Sunday, 3 June 2012

"Dry Clean Only" And Other Myths

Part I
As I mentioned in my blog description I’m trying to live in a thrifty way.  That means I need to save money where I can.   

I  finally got around to changing my living room soft furnishings to the ones I use for summer.  (You can see them in this post. ) Included in it was a silk throw and some  rayon velvet pillow covers which were marked  “Dry Clean Only”.

I’ve had the pillows for about 12 years and they’ve never been cleaned. (maybe I shouldn’t admit to this) I occasionally spray some fabric freshener (which is homemade – recipe on request) and from time to time I stick them in the tumble dryer to freshen them up and deter/kill any mites, etc. that might be dwelling in the fabric. The throw is only a couple of years old but also had never been cleaned. So I reluctantly decided it was time to take them off to the dry cleaners. I gathered them up, put them in a bag and as I was doing that I was trying to guess how much it was going to cost. Plus I have trust issues with dry cleaners after a few bad experiences in various countries. I looked them over and got an idea. I chose one cover as the guinea pig and turned it inside out and zipper closed, put it into a lingerie bag to protect the fringe and put it in the washing machine ! I used some Woolite and set the machine on cold wash and a gentle spin cycle and crossed my fingers. When the wash was over I opened the bag and saw a wet but completely intact pillow cover! I laid it out flat on the clothes dryer and left it for about an hour and then I put it into the tumble dryer and set it on very low and for 10 minutes. When that was done the cover was still damp and I reshaped the seams a bit and put it back on the clothes dryer. A couple of hours later it was dry and perfect and clean smelling! The other pillow covers have now been washed and dried and ready for next winter. Now on to the throw: I put it in the wash but put the Woolite in the drawer instead of the dosing ball in the machine on top of the wash because I was concerned about possible spotting on the silk by the detergent pouring over it. In the drawer it’ll be diluted with water as it hits the wash. I set it on cold and low spin and crossed my fingers again. I was a bit concerned about the fringe and there was no mesh bag big enough to put it in. When the wash was over I took it out perfect, clean but wet. I shook it out and placed it in the tumble dryer on a low setting for 10 minutes. When that was over I took it out, shook it again and put it back for another 10 minutes. I did this so I could check on it and see if it was getting too hot in the dryer. I did these 10 minute increments for about 3 times and then took it out still a bit dampish to finish drying.

And here it is along with the pillow covers, all clean, all intact and costing pennies for cleaning. Those “Dry Clean Only”tags have now been cut out.
 Those  “Dry Clean Only”tags have now been cut out.   
Two notes here: 1) I folded the covers for storage before I decided to take photos hence the lines in them.  I’ve now rolled them up instead so lines will be gone by then time I take them out again.
2) I only attempted to wash these items because they are all a solid colour. 

Part II tomorrow……..

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