Launder & Press vs. Dry Cleaning
Extend the life of your clothes by knowing the difference between laundering and dry cleaning.
Learn what's best for cashmere items and how to care for them.
Soft, luxurious, and high maintenance—these are the first few of the things that come to mind when people think of cashmere. While this delicate fabric does require a bit of attention, don’t let that stop you from upgrading your wardrobe with a few cozy cashmere pieces. If you clean, dry, and store your cashmere properly, it’s easy to keep it in excellent shape.
Take a deep breath and let us guide you through the process—it’ll be pain-free, we promise.
Washing and drying: by hand, machine or professional
Yes, it’s possible to clean your cashmere at home. Whether you’re washing a sweater, dress or scarf by hand, these steps will help you keep your cashmere fresh.
- Fill your basin with cold water, and add a mild detergent such as Woolite, baby shampoo, or dish soap.
- Let your cashmere soak in the basin for five minutes, before rinsing thoroughly.
- Take out your clothing and fold it up into a ball to get the excess water out. Don’t wring your cashmere, which can stretch out the delicate material.
- Place your clothing flat on a towel, and roll it up to remove any remaining water.
- Lay your clothing on a drying rack. If you don’t own a drying rack, place it between two towels to dry.
Don’t have the time to wash by hand? This might surprise you, but you can use a washing machine to clean cashmere. Put the garment in a laundry or mesh bag before you place it in the machine, and select the gentle cycle on cold water. If you’d rather have a professional do the job, dry cleaning is always a good option for your cashmere.
At Rinse, our Dry Cleaning and Wash & Fold services are conveniently available 7 days a week. Visit our homepage to create your free account and schedule your first pickup. We have decades of experience cleaning cashmere!
Care tip: Ideally, you should clean cashmere after wearing it two to three times. In between washings you can remove any fabric pills with a cashmere comb or bristled garment brush. Pills don’t mean the cashmere you purchased is cheap—they’re simply a sign of friction from wear.
Stain removal: food, drinks and cosmetics
No matter how careful you try to be, you might end up with a small stain on your sweater. Your initial urge might be to panic, but you can keep your cool—and your cashmere—by following our handy stain removal advice.
- Makeup or grease-based: First blot the stain. Then, pre-treat by soaking the cashmere in mild shampoo.
- Chocolate: Dip a cloth in liquid detergent and lightly rub the stained area, taking care not to scrub too hard.
- Red wine, tea, or coffee: Gently rub the stain with a cloth dipped in a mix of cold water and dish-washing liquid. Avoid soap or machine detergents, which can set red wine stains rather than remove them.
Afterward, rinse your garment in cold water and let it dry on a rack. Your cashmere should be as good as new!
Storage: long-lasting care
To keep your cashmere looking its best, keep these tips in mind.
- Don’t hang your cashmere sweaters or dresses. A hanger will distort the shoulders, and the garment will lose its original shape.
- Instead, fold your cashmere and keep it in a drawer or on a shelf away from moisture.
- When you’re putting your cashmere away for the season, place it in a breathable garment bag or storage box in a cool, dry area. To prevent wrinkles, you can wrap each piece of cashmere clothing in acid-free tissue paper.
- Remember to make sure your cashmere is washed before you store it for the offseason. Moths are attracted to human scents, so you’ll want to get rid of any perfume or food odors prior to storage. As an added precaution, place some cedar wood moth repellents with your cashmere.
Now that you’re fully equipped to care for cashmere, go ahead and stock up on this comfy and luxurious fabric in time for sweater season. You’ll look good and feel good!
Photos: Tamarcus Brown, Ann Haritonenko / Shutterstock.com, tomertu / Shutterstock.com
It’s always exciting to add a new piece to your wardrobe but once you’ve worn it, you need to know how to wash it. Is it a “Hand Wash” or “Dry Clean Only” item? Does it lay flat or hang to dry? Different fabrics require different types of treatment.
Clothing labels are the first point of reference when it comes to clothing care—the little tag on your favorite sweater provides helpful washing instructions to ensure your cherished item gets the proper care it needs. Let's have a look at a few common fabrics that should be dry cleaned professionally and which ones you can take care of in your own laundry room.
Fabrics that need professional cleaning: silk, velvet, wool, leather and more
If you've finally scooped up that vintage leather jacket you've been eyeing all season, you'll want to make sure it lasts. For a quick fix to take care of any stains, start by scraping off the residue, but make sure to keep it away from water, which can damage the material. After that, trust it to an experienced dry cleaner for long-term maintenance. The same rules apply for other delicate pieces like your silk scarf. Defer to the professionals when it comes to taking care of fragile fabrics.
Besides silk and leather, other upscale fabrics—including chiffon, velvet, and merino wool—should be brought to a professional cleaning service to preserve their natural luster and form. You'll also want to entrust suits and most professional wear—especially wool pieces—to the care of a professional.
Fabrics that can be washed at home: cotton and knits
Just because an item can be machine washed doesn't mean that you should subject it to a hot soak—heat can cause colors to fade. Cotton can be washed in warm or cool water with regular detergent. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon are safe to wash in a machine using in warm water on either the delicate or permanent press cycle, but take care when drying these items to avoid permanent wrinkling.
More luxurious pieces such as cashmere blends should always be washed by hand in cold or lukewarm water with gentle laundry soap. Don't wring the fabric as it may ruin the material. Instead, take care to dry flat or use a drying mesh rack to help the clothing keep its shape. If you're pressed for time, place the item in a laundry bag and select the most delicate cycle on your machine to mimic the hand wash process when laundering at home.
