The proper way to clean fabrics depends on the fibers from which they are made, any pre-treatments by the manufacturer and the potential for color bleed. The best way to clean many fabrics is in the washing machine, but other fabrics require the special techniques used by professional cleaners.Know More
The care label of the item provides instructions as to whether the fabric is safe to wash in water or requires dry cleaning. Look for these labels on clothing, drapes and furniture with removable covers. If the covers on furniture aren't removable, it's often possible to clean the fabric using a carpet cleaner with an upholstery hand tool, provided they are washable in water.
Manufacturers often include this information on the care label. Fabrics that aren't pre-shrunk sometimes shrink with cleaning. Leave the cleaning of these item to professionals; they use special techniques to ensure fabric retains its original shape.
Dark colors are more likely to bleed into adjoining colors. Test for colorfastness by rubbing with a damp, wet washcloth. If the color transfers to the cloth, the item isn't colorfast and requires special cleaning techniques to prevent damage.
To keep fabrics from fading, prepare your clothing before washing, and sort items based on color and weight. Use a proper laundry detergent, cold water and a short wash cycle. Line dry clothing wherever possible, or use a low heat setting on your dryer. This process can take up to 90 minutes.Full Answer >
Martha Stewart recommends readying clothes for the wash using homemade fabric softeners and laundry detergents, bluing fabrics, and knowing when to hand-wash and when to dry clean, among many other invaluable tips on her website.Full Answer >
Lint is created by small fibers that are shed from fabrics during the machine washing and drying process. During the washing process, fibers are pulled to the fabric's surface but remain intact. During the drying process, hot air blows the fibers off of the fabric, and lint is created.Full Answer >
Vinegar has multiple roles in the laundry room, including softening fabrics, removing wrinkles, killing odors, removing stains and keeping fabric colors bright. It can also be used to remove unwanted soap residue from the washing machine and clean up starch residue and corrosion on the iron.Full Answer >