Sunday, July 12, 2015

Washing Specialty Items

Welcome to another instalment of Dirty Laundry.

We are slowly, but surly getting through the entire washing cycle.  We ended with the best way to dry your clothing and this time we're touching on specialty items such as bras, shoes, hats, toys, leather, duvets, comforters, curtains, pillows, cushions...

Have you ever considered washing in the dishwasher?  Anything that can take the heat, goes in the dishwasher for me.  Toys, hats, wicker baskets, combs, the not electric parts of the electric toothbrush and accessories, hair accessories.  They all get chucked in the dishwasher.

I want to start with bras.  I recently purchased 6 seamless bras and the only thing special I do with those are wash in cold water on a delicate-ish cycle and hang dry.  I have a couple of bras that are really expensive and there are quite some options out there.  Some folks take their bras with them into the shower and gently wash them there, leaving them to air dry.  You could use a lingerie bag. I bought one of those bra balls so that the bra keeps its shape.  Those are for bras with underwire and padding.  You can hand wash in the sink, too.  Do not wring out your bras and certainly leave them out of the dryer.

Next, shoes.  If you have stinky shoes that can't go in the machine, put baking soda in them or a used, dry tea bag. I often put sport shoes in the wash and let them air dry.  Make sure the cycle isn't too intense and that the temperature is cold.  Adhesives are why you shouldn't put them in the washer.  Don't do this with good running shoes, though.  Those you have to hand wash.  Check out how Nike suggests cleaning their shoes, here.  I wash cheap shoes and the kids shoes in the machine because they can't wear them forever anyway.  Converse do great in the wash machine, too.

Of course, leather shoes should be hand cleaned.  There are so many ways to clean leather and suede shoes.  Suede shoes shouldn't get wet.  Use a soft brush to clean those.  Check out how to do that here.  Click on this link on how to clean leather shoes and boots and ditch the salt marks.  I hear that nail polish removes gets rid of scuffs on patent leather, but I'd be careful with that one!

For feather duvets or comforters wash as little as possible.  No more than once a year.  Do NOT use harsh chemicals like softeners and abrasives.  Do NOT wash in hot water.  Drying will take several hours and we suggest line drying.  If you prefer the dryer, use tennis or dryer balls and periodically check the duvet for clumping.  Do NOT use dryer sheets. Make sure it is a cooler cycle.

Pillows with synthetic filling can often be washed in a machine on a gentle cycle.  Feather and foam should be cleaned by hand with warm, soapy water and air dried.  If ya throw your feather pillows in the dyer, use those balls again and keep checking that they don't get lumpy.

I totally put my curtains in the washer, on a gentle, colder cycle and line dry.  Make sure of your fabric, though.  There should be care instructions with them.  I found this really good, thorough article for more details on how to clean curtains.  Steam cleaning, dusting are other options.

Cold and gentle is a safe way to go if you're not sure and it's certainly the best way to wash your satin, knitted and lacy goods.  Keep all of these out of the dryer and do NOT twist or wring them out.

To clean leather gloves, check out this article here.

Always check care instruction on any and all garments.

We're onto ironing next!

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