If you're ever unsure about your clothes, check the label. Our handy clothing label guide breaks down common symbols and instructions so you can avoid any laundry mishaps.
Or if care label instructions have you feeling overwhelmed, you can leave the cleaning to us. We offer Dry Cleaning as well as specialty services such as Leather Cleaning. Sign up for free and schedule your first pickup at your earliest convenience.
Care guide for denim: the real deal about at-home care
Contrary to popular belief, denim isn’t the sort of fabric you can put through the ringer—or in this case, the dryer. Despite being a very durable material, proper jean care is actually quite particular. Most jeans should be washed inside-out in cold water and hung to dry, although some high-end denim would even benefit from dry cleaning. And when it comes to raw denim, which means denim in its purest, non-distressed form, the best washing practice is not to wash at all. If you find yourself with a stain, simply wipe it away with a damp cloth, or take it to the experts for extra help.
Care guide for special items: accessories and embellishments
There are certain pieces in your closet that require special attention like that suede fringed dress or straw sun hat. Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt, dust or sweat stains from your hats, and be sure to keep them in a cool, dry spot rather than out in the sun to avoid color damage. The embellishments on that dress can make it extra difficult to care for. Most sensitive details like fringes and sequins require hand washing in a gentle detergent, while embroidered pieces should be machine washed inside-out and placed in a mesh laundry bag on the delicate cycle.
When in doubt, visit your trusted dry cleaner for proper care of any attire. Most modern services offer a full menu of options to suit all your clothing care needs, but if your neighborhood cleaner doesn't have the resources in-house, they'll likely know about a great specialty cleaning service in town and can outsource your item to ensure it's well-treated.
Photos: Irene Lasus, Matthew Wiebe, Kasia Serbin, Eranicle, Alex Blăjan
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Transform your closet and get organized - check out our tips below!
Whether your closet looks like you were just visited by Marie Kondo or a Dothraki Horde, we could all do with a couple organization tips to keep our closet manageable and our clothes in optimal condition.
It’s okay, these organization tips will still be helpful long after the references above ;)
So read on! It’s time to clean up your closet and create a polished and personalized space that you can enjoy each time you get dressed.
Keep your daily essentials in the front row
You've heard the phrase "out of sight, out of mind"—while that usually applies to former flames, the same rule also works for closet organization.
Store your least-worn items at the back so you can dedicate prime closet real estate to your most beloved pieces. This will make getting dressed a lot more convenient, and you'll avoid the all-too-familiar situation of rummaging through the closet and ending up with a pile of discarded clothes on the floor or bed.
Style tip: Organize your go-to accessories, like a classic watch or simple jewelry, on a small tray next to your closet. Having them visible will encourage you to wear them and give you a more complete and polished look.
Think like a pro: know when to fold 'em
It might seem basic, but improper storage can cause a garment to lose its shape. Make sure you properly note which items to fold and which items to hang.
Clothes you should fold: Gently fold delicate items such as cashmere sweaters and heavy knits. For extra care you can add a layer of acid-free tissue between garments.
Denim should also be folded, as hanging can cause it to stretch out in the wrong areas. Casual items such as T-shirts and tops can work both ways, based on personal preference.
Clothes you should hang: Keep your outerwear fresh by hanging them for storage. Your vintage leather jacket, silk blouse or suit would appreciate the extra TLC.
Invest in some flocked hangers with velvet lining to keep your choice garments in mint condition. As always, any cocktail attire is best stored in a garment bag.
Out of season items don’t need prime real estate
Before putting anything in the closet at the end of each season, make sure your clothes are prepped for storage.
Launder items as needed, or send your clothes to a trusted dry cleaner for professional service—especially important for winter coats. This removes any scents or stains, as moths are attracted to undetectable smells.
Don't forget to clean your closet at least once per season (it can get dusty). It's also a good idea to go through and remove any items you don't wear on a regular basis. Consider selling or donating the pieces that are in good condition—doing so will help keep your closet organized as well as help those in need.
The elements of style: invest in the right storage
The essentials: Storage bins are your best friend. Instead of unsightly plastic bins, consider linen storage organizers. Fabric organizers help your clothing stay fresh by allowing air to circulate. Try borrowing elements from Scandinavian decor, such as a set of wooden or copper hangers, to help your closet achieve a minimalist and uniformed aesthetic.
The extras: Personalizing your space does not always require an involved process. Switching out little things can make a huge difference, such as adding some decorative items or art in or around your wardrobe. You can also paint or wallpaper the inside of your closet to inject a little more color and personal style.
Fill some sachets with dried lavender buds and place them in your closet to keep your clothes smelling great and repel any moths that might be creeping around your wardrobe—it's a pleasantly scented alternative to using moth balls.
Cedar chests are also a smart choice for woolens, as Red Cedar has natural oils that kill moth larvae (it's a good idea to first put the clothing in a resealable plastic bag for more protection).
While closet maintenance might seem like a chore, keeping these tips in mind will help you streamline the process and stay organized. Just like a morning workout or healthy breakfast, a well organized closet and easy to access closet helps set the right tone for the day -- the great one that you deserve!
Photos: WorldWide / Shutterstock.com, Chelsea Francis, Milada Vigerova, Crew, Mary Whitney
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