Every year we suffer from anxiety related to purchasing and, caring for our holiday garments.  We’re afraid to wash them fearing they will shrink or fade and, hesitant about “schlepping” to our local dry cleaners questioning the outcome.  Nevertheless, we conclude by doing something, hence taking a risk or, doing nothing which is even a greater risk.

So, what is the answer? How do we eliminate the risk or fear of damaging our favorite holiday garment?

There are several simple steps to assure a clean, restored and, fashion-filled holiday season and, it always starts with reading care labels. There are specific guidelines in which garment manufacturers must obey by and, you must follow in order to properly care for a garment.


Labels – Reading and understanding cleaning labels and instructions.  “Every season we receive holiday garments in which the customer could have saved themselves lots of headaches and, money if they simply read the instruction stating, spot clean only or do not wash or dry clean” — says Gary Shif of Best Cleaners in Orlando. A consumer who distrusts or dislikes dry cleaners should not purchase a garment instructing them to Dry Clean.  Conversely,  a consumer who enjoys convenience should not purchase a garment instructing to Hand Wash Only.  Here are some universal cleaning labels:


 Ornate Trimming and Fine Fabrics – Assuming you just had to have it, it is you, It is all the confidence that you need for your holiday reception….BUY IT. Caring and, maintaining ornate garments and, fine fabrics can be conquered.

–         “Dry Clean” or “Dry Clean Only” , if stated, is the preferred method. Your only option here is to find a reputable Dry Cleaner using the proper fluid and finishing procedures. “Dry Clean” or “Dry Clean Only” is not necessarily a substitute for “Hand Wash”

–         “Hand Wash” requires more attention and, care. In order to properly hand wash a garment you should first button it, zip it and turn inside out. In a sink or tub, prepare a mixture of cool water and, mild detergent, (Baby Shampoo works great). Once detergent and water have been mixed you may insert the garment by softly pushing it underwater. The cleaning will occur when you rock and, turn the garment back and, forth. Do not twist, ring or scrub the garment. Drain the water. Rinse with fresh water and, softly squeeze water from the fabric. Lay garment flat on top of a white towel. Do not dry garment in direct sun or, close to fluorescent light as both can contribute to fading.

–         “Delicate Wash” is often recommended to avoid the burden of “Hand Wash”. However, delicate wash may damage your garment if improperly used. Prior to placing in the washing machine, button, zip and, turn garment inside out. Place garment in a net bag and, secure properly to avoid opening during the wash cycle or spin. For top-loading machines wait until water level is reached and, detergent has dissolved or mixed thoroughly.  Proceed placing garment (net bag) in machine. In a front loader you may place the garment (net bag) prior to starting the machine or place on washing rack if provided.

Common Mistakes:

–         Too much, wrong or direct exposure to detergent.

–         Scrubbing, twisting and, ringing in hand wash process.

–         Drying in dryer, sunlight or in proximity to fluorescent lighting.

Following the proper procedures and caring for your holiday garments and, fine fabrics can be easy and, will insure complete restoration and availability for years to come.