HOW TO PROPERLY KEEP YOUR SHIRT CLEAN
As with everything, there are tradeoffs in the amount of time that you want to spend on something versus the results you’re getting. If you want perfect A shirt every single time, you have to wash them yourself. If you don’t want to spend that time, you can take them to a dry cleaner, but they are not going to look as good as if you cleaned them yourself.
Here are a couple of things that we suggest that you do your shirts in order to keep them crisp and clean looking, as well as maintain our beautiful collar roll.
THINGS ABOUT STAINS
There are more than two types of stains, but the main two types of stains are water-based stains and oil-based stains. Whether it is oil or water will determine how you will take care of your shirt. Water-based stains are what most stains are; coffee, sweat, wine, general dirt. Roughly 90% of the things you spill on yourself is a water-based stain and is treated with; yes, you got it, water. With these types of stains, putting it in the laundry with a good detergent should get the job done. Oil-based stains comprise the remaining 10% of stains. This is butter, pizza sauce, and, the bane of the workmen's existence, body oil which causes the collar & cuff rings.
HOW TO REMOVE COLLAR AND CUFF STAINS
We all know that the collar & cuff stains come from our body oil and are not going to be removed by just throwing them in the wash, so the best method to take care of this issue , would be to do it with more cleverness and use a solvent to help. We recommend using OxiClean Max Force. No science here, it just works for us. Spray each collar and cuff with OxiClean and allow it to sit for five minutes and then place it into the washing machine.
COLD WATER TREATMENT VS. HOT WATER TREATMENT
Hot water laundry machines have been around for nearly a century now and as we all know there is still a great debate as to whether or not hot water is more effective than cold water on your clothes. We personally believe that when using hot water while washing your clothing it makes the soap and dirt interact with one another faster. This means you can use hot water on your shirts and wash for a shorter amount of time, or you can use cold water on your shirts and wash them for a longer period of time. Regardless, water and soap are going to wash the dirt away; it’s just a matter of time. Personally, I use cold water on my shirts for two reasons: a) it saves energy b) I think it won’t set stains. Hot temperatures will work to set in grease stains into the fibers of a shirt, so I try to avoid heat.
DRESS SHIRT CLEANING
For my custom shirts, I use cold water on a regular cycle. Because cold water is slower in dissolving soap, make sure to only fill up the machine halfway with your garments, but set the maximum water load. Then I like to add a scoop of standard OxiClean laundry detergent with my regular detergent and set the water for cold. This is what helps me keep my shirts in tip top shape and absolutely perfect. But another thing to think about is how often you are washing your shirt. Personally, I don’t sweat that much, and I get can away with wearing a dress shirt twice without the collar & cuff rings becoming out of control. But any more than that, I run the serious risk of creating an oil-based stain that requires serious elbow grease.
STARCH VS NO STARCH?
Starch’s purpose is to keep shirts crisp as well as aid in cleaning. The idea is that starch sticks to the fibers of your shirt, helping to stiffen it, and then collects the grease and dirt of your wear. Then, when it is time to wash, the starch dissolves in water & soap. Most starches that you find in basements are going to be a synthetic starch that doesn’t necessarily dissolve in the wash. This can lead to layers and layers of this glue-like starch being painted on to your shirts. These days, the construction methods and materials used on quality shirts, like Inoltre shirts, and the quality of detergents have rendered starch functionally useless and it can actually be harmful for your shirts, so all-in-all, starch isn’t really necessary.
HANG DRY AND IRON DAMP
Dryers are good to use in a pinch, but repeated high temperature drying, and tumbling will break down the fabric and make it susceptible to future damage. Low temperatures cycles significantly reduce damage, but if you really want your shirts to last a long time, your best bet is to hang dry. I like to use wooden or plastic hangers; metal hangers are typically too thin and will leave marks in the shirt if hung up too long and if you use a wooden hanger, you run the risk of the dye in the wood rubbing off on the shirt. In terms of ironing, a more complete guide to ironing will be posted later, but for now, iron while damp. This gives you a twofold advantage: a) you don’t have to deal with all the water dripping from a leaky iron (no need to fill the tank) and b) the moisture in the shirt combined with the heat will create steam and vastly increase the speed you work.