Our clothes are the first thing people notice about us. Before we even utter a word, the attires we put on have already made the first impression as, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. It is therefore important that they’re always kept clean, elegant and flawless. Today, we take a look at how you can do just that by delving into some essential dry cleaning tips that’ll help you win the longevity battle with the tropical elements of Singapore’s weather whilst also maintaining a beguiling appearance to impress whosever looks in your direction.
1) Hang drying is the way to go
Well, what do you know; your mom was right after all! Hang drying, otherwise known as line drying, is a more effective technique than simply throwing your wet clothes in your regular dryer as it prevents shrinkage. The direct interaction with sun rays also ensures all bacterial contamination is eradicated and coupled with the regular outdoor breeze synonymous with an equatorial zone, the clothes attain a nice fresh smell.
The sun in Singapore is perfect for such purposes. With an almost all year round warm temperature averaging 30 degrees Celsius during the day, the environment is Mother’s Nature own perfect dryer. What’s more, you’ll realize a significant drop in your monthly energy bill if you dry this way since you’ll seldom need to turn on your dryer.
2) Ensure trousers are zipped and shirts unbuttoned
If you just throw your trousers or shirts into your dry cleaning machine without checking to see if they are zipped or unbuttoned, then you have probably been slowly ruining your clothes’ integrity. Buttoned shirts are more susceptible to damage as the button could rip the holes during the washing cycle while unzipped trousers, particularly of the metal zip variety, pose a risk to delicate clothing when washed in combination.
3) Substantiate dry cleaning material
It goes without saying that the clothes you aim to dry clean should be of the dry cleaning variety which ought to be evidenced by the presence of an indicator tag somewhere atop the attire. Naturally, different clothes require different techniques of cleaning due to the diversity of the material incorporated into every design.
Some of those materials that especially flourish when dry cleaned include cotton (which is the most commonly used fabric for t-shirts in Singapore and around the world as well) and polyester blends. White cotton is especially suited to dry cleaning as it isn’t faded by the continuous application of high temperatures. On the flip side, synthetic clothes should never be dry cleaned.
4) Pick out the right fluid
Dry cleaning is an especially delicate task and as with any sensitive procedure, getting the right set of tools is vital to success. When it comes to clothes, the tools here refer to detergents. In dry cleaning, the fluid used is basically of two variations namely synthetic fluid e.g. perchloroethylene (PERC) and petroleum solvents which encompass a selection of hydrocarbons mixtures.
PERC is the widely used fluid given its unrivalled prowess however it takes a toll on the environment at the end of the day. The hydrocarbon group is not as effective as PERC but it does get the job done without harming Mother Nature in any way. Which one you should opt for is entirely up to you, however, the general rule of thumb is that the detergent you use should have the backing of Singapore’s health and sanitation authorities.
5) Isolate the colors
This tip is basically laundry 101 stuff here, but nonetheless remember to separate fabrics according to color if you don’t want to come up with clothes depicting the seven shades of the rainbow. Pair non-colored items together and colored ones of the same tone in separate groups. Also, excessively dirty garments ought to be given some one-on-one time with the dry cleaning machine regardless of the group it belongs to.
6) Service your dry cleaning machine regularly
It’s simple. If you aim to get the best out of your cleaner, then it’s only right that you keep it in prime shape. The effectiveness of such machines declines with time so you need to take it for maintenance every once in a while or have someone come over to take a look at it. Servicing should be done at least once every three months or so and through a reputable company.
7) The tennis ball hack
Did you know that tennis balls can make your dry cleaning easier? Well, they can so wipe that raised eyebrow off your face. It’s a controversial laundry hack, however, many have noted significantly improved results particularly with regards to the heavier kind of laundry e.g. pillows, blankets and whatnot.
Therefore, if you opt to dry your now clean clothes in a dryer, then it might be wise to throw a ball or three in there alongside them. The balls ensure proper air circulation by exposing a large surface area for faster drying and there is also an endearing increase in fluffiness. You might not want to do this at night when everyone is asleep as the process is quite noisy.
8) Leave the job to the professionals
Sometimes seeking out a professional company to do your dry cleaning for you is the best way to go as opposed to going it alone. The experts are not only more experienced having worked with countless fabrics for years but also have the technical knowledge from certified institutions related to their line of work.
Dry cleaning companies are available in the dozens across Singapore which can make separating the wheat from the chaff quite challenging. However, a good company is easy to identify going by the stories of satisfied customers who have experienced the particular company’s services first hand. So your best bet at a good company is through reviews or referrals.
There you have it folks, a couple of pointers to make your dry cleaning routine as simple as taking a walk in the park. You can effectively dry clean from home or opt for a professional to do it for you; whichever route you take, these tips should come in handy either way.