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.Continue Reading
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.
Unlined, simply constructed items made of workhorse polyester or natural fibers such as cotton or linen can be safely hand or machine washed in cold water, even if the tag states "dry clean only." Dry cleaning is recommended for suits, pleated skirts and items made of delicate synthetics.Full Answer >
Clothes shrink when fibers that were stretched out spring back into a tighter structure. This usually happens when heat is applied to the fabric.Full Answer >
The best way to wash satin fabric depends on what type of fibers are used, but most satin pieces last longer and look better when washed by hand. Dry-cleaning is necessary, however, for satin made with a silk-and-acetate combination.Full Answer >
Nylon does not typically shrink in the wash, but nylon garments made from synthetic fiber combinations can shrink depending on what fibers are used. Shrinking synthetic garments often requires using a washer and dryer set on high heat.Full Answer >