Perhaps the most economical fashion tip you will ever learn is how to wash your own shirts. Of course, taking your shirts to a dry cleaner is easier; you drop them off and they come back clean and crisp.
However, washing them yourself is not only economical but virtually guarantees longevity.
The typical cottonmen’s shirt is not made to be dry-cleaned with harsh chemicals. Yet, dropping them in a home washing machine or even taking them to the laundrette down the road takes a little practice. In fact, knowing how to wash a shirt is much more a matter of watertemperature, soap and adequate soaking time than anything else.
Your most expensive shirts will last longer if you took the time to do them by hand. While you will have to take the time to care for them yourself, you will soon find that this time will become less and less each week as you progress in knowing how to care for your wardrobe. Thus, here are your best options for doing the job yourself and learning how to wash your own shirts.
Wash your own shirts: the basics Before you put soap and water to your shirts you must first read the care labels stitched inside. Designers and manufacturers actually do care about how you clean their garments and these labels are your guide. In fact, some shirts truly should be dry-cleaned only.
Your next step is to remove collar stays and button up the collar and a few chest buttons to prevent the shirt from becoming twisted and entwined in the machine’s agitator or with other garments that put far too much stress on the seam sand fabric.
Wash your own shirts at home A conventional washing machine is designed for convenience of use and not the preservation of your favourite shirt. Therefore, read the operating instructions and then wash your shirts on a delicate or hand-washable setting. This will slow down the revolutions and actions of the center agitator.
Some newer machines do not use an agitator, however, you still want to use a lighter-action setting. Warm and cold water are best for maintaining a shirt with colors. White shirts will require hot water and a dash of real bleach from time to time to keep the collar clean and free of stain buildups. When possible, opt for a hypoallergenic, high-efficiency detergent without dyes or scents. All of those extra additives may seem appealing in a store but they break down the fibers in clothing and add an additional scent to your grooming regime.
A colour-safe bleach is appropriate for a shirt with colour stitching or designs, but use these sparingly as well.