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Dry clean only? Psssh

December 2, 2009

My mom always shrunk my clothes.

I’d throw my favorite top in the wash and, when I got it back, the arms would be one inch shorter and it would feel like a sausage casing. After a few more shrinkage incidents, the jig was up, and I started doing my own laundry (which I’m sure my mother didn’t mind).

In college, my wardrobe consisted of a lot of t-shirts, jeans, and hoodies, so I never had to worry about special washing instructions. I threw everything in to one giant load and just hoped all would end well. But then, I hit the real world. A world filled with clothing labels that read “dry clean only” and “Hand wash cold,” items that I needed to really care for if I wanted them to last.

Now, I’m not a high-end shopper by any means. A splurge for me is a 40 dollar dress from H&M. I buy a lot of my clothes from Forever21, a haven for chic cheap shoppers. However, one thing irks me so about their clothes — they almost all say “dry clean only.” As I discussed with fellow Thrifty Thread-er, Shannon, as she so graciously drove me to the airport on Monday, why in the world would I pay to get a shirt dry cleaned when I paid only 10 bucks for it? I would spend more on dry cleaning than I did on the actual shirt after 3 or 4 times I wore it which in my mind defeats the purpose. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Forever 21 and the dry cleaning industry have some sore of racket going on here. Or not.

But herein lies a dilemma: How can I clean this shirt/skirt/dress/whatever myself but still try and keep it in pristine condition?

It’s not rocket science or anything. It’s essentially line drying. I separate all of my delicate items out, wash them, then hang them on hangers in my bathroom to dry. Yea, it takes longer than just tossing stuff in the dryer, but I’ve been doing it this way for some time now and have never had an issue. The clothes stay as close to new as possible and I can feel slightly rebellious for skirting around the washing rules and still emerging victorious.

This isn’t an epiphany by any means, but just a helpful tip for those trying to make the most out of their thrifty finds these days.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009 5:14 pm

    One word: DRYEL. You’ll never go back.

  2. December 3, 2009 12:43 pm

    Great post! I’ve been doing the line-drying thing for awhile now, but for the heavier stuff — wool dresses, blazers, pants — I have to dryclean. I learned my lesson when I shrunk a CK dress by mistake.
    I have been wanting to try Dryel but never seem to be able to find it at Walmart.

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