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Need Advice On How To Wash, Iron And Hang Your Beloved Shirts?

Washing And Drying

Before washing your shirt, look out for stains. Most food stains, even greasy ones, can be easily removed using "spot" cleaning, which is the application of stain removers on the stains. If the shirt can be washed, rub the remover into the stain and soak it overnight in cold water. If not, send it to the drycleaners for it to be professionally treated.

Always "spot-clean" yellowish shirt collars another common stain - with stain removers before washing the shirt as water will seal in the stains. Bear in mind that silk and cotton both shrink in water, hence it is advisable to dry-clean shirts made of those materials. Alternatively, you can handwash your shirts in cold water (30 degrees C and below) as that will minimise shrinking.

For handwash, always use a mild detergent and follow the instructions on the care label as closely as you can. Hang your shirts to dry under the sun rather than drying them flat. They dry faster when hung and it also prevents an unpleasant mildew smell from forming. Use soft hangers so that the sleeves will not take the shape of the hanger.

Ironing

First, iron the collar and cuffs. They are the stiffer parts of the shirt. Starching the collar is not necessary as collars are already double-lined with fabric. Next up, the sleeves. It is widely acceptable to iron a crease along the length of the sleeve because of the way the sleeve rests on the ironing board. Very rarely do people not want a crease along their sleeve.

You will then end up naturally at the shoulders and the yoke. The yoke is important because the rest of the shirt hangs down from there. It must be properly pressed as it is possibly the most visible part of any shirt. Finish off by ironing the front panels and the back.

Steam Vs Iron

Steaming will take some creases out of the shirt, but it is still not as good as ironing. The latter reaches every part of the shirt, while steam does not. It helps to spray a fine mist of water on the shirt while ironing. Water expands the fibres while the application of heat shrinks them back - that's the science behind a nicely-pressed shirt.

Storing

Never fold a shirt unless you're packing it for travel. It is best to hang your shirts on spongy, silk hangers so as not to create a bulge in the shoulder. This applies especially to knitwear, which is more prone to being bent out of shape by hard hangers. It is not necessary to button up the shirt all the way. This will only create hassle when you are getting a dressed. To keep the shirt in shape, simply button the top one at the collar and another in the middle.

Top 20 Laundry List

To Prevent The color Of The Shirt From Fading

  • Turn the shirt inside-out when machine-washing.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure of the shirt to direct sunlight.
  • Add a little vinegar to the final rinsing water in the washing machine to prevent further loss of color.
  • Wash dark-colored shirts in cold water and light-colored ones in warm water. This will preserve the original color of the shirt.

To Prevent Stains On Your Shirt

  • Avoid carrying pens in your shirt pocket. You never know when they might spring a leak and ruin your shirt. Ink stains are near impossible to get rid of.
  • Never spray perfume or cologne directly onto the shirt. The alcohol will cause yellowish stains which are especially obvious on white shirts.
  • Always check for stains before you iron your shirt. Heat from the iron will permanently set the stain into the fabric.

Stain Removal Methods

  • To remove stains on the collar and the underarms caused by perspiration, brush some shampoo on the area with an old toothbrush. Alternatively, squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto the stain and let it sit for half an hour. Rinse the shirt with cold water before putting it into the washing machine with a little chlorine bleach.
  • To remove red wine stains, rub salt onto the stain and leave it in for 30 minutes before washing the shirt in cold water. 10 To remove white wine stains, wash the shirt in cold water or hot milk.
  • To remove coffee stains, blot the affected areas with cold water immediately. If that doesn't work, rub in some dishwashing liquid and rinse with cold water. If the stain still persists, apply some white vinegar, then rinse with cold water.

Ironing

  • Iron your shirts when they are still a little damp. This saves you time as well as the hassle of spraying a fine mist of water onto the shirts before ironing.
  • When ironing the collar and cuffs of a shirt, iron away from the edges to avoid creating unsightly creases at the edges of the collar or cuffs.
  • Iron your shirt inside-out with a steam iron. Avoid applying heat on the right side to preserve the texture of the fabric scorching the fabric will produce an unsightly sheen.
  • Excessive heat will damage the fabric of the shirt. Always lay a piece of cloth on the shirt when you iron - it acts as a heat buffer.
  • Avoid excessive starching as it weakens the fibres of cotton shirts. If you prefer crisp shirts, buy one with a high thread count.

Travel Tips

  • Hang the shirt in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. Keep the bathroom door and window closed to contain the steam. Then air-dry the shirt before wearing it.
  • Roll up your shirts when packing them into your luggage. This will prevent them from being crumpled.
  • Pack your shirts tightly so they have less room to move about. Wrap shirts in plastic or place a piece of tissue paper in between garments to reduce wrinkling.

Last, But Not Least

  • Shirts, contrary to popular belief, last longer when handwashed rather than dry-cleaned. Chemicals used in the dry-cleaning process may cause the fabric to deteriorate and lose in the long run. Unless the care label specifically states that the skirt should be dry-cleaned, handwash it instead.

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