotting it.  I thought I was being clever once by leaving my ties knotted, and then when it came to traveling, there was no easy way to roll up the tie or fold it without taking out the knot.

Never put cologne on the front of a tie, as some cologne’s will leave faded spots where you apply them.

Sweaters

Shake out a sweater right after use to remove dirt and air out bacteria-filled moisture and body odor.  Remove excess fiber or fuzz with scissors as pulling or ripping them off can further damage your sweater.  You might even try very gently running a razor over the sweater to remove fuzz.  Just as in suits, it’s best to not clean a sweater too frequently, as each wash will break down the strength of your sweaters fabric.

If your sweater is hand wash only, soak the garment in lukewarm water for 5 minutes.  Add a mild detergent (like baby shampoo or ivory flakes) and lightly squeeze the mild soap into the garment while rinsing with the lukewarm water it is soaking in.  Be careful not to wring or twist your sweater (even to rinse) because this might change its shape.  To dry, roll it in a towel then lay it flat.  Some sweaters can be fluffed up in the dryer inside out on delicate setting with NO heat.

It is not recommended to hang sweaters, as this will stretch the fibers.  It is best to fold them neatly in a drawer.  If you have a problem with moths, be sure your sweaters are clean before storing them and cover them with breathable acid-free tissue paper.

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