Clothing & Jewelry Care Tips and Tricks
Wash on Cold: Always turn jeans inside out. Add a little vinegar to maintain the color. Line dry/Tumble dry low: Too much heat will stretch out Lycra (which is in most jeans), so hang-drying is often the best option. If your jeans are 100% cotton, you can pop them in the dryer at a low temperature.
To prevent vibrant cottons from lightening or bleeding on first cleaning, add a tablespoon of salt per item to the washing machine as the water is filling, it makes the dyes in the fabrics less soluble
Put your jeans in the freezer overnight. They'll smell and look like you just had them
cleaned by a pro.
Tips for getting grease stains out of stain: Use a bar of Marseille soap (an old-school French formulation that is traditionally used to clean clothes) and a white cloth. Mix the soap into a bowl of warm water. Dip the cloth into the soapy water and then rub it on the stain in a circular motion, but don't scrub too hard. The olive oil in the soap should bring the stain right out. Air-dry out of direct light to ward off color damage
Remove makeup, dirt, or pencil smudges from a suede purse: Use a white eraser and a toothbrush. Rub the eraser over the mark. To avoid damaging the material, rub only in one direction firmly but not too aggressively. Continue until the mark disappears. Stroke the dry toothbrush in a circular motion to make the surface uniform.
Here's how to loosen up stiff, itchy jeans without having to wash them excessively. Use Bounce fabric-softening dryer sheets. Briskly rub the dryer sheet all over the surface of the jeans. For darker washes or black denim, turn inside out to keep them from looking worn-in. You should feel the difference pretty quickly, but keep going until they are as soft as you like.
Here's how to freshen up yellowed T-shirts. Use one tablet of aspirin and a washing machine. Put your discolored tees int the machine and let the water start streaming in (temperature doesn't matter); add detergent as usual. Drop in one aspirin when the basin is filled with water. Close the door and let the cycle finish. White tees should come out looking whiter than ever before.
Mist the belt with a spray bottle filled with water and wear it around the house for an hour. Slide it as low and tight on the hips as is comfortable. A bit of tension helps soften it, and make sure to wear an old t-shirt underneath since sometimes wet leather can stain.
Maintenance matters: ask you dry cleaner to use a lower temperature and a shorter cycle than usual to protect frequently treated items from over-processing. These would be the items that are cleaned more than once a month. Request that your whites be cleaned in new or recently distilled solvent. If the solution is dirty, your white fabrics can pick up that residue. You must take special-occasion pieces to your cleaner after each outing, even if they look spotless. A silk dress may not immediately show any stains, but months later, even barely traceable oils and perspiration could discolor the material. It's better to clean it before storing to eliminate the risk of ruining a gorgeous dress.
Read labels: note the fabrics and cleaning requirements Gabardine, wool, polyester, microfiber, Lycra and spandex-enhanced fabrics can become shiny if ironed too hard or with too much heat. Instead, you can request they be pressed by hand or with an iron shoe, which protects them. Dry-cleaning solvent also wears off the waxy finish of a waterproof coat, so ask for it to be reapplied.
The longer a stain sits on a fabric, the more difficult they are to remove. Take the soiled item to the cleaners quickly, tell them what caused the stain, and ask for a pre-spot treatment. If the item is machine or hand-washable, pre-treat at home: equal parts of water and dishwashing liquid for oil stains; four parts soap and water and one part clear vinegar for organic stains, like fruit, tea and dirt; six parts soap and water and one part ammonia for protein stains like blood and milk. When in doubt, just bring the item straight to the dry-cleaner.
Handbags: To keep leather bags in good condition, apply polish regularly (a neutral tone works best) and avoid overstuffing, which can cause permanent stretching. For suede, it is recommended to use a suede brush regularly to remove dirt and lift the nap of the surface. For patent leather, apply white vinegar to cheesecloth and rub the surface to clean, then wife off. Handbags made of cloth, whether silk or canvas, should be taken to a professional for dry-cleaning. If your bag develops a sticky zipper, give the teeth a quick rub with a candlestick to lubricate it
Storage: Store bags in old pillowcases or t-shirts, never plastic bags which can trap mold-causing moisture
Storage: Stuff white tissue paper into the arms and shoulders of coats and suit jackets. Hang both (along with skirts or pants) on large hangers that won't stretch out shoulders and then place in a breathable cloth garment bag. Steer clear of plastic garment bags which can trap in air and dry-cleaning chemicals.
Sweaters: Care for wool and cashmere gently. Handwash sweaters at least once for every time they are dry-cleaned. The preferred method is in a sink full of lukewarm water and a capful of Woolite. Another option is baby shampoo. Dry flat on a towel atop a counter or table. Never hand a sweater on a bar or cord to dry. The weight of the water will stretch it out.
Storage: At the end of the season, place in plastic bags, Ziploc work well in a pinch, with cedar chips to deter moths and pack into boxes. Remember to handwash the sweater first so that it is fresh over time.
Lingerie: Treat lingerie as you do fine sweaters. Handwash in warm water and Woolite. If you must use a machine, only for 100% cotton, make sure to use a mesh bag and separate bras from underwear. Try to forgo the dryer, which can destroy fine fabrics. Hand dry for best results, like in France. Storage: Store bras folded in half with hooks closed. Full slips should be hung on hangers to prevent wrinkling.
Party-wear: Clothing that is beaded, sequined or embellished with rhinestones or other decorations presents unique laundering challenges. Take it to a dry-cleaner. Sequins can be easily dry-cleaned, but only if they are sewn on, not glued on. Glass beads can get chipped during cleaning, so it is best to request each bead be covered with a bit of aluminum foil to protect the surface.
Furs: storage store in a sealed cloth bag (plastic is death to fur) and keep out of light and heat. Also, consider skin conditioning if the item is vintage.
Soak dull diamonds in vodka for serious sparkle.
Press collars or hems of 100% cotton clothing with a flat iron to save time.
Scuffed up patent leather: Wipe with milk and buff, it's gentle and will leave a great shine. Remove shoes stickers with a blast of the hair dryer for 30 seconds
Stuck zipper: rub a pencil on the teeth (graphite acts as a lubricant on metal)
Stop jewelry from turning green by sealing the inside with clear nail polish