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Cut Your Massive Dry Cleaning Bill With These Easy Tricks

in Latest/Woman

Delicate ballerina-style cardigans, billowing silk parkas, Seventies-style suede skirts and bright jackets embellished with beads and faux fur; there’s no doubt that there’s something to suit every taste in the spring fashion offerings this year.

But although the shapes and colours of the new season may be highly desirable, practical they are not. Nearly everything that’s ‘on trend’ is made from a devilishly tricky fabric that needs specialist dry cleaning.

What with suede, cashmere, silk, pleather (faux leather), embroidery and embellishments dominating the High Street, this season’s laundry bills could easily end up being more expensive than the clothes themselves.

Here, we offer some tried-and-tested tips that show it’s possible to bypass the dry cleaners and spot clean even the most delicate fabrics. But be careful — if you damage your clothes, it will be your responsibility and you won’t be able to complain to the store from which you bought it.

1. USE AN ERASER TO RUB OUT SUEDE DIRT

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Gently rub over the mark with an eraser and make sure you only work on the suede in one direction to preserve the raised pile of the suede

With some specialist dry cleaners charging almost a hundred ringgit to clean this season’s must-have — a button-up suede skirt — it’s handy to know you can spot clean many marks from this ‘difficult’ fabric.

Dry, dirty marks, scuffs or ballpoint pen can usually be gently removed from suede with the eraser on the end of a pencil.

Working in one direction only — to preserve the raised pile of the suede — gently rub over the mark. Once you brush away any debris, the blemish should have disappeared.

Similarly, coffee and wine stains can be easily removed. Simply dab them with a clean, white cloth moistened with a few drops of white wine vinegar, according to Kathryn Finney from The Budget Fashionista website.

2. RINSE SILK IN WHITE VINEGAR

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Silk should be carefully hand washed with a mild detergent, add a tablespoon of vinegar to the final cool rinse to remove soap residue.

Floaty, asymmetric silk dresses and parachute silk parkas are a big hit this spring thanks to Stella McCartney.

According to The Silk Association of Great Britain, most silk items can be carefully washed — ideally by hand in lukewarm water, or, if it’s a fairly robust garment, on the delicates cycle of your washing machine at a temperature of 30c to 40c.

Always use a mild detergent that has been specifically designed for silk. Adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to your final, cool rinse is a specialist laundry tip that will ensure the last of any soap residue is removed and your silk keeps its shine. Iron your silk on the ‘wrong’ side with a warm iron when the fabric is still moist.

3. SHINE FAKE LEATHER WITH OLIVE OIL

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To remove marks from pleather wipe the garment down with a soft cloth and then use a little olive oil at the end to restore the shine

A pleather — plastic or faux leather — pencil skirt is being tipped by the fashion gurus at online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter as one of the wardrobe staples as the weather warms up.

To remove marks and grime, just wipe your garment down with a soft cloth that has been wrung out in warm water with a little washing up liquid. Rinse away any detergent residue by wiping over the item again with a clean cloth. Then dry the surface with a soft towel and use a cloth to wipe it over with a little olive oil to restore the shine.

Linings can be freshened up by sprinkling them with bicarbonate of soda, before leaving it to work its magic overnight. Then use the nozzle attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove it.

Stubborn marks on real leather can be removed by buffing with a baby wipe, or even a little dab of toothpaste. Wipe any residue away and, once dry, apply a little olive oil to restore the shine.

4. CLEAN CASHMERE WITH BABY SHAMPOO

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Turn your cashmere items inside out and wash in warm water with a squirt of baby shampoo.

Cashmere may be the ultimate delicate fabric, but it can almost always be hand-washed. Turn your woollens inside out, then give them a wash in lukewarm water with a squirt of baby shampoo. Never rub or wring your knitwear, just squeeze the water gently through the garment.

Rinse the item with clean, warm water, adding a little hair conditioner to the final rinse to soften the fibres. Then squeeze out as much excess water as you can before wrapping the garment in a clean towel and pressing dry.

Coax the garment into shape and lay flat to dry naturally.

5. DIP LACE IN SHEEP SHAMPOO

Sheep Suds 5 Litres

Add a squirt of Orvis Quilt Soap to a bowl of room-temperature water and float your lace item in it.

Valentino, Nina Ricci, Givenchy and Erdem all showed white, Victorian-style lace dresses on their spring/summer catwalks — now the High Street has followed suit.

The Honiton Lace Shop in Devon says you can hand-wash most lace — but you need to be careful to avoid snagging the fabric. Float your lace in a clean bowl with just enough room-temperature water to cover it, and add a squirt of Orvus Quilt Soap, £10 from quiltdirect.co.uk. This neutral detergent was used on sheep and cows before county shows.

Soak for 15 minutes before pressing to the bottom of the bowl and tipping away the suds. Give your lace one or two rinses before placing it on a white towel and patting to remove moisture.

6. SPRAY BEADING WITH VODKA

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A spritz of a half water/half vodka mix will restore shine to beading, the popular fashion feature of the moment.

Beads, ribbons, faux fur and embroidery all feature on collars and cuffs right now. A spritz from an ironing spray bottle filled with a half water/half vodka mix will restore shine to beading.

A dab of clear nail polish on the raw edge of ribbons or tassels stops fraying. To boost faux fur details, lightly mist with water and a little hair conditioner, then gently brush with a baby’s hair brush.-MYNEWSHUB.CC

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