Shamefully I have looked at my much beloved dress that has hung in the same place since Christmas waiting to be taken to town to the cleaners. As I don’t go to the cleaners as part as my usual town routine I miss the opportunity every other week.
A couple days ago I read an article on the following link about 5 untruths of fashion. I was thinking to myself what sort of untruths have I bought into regards to life and my clothing, specially my dresses.
I know enough and have common sense what one should and should not do in regards to fabrics so I decided to disregard the Dry Clean Only tag and take matters into my own hands.
I looked at my dress and decided it was time to do for myself as a wave of inspiration flowed over me; I then picked through my closet for other dresses I felt would benefit from the opportunity to be freshened up.
I gathered my potions, simple house hold supplies and my favourite gentle soap cleanser ‘forever new’. I am taken back to a time where everything was washed by hand and I am amused that the inconvenience of the many steps I have decided to take to make cleaning perfection are now lengthy steps that are consuming my time.
So I decided to make the most of it and see exactly if my morning entertainment would indeed turn out to be worth my time.
I started with 3 light coloured dresses and finished with 4 more dark dresses. Our closest dry cleaner runs a cost of $20.00 per dress to clean through their chemical dry clean service. In total 7 dresses would cost me $140.00 not including tax. That alone could purchase me a NEW dress..!
I take a moment to ponder that and then I go forth.
First I soaked the dresses in a bath of baking soda, vinegar and water. This I felt would soften the water and break up anything that had attached itself to the material of the dress. As these are man-made fabrics I did not want to be to harsh, even though most man-made fibres are very strong.
I then gently removed, rolled and squished the excess fluid out of the dresses to then put them into the bath of gentle wash with ‘forever new’. Forever new is a product I purchased from a retail outlet and I have used this product for more than 20 years from my lingerie to linens. I allowed the dresses to remain in the soap bath for at least 10 mins and again with minimal agitation I rolled and squished the saturated fabric.
I then transferred the dresses to a salt and water bath as I know salt is good for setting colour. As these dresses have very bold statement colours and some are black blacks I wanted to make sure I preserved the colour.
Once done in the salt bath I did a final bath rinse with vinegar and water. I know the vinegar would cut any residue and I know vinegar evaporates and would remove any unwanted odour.
I went out to the laundry line with my good plastic dress hangers, as I hung the dresses to dry I smoothed the straps with my fingers so they would dry in a nice flat position. I was amused the bumble bees arrived seeking the moisture coming from the dresses.
The wind has been blowing gently and the temps have cooled dramatically since last week so it has been a good day to have the dresses out.
I am really beside myself with the results of the wash and line drying.
All the dresses were dry by the end of the day, and all of them smelled and looked so fresh and new. They did not exhibit damage of the fibres or fabric as if they had been hand washed. The colours were all still intact and bold.
This is a process I will follow again in the future, before our snow comes that is.