Frugal Francine was always looking for ways to save money. She invested in her wardrobe, knowing the value of good design and good designers, but when it came to taking care of her fashionable frocks, Francine figured she would do it on her own.
But that strategy turned tragic and expensive for Francine. Here’s what happened and how you can avoid her mistakes:
The care label on her new silk blouse said dryclean only, but Francine had heard that silks are washable, so she carefully soaked it in the basin with a gentle hand-washing soap. It was ruined.
Read the care label carefully on all garments. Unless the label on a silk garment specifically says that it is washable, don’t douse it at home. If dye bleeds on the shirt because you failed to follow the care label instructions, you'll get soaked - not the manufacturer.
Francine planned ahead for the big meeting with her new boss. Her rayon suit was wrinkled so she hung it up in the bathroom the night before and sprayed it with a plant mister. Then she figured she’d just let the steam do the rest when she showered the next morning. It looked horrible.
Many rayon garments contain dyes and sizing that are sensitive to water and heavy steam. If these items get wet they can be permanently stained or lose their shape. Spritzing these clothes with water can leave permanent stains. Your drycleaner may be able to repair the damage - but there’s no guarantee.
Francine was at her best friend’s house for dinner when she dripped some salad oil on her dress. Quickly she went into the bathroom and rubbed the area with cleaning solvent her friend had on hand. The damage was done!
Never rub a stain. Instead, blot the area carefully - and make sure you test the fabric before using any type of stain removal substance.
Friday afternoon Francine was hurrying to go out and she spilled nail polish on her new linen-blend pants. She knew that stains should be attacked right away so she immediately applied nail polish remover with acetone to the spot. It removed the spot - and a piece of the garment as well.
Acetone, an ingredient in some brands of nail polish, dissolves acetate. Before trying to remove a stain in this manner, test for fiber content. Or use amyl acetate (banana oil) or fingernail polish remover that does not contain acetone and is safe for all fabrics.
It was hot and muggy on the walk home and Francine checked her blouse for perspiration stains. Seeing none, she threw the garment into the hamper for next week’s wash. Francine was horrified to discover a few days later that permanent brown stains had come to light under each arm.
Perspiration, like many other stains, doesn't appear right away. All you have to notice at first is a damp area that dries, leaving an invisible stain that will darken with time.
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