If you get a spot on a nice shirt or another item of clothing, you may not be sure how to clean it. These tips may help anyone who needs to clean a fabric when there is no tag on it with cleaning or laundering instructions. You have to be very careful because the shirt can be damaged easily if you wash it with the wrong temperature water or you use a cleaning product that is too strong for the fabric. Here is a list of materials with their common names and how to clean them as well as what not to use on them.
1 Nylon, Cordura, Celanese, Anso, Antron, Qiana, etc. This is a very popular fiber used in shirts or blouses, carpet, sporting goods, and hosiery. It washes and dries easily. Use fabric softener and wash colors separately so you don’t transfer any dye. Do not hang whites in the sunlight because they will yellow. Watch for static cling. Use a medium dryer setting.
2 Polyester, Alvin, Dacron, Fortrel, Shanton. This fabric is blended with cotton, rayon, and wool for use in all types of clothing like jackets, sleeping bags, shirts, and especially permanent press items. Wash in warm water and use medium heat for drying. If you iron it, set your iron on permanent press. Watch out for oily stains and static cling with these as well.
3 Silk is used for dress shirts, sheets, pillow covers, scarves, and handkerchiefs. Most of the time the garment tag will say Dry clean only on these items. But some types can be washed by hand or in your washing machine as delicates. To iron, press on the wrong side and use a warm iron. Silk is sensitive to chlorine bleach, acids, and enzyme digesters. Perspiration and exposure to sunlight can weaken it. Silk also can get water spots and colors can run.
4 Linen is used for a few types of shirts or other clothing items, drapes, household linens, and summer clothes like dresses and suits. It washes well but is easy to wrinkle. The more you wash it, the softer it will become. To wash a spot from a linen shirt, pretreat it with a spot remover and use hot water on the whites. The way to iron it is while the fabric is still damp, with a hot iron. Be careful of acids.
5 Cotton is one of the best fabrics because it is comfortable and lasts a long time. Manufacturers use cotton for many kinds of shirts, as well as curtains and slipcovers. It also can be blended with polyester to make permanent press items. Untreated cotton can stain very easily, and in sunlight, it can deteriorate.
For deep or dark stains, pretreat with a spot remover, taking care to blot the stain before laundering. Wash items in hot water and use bleach if desired. Read the label first. Iron cotton items while they are damp. Corduroy is a form of cotton that has to be washed differently. Turn corduroy inside out before washing in warm water so it won’t shrink. Only dry halfway and hang on a line to dry. That way you won’t have to iron it.
Providing attentive care to fresh stains in shirts or other clothing can help these items last longer and look better. Get the supplies you need to launder spots appropriately and effectively.