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luxury clothes care tips

What good is a cashmere sweater after a waiter spills a glass of red wine on it? A leather jacket that's mottled with mildew?

Considering the average load of laundry is valued at about $700 and that an average family sends 8 to 10 loads of laundry for a spin in the washing machine each week, the answer is as important for your wallet as it is for your wardrobe.

These laundry tips for luxury clothes can help keep your family's wardrobe (and your wallet) intact.

luxury clothes care for basic blends.

  • With any fabric blend, tailor your laundry routine to the most delicate component of the garment. If either fiber or the trim or binding requires hand washing, dry cleaning, or low temperature washing and drying, this will determine the cleaning care.
  • When in doubt, wash or dry clean according to the primary fiber in the blend.

luxury clothes care for fine fabrics.

  • Cashmere: Got a red wine spill? Wash on the delicate cycle - or by hand - in cold water. Don't wring cashmere - you'll damage the fibers. Reshape and lay flat to dry away from direct heat or sunlight. To remove excess water after washing, gently roll in a towel.
  • Pashmina: Don't be afraid to wash this silk and cashmere blend. It spent 30 to 60 minutes in water just below the boiling point followed by two washes during the dying process that made it so lustrous-looking. Wash in warm water with a gentle, natural or baby shampoo. Lay flat to dry. Machine drying can damage fibers.
  • Linen: Linen washes well because it is stronger wet than dry. A 60-degree Celsius wash is most effective as that temperature smoothes the surface of the flax fibers, allowing laundry stains to be released easily. Don't pack the washing machine to capacity when washing line; the highly absorbent fiber can absorb twice its weight in water. Always iron linen when damp - first on the wrong side to eliminate creases and then on the right side to enhance the fabric' natural sheen.

luxury clothes care for other fabrics.

  • Beaded blue jeans: Launder jeans inside out and wash in cool water, hand wash cycle. Dry flat or on a dryer rack - not in the dryer.
  • Lycra:  If the other fibers in the garment are machine washable, this is the recommended method for cleaning Lycra.
  • Hemp: This natural fabric washes well because it is stronger wet than dry. Machine wash in warm or cool water, permanent press or casual cycle. Hang to dry. Dry cleaning is not recommended.
  • Cotton: Don't get in the habit of taking your cotton garments to the dry cleaner. The chemical process can distort the color. Instead, wash it at home, using the hottest water that's safe according to the garment's laundry tags.

general luxury clothes care tips.

  • Dry by weight: Dry lightweight clothes first separately to help prevent damage and shrinking. Lightweight, delicate fabrics - such as lingerie - are sensitive to heat and should be dried while the machine is cool. Average weight garments like pants and dress shirts should be dried next followed by heavyweights like towels and jeans, which can handle the hot dryer drum.
  • Dry fuzzy stuff separately: Separate lint-shedders, such as fuzzy sweatshirts, chenille robes, flannels, and towels, from lint-keepers, such as knits, corduroys, and permanent press and synthetic fabrics.
  • Leather: Gently blot liquid stains with a clean cloth or wipe with a clean damp cloth. Treat mildew stains on leather garments by blotting a small amount of antiseptic mouthwash on the affected area.

does "dry clean" mean "dry clean only"?

If the label says "Dry Clean" instead of "Dry Clean Only", it may be hand washable. But with most garments, be sure to follow the manufacturer's care instructions as these take into account all parts of the garment, including linings, trimmings, and special finishes.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the stain removal products and laundry supplies you need to keep your clothes looking their best.

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› Taking Care of Luxury Clothes


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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.