Dry Clean or Wash? 9 tips to help in the Singapore climate

Have you ever washed a dry clean only item and ended up with a top that would fit a kitten?

Read Clothing Labels with Care

Be sure you check the label before you purchase any item of clothing, if you're concerned with the cost of cleaning.. "Clothes makers are required to only list one way to clean the item," says Vince, owner of White Wash laundry in Singapore. "If the label says 'dry clean only' - this is the safest and recommended method of cleaning," he added.

Don't use too much detergent

Vince says that laundry detergent companies have a vested interest to tell you how much soap to use in your loads. He says, "With the new high efficiency front and top load machines a tablespoon of detergent is a lot. The removal of spots comes from properly treating the items before hand, temperature, agitation, and treating the item as soon as possible."

Clean your clothes regularly

Vince recommends that Shirts should only be worn once, suits / jackets / blazers twice, and trousers twice—but should be freshened between every wear—sweaters every three wears. Properly cleaning your clothes regularly will ensure that problems don't become disasters.

Bleach spots only, not the whole load

Bleach can be added to an individual item but bleach does not remove spots, it simply removes the color of the spot. Bleach is added with an eye dropper to control the chemical and it is always rinsed out immediately. If you are unsure, it is always far cheaper to go to the dry cleaner in town than ruin an item permanently.

Zip before wash

"Zippers are like saws in your laundry, and keeping them closed ensures that they don't snag another item in the load." says Vince. The same with Velcro, which can stick to other fabrics and ruin a nice sweater if washed and dried together. Don't do it!

Washing in cold water

Cold water assists in colorfastness. Shrinking occurs when drying the material in heat, and not laundering and the idea of substituting any type of water for a dry-cleaning solvent is a huge risk if you don't know what you are dealing with.

Red, black, and purple are generally unstable dyes and when they are placed next to light colors there are likely going to be colour running and unwanted stained clothing

Hang dry where ever possible

Hanging things to dry is the best option and it prevents shrinking," Vince says. Almost all shrinking occurs during the drying phase of cleaning and if people would do more hang drying it would save money on energy and heartache - When in doubt, hang or line dry.

Laundry balls

When drying something bulky and large like your bedsheet or blanket, throw in some laundry or tennis balls with the load to ensure that all the filling is evenly distributed throughout the item after the load is completed.

Some Stains will require Professional help

It's not worth the struggle, time, and effort to clean ground-in grass or an extremely dirty sports uniform. Vince says, "All of the remedies that you think you understand are much more complicated than you realize. Dry cleaning is part skill, part chemistry, part time, and part magic. Send it for dry cleaning and let them deal with it. The likelihood of the average homeowner being able to get that spot out is abysmal and the time it would take is time better spent with a glass of wine or relaxing at the beach!"

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