People occasionally ask me what I do to keep my husband's shirts looking super clean, fresh, and new all the time. They ask me for laundry advice and my own personal tips, which could help them get their shirts in good condition as well. So, in answer to these questions, I have decided to write up a complete article on four tips to clean a dress shirt without leaving any damaging effects on the fabric. But before we get started, let me tell you that the reason why your dress shirts start to look all worn out and pale is because you use too many chemicals or rub the stains too harshly during your cleanup process. It negatively impacts the texture of the fabric, thus making the shirts look worn out and pale. For further details, I suggest you read the following article.
Four Tips To Clean A Dress Shirt
1. Wash And Press At The Cleaners
Taking your expensive dress shirts to the cleaners in order to get them cleaned up and as good as new is the safest method of cleaning. However, if you think that the cleaners will dry clean your shirts, you are wrong. They use the same standard 'Wash and Press' method unless you expressly instruct them to do otherwise. Now, you must be thinking, what is the benefit of taking your shirts to the cleaners when you can simply wash your shirts at home? But the point is that professional cleaners know exactly how to get the stains out without scrubbing the dress shirts with harsh brushes. They know just the amount of detergent to use when washing the dress shirts and how to wring all the detergent out of the fabric once the washing is done. Once they have washed up your dress shirts with water and detergent, they will transfer them to the wringer machine and run a spin cycle, which will get all the water and detergent out of the dress shirts. After that, your shirts will be transferred into the industrial shirt press machine. These machines apply high pressure to the shirt, which will dry out, as well as iron the shirts out.
2. Machine Washing At Home
If you can not afford to pay for the cleaners or are worried about the cleaners roughly handling and damaging your branded dress shirts, you may wash them up at home. For this, start off by opening up all the front and collar buttons of your shirt so that the dirt beneath them can get washed away easily. If you have cufflinks in any of the loopholes, simply remove them before washing. After that, add clean water and detergent to the washing machine and sink your dress shirts into that water. Give it a single spin, and your shirts will be good to go. However, if you have stains on your shirts, you might as well take a soft toothbrush and gently scrub the stains out. There is no need to use any harsh chemicals or bleaches; they destroy the fabric of dress shirts! You might as well want to use hand soap and lukewarm water to soften out stubborn stains if the brush technique does not work. After you are done washing the dress shirt, gently wring it up to get excess water and detergent out, and dip the shirt in clean, fresh water. Wring it up again and then hand it somewhere to let it air dry.
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3. Hand Washing At Home
Hand washing dress shirts is the best and hands down the safest method of cleaning. It keeps your shirts secured from undue pressure and unnecessary wringing and wrinkling. It will not damage the fabric in any way unless you apply harsh chemicals to it. To start off, you need to prepare your shirt before you dip it in water. Take out any cufflinks or buttons if they are removable. In case the buttons are attached to the shirt, open them up to get a thorough cleanup. Once you have done that, simply take a tub or a bucket and half-fill it with lukewarm water. Then add a mild detergent to it and mix the water well until it turns bubbly. Now, dip the shirt into this water and let it sit for a good ten minutes so that all the dirt and stains can soften up. After that, rub the shirt with your hands for a few minutes to help get the dirt out of the fabric. You may also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to rub out stubborn stains gently. For more deep stains, you may rub your hand soap on the stained area and then gently rub it with the brush. You may even use a stain-corrector pen if you want, but don't overdo it because otherwise, it will fade the color of your shirt. However, it is still a chemical, so you should avoid it altogether if possible. After that, wring out excess water and detergent from the shirt and dip it in clean water to rinse away the remnants of the soapy water from the shirt fabric. Wring up the shirt again and hang it in an open area to let it air dry. Later on, when the shirt is partially dry, you may proceed to iron the dress shirt and hang it up in your wardrobe.
4. Get Your Shirts Dry Cleaned
There is no doubt that the dry cleaners are super expensive. In fact, the reason why I mentioned this method in the end is because it is not a very accessible option for all. Nonetheless, it is a great way to get rid of oil-based stains on your shirts, which do not wash away with plain water and detergent. However, you must also know that dry cleaning chemicals are water soluble, which means that these chemicals are not an excellent option for getting rid of water-soluble dirt stains. You will have to wash up your shirt with detergent water to remove such stains. So, even if you can afford to get your dress shirts dry cleaned, you will still have to get them washed up every now and then to get fully clean shirts. Besides, dry cleaning does have a lot of benefits; for instance, it does not shrink up the fabric of the shirts, nor does it damage it in any way. In fact, the dry-cleaned shirts will last you much longer as compared to your other shirts, which you get washed and pressed.
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How can I get oily stains off my dress shirt?
If you have an oily stain on your dress shirt, it is not going to come off with simple water and detergent. This is because oil is not water-soluble. Hence, water can not fight against those stains no matter how strong a detergent you use or how hot the water is. The only way you can get rid of those oily stains is by getting your shirt dry-cleaned.
How can I improve the life of my dress shirts?
If you want your dress shirts to last you longer than average, I suggest you keep harsh cleaning chemicals as far away from your shirts as possible. These chemicals wear out the fabric of the dress shirts, making them look old and dull.