Fashion & Apparel

How to wash and dry nice dress shirts?

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  • Apr 25th, 2009 6:34 pm
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Member
Oct 12, 2006
333 posts
12 upvotes

How to wash and dry nice dress shirts?

Hello,

I'm looking for some tips on how to wash and dry nice dress shirts. I've never drycleaned my shirts and I'm hoping I don't have to start.

In the past I've simply washed them along with everything else in cold water and then either put them in the dryer or hung them up to dry. Needless to say, the results leave a lot to be desired. They always come out super wrinkled and seem to inherit impossible to iron out wrinkles and folds. (like the bottom hem becomes flipped up etc)

I've also tried trying to straighten them out a bit before putting them into the dryer for 10-15 minutes and then hanging them up. Generally I get the same poor results.

I just purchased several nice (and expensive) shirts that I would like to keep in good shape so can anyone offer some advice?

I'd greatly appreciate it, thanks.
16 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
1927 posts
177 upvotes
If they are really expensive just get them drycleaned, seriously. I know you don't want to but you probably don't want to fish them out of a washing machine and find that an item of clothing with a zipper or velcro hasn't done something bad to them. I wash my casual shirts and dryclean all my smart shirts.
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Sep 21, 2007
4200 posts
58 upvotes
Winnipeg
kcin wrote:
Jul 28th, 2008 10:55 pm
Hello,

I'm looking for some tips on how to wash and dry nice dress shirts. I've never drycleaned my shirts and I'm hoping I don't have to start.

In the past I've simply washed them along with everything else in cold water and then either put them in the dryer or hung them up to dry. Needless to say, the results leave a lot to be desired. They always come out super wrinkled and seem to inherit impossible to iron out wrinkles and folds. (like the bottom hem becomes flipped up etc)

I've also tried trying to straighten them out a bit before putting them into the dryer for 10-15 minutes and then hanging them up. Generally I get the same poor results.

I just purchased several nice (and expensive) shirts that I would like to keep in good shape so can anyone offer some advice?

I'd greatly appreciate it, thanks.
I have the same problem as you having the bottom fliping up after i hang them to dry.

I iron them while putting a damp towel over then. It works wonders for me! :D . I do that when I hem my dress pants too.
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Sr. Member
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Jan 10, 2007
967 posts
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Depends on how nice your dress shirts are. My nice dress shirts (Banana, Zara) are put in the front loading washing machine and hung to dry buttoned up. So far they have come out great, a quick steam iron gets rid of any wrinkles. My really nice dress shirts (Armani, Gucci) are dry cleaned.
[OP]
Member
Oct 12, 2006
333 posts
12 upvotes
Looks like drycleaning is the way to go in this case, thanks guys.

How often do you normally get them drycleaned? Once a month or so or every few wears?
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
1927 posts
177 upvotes
kcin wrote:
Jul 29th, 2008 10:31 am
Looks like drycleaning is the way to go in this case, thanks guys.

How often do you normally get them drycleaned? Once a month or so or every few wears?
When they get sweaty...steam them inbetween.
Newbie
Dec 11, 2003
43 posts
ottawa/toronto
a dry cleaner can launder the shirts rather than dry cleaning them which is much easier on them. i pay 1.69/shirt in ottawa and i'm told you can find it for even less in toronto
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
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sinnedsoul wrote:
Jul 29th, 2008 1:20 pm
a dry cleaner can launder the shirts rather than dry cleaning them which is much easier on them. i pay 1.69/shirt in ottawa and i'm told you can find it for even less in toronto

Oh yes..I get that done too...$2 per shirt at Loblaws here.
Sr. Member
Apr 9, 2007
698 posts
1 upvote
0
If its a cotton shirt, you get it laundered not dry cleaned.

If you want to iron it yourself, then dont dry it to a crisp. Take it out when it still damp (but not wet) and iron it on a steam setting.

Some shirts wrinkle more than others and are harder to get them crisp looking.

If you wear a shirt for a workday or for a night out then ONE wearing and its time to wash it.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2004
1471 posts
204 upvotes
Toronto
Here is a trick to get by when you don't have time to iron or dry clean. Wash the shirt and hang on the hanger buttoned up and then tug the wrinkles out. Don't be shy either when tugging. Once you have most of the wrinkles out leave to dry on the hanger. It isn't the same as ironing a shirt but after you have it on especially under a jacket for an hour or so NO ONE is going to notice. Great for when you are out of town as you can do the same thing after washing the shirt in the hotel sink.... but don't wring it out that just puts more wrinkles into it. So to get most of the water hang it in the tub for a half hour without wringing out then you place it between two towels on the floor and soak as much water out of it as possible by pressing on the towels..... towels are wet shirt is dry enough to hang... (room service LOVES delivering more towels so don't worry about that and don't let them tell you different LOL) before hanging on the hanger and then tugging out the wrinkles.

Works for jeans or pants to but you need to hang pants on the clip type hangers aligning the creases if the pants have them... top of the pant toward the floor. Snap out the wrinkles and leave to dry. Pants though won't dry completely overnight like a shirt will though....
Member
Jan 22, 2008
461 posts
19 upvotes
As I've suggested before:

- Do not use appartment building washing machines for anything other than underwear, socks towells & track suits.

- Avoid using top loading machines that have a padle - they beat the hell out clothes - unless you own one where you can bypass the paddle and manually select only a soak for both washing and rinsing (with spin in between). Rinse at least twice.

- I prefer using the front loaders at laundromats. They are gentler, and you can use an oversize machine to have lots of water immersing the shirts for both the wash & rinses.

- I also use the laundromat's jumbo dryers. After hanging shirts out for about 10 min, I disperse them no mer than 3 per machine so they have plenty of room to float freely with the air circulating even through the sleeves. buy 15 mins, start of on Low, then switch to Med half way through. They won't be quite done, let them finish by hanging. They will need very little ironing.

-I've heard that Theatres, TV studios & wardrobe rental companies believe that dark & strong colours can be protected from fading by soaking the garment in very salty water for about 90 minutes before it's first wash. I've been doing it for 10 years now - hasn't hurt anything, not sure if it helps.

I still have dress shirts as old as 12 years in excellent condition (although there has been the odd year when they were used sparingly as my work did not require dressing every day) but I am very satisfied with how my care methods have worked.
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
1927 posts
177 upvotes
Ten Count wrote:
Jul 30th, 2008 10:48 am
As I've suggested before:

- Do not use appartment building washing machines for anything other than underwear, socks towells & track suits.

- Avoid using top loading machines that have a padle - they beat the hell out clothes - unless you own one where you can bypass the paddle and manually select only a soak for both washing and rinsing (with spin in between). Rinse at least twice.

- I prefer using the front loaders at laundromats. They are gentler, and you can use an oversize machine to have lots of water immersing the shirts for both the wash & rinses.

- I also use the laundromat's jumbo dryers. After hanging shirts out for about 10 min, I disperse them no mer than 3 per machine so they have plenty of room to float freely with the air circulating even through the sleeves. buy 15 mins, start of on Low, then switch to Med half way through. They won't be quite done, let them finish by hanging. They will need very little ironing.

-I've heard that Theatres, TV studios & wardrobe rental companies believe that dark & strong colours can be protected from fading by soaking the garment in very salty water for about 90 minutes before it's first wash. I've been doing it for 10 years now - hasn't hurt anything, not sure if it helps.

I still have dress shirts as old as 12 years in excellent condition (although there has been the odd year when they were used sparingly as my work did not require dressing every day) but I am very satisfied with how my care methods have worked.
Salt water fixes dyes in material....that's why this works. It won't stop the garment from fading in sunlight but it will stop dyes from leeching from the garment.
Deal Addict
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Nov 16, 2006
1722 posts
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i always wash my dress shirts together and then hang them to dry. never had much problem ironing them. my shirts are from banana and from maxwell's. maybe the quality of your shirts are on the poor side?

some dry cleaners crack buttons too which is a pain in the butt. not to mention it's more expensive.
[OP]
Member
Oct 12, 2006
333 posts
12 upvotes
I have a top loading washer and in the past have just washed my dress shirts with everything else. And of course they come out completely mangled and wrinkly.

With these new ones (Boss) I will probably just take them in to get laundered and pressed.
Jr. Member
Apr 5, 2008
160 posts
Ottawa
kcin wrote:
Jul 29th, 2008 10:31 am
Looks like drycleaning is the way to go in this case, thanks guys.

How often do you normally get them drycleaned? Once a month or so or every few wears?
Proper washing of the shirts will extend their life vs the harsh treatment at the dry cleaning.

Here is some good info, provided by one of the most expensive shirt-makers in the world:

http://www.customshirt1.com/ASK/laund01.html
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