Maintain Your Wardrobe

Champion Cleaners discusses things to beware of when steaming and ironing your clothes.

The 4 Fundamentals of caring for your clothes

Perhaps the most important tip I can give is DO NOT put away your clothes after the change in seasons without first cleaning them. Anything that’s been worn, even a little, has been exposed to the elements (dust, dirt, pollen) and perhaps food spills. If you have worn the clothes, it is practically impossible to not contact with your skin and, therefore, transfer body oil to your clothes.

If you leave that sweater or shirt you wore just once hanging in your closet until the cooler months next Fall, you could find an unwanted surprise for football season. The contaminants left in clothes can cause fabrics and fibers to deteriorate. This can also result in stains that are more difficult, sometimes impossible, to remove because they weren’t removed sooner. Food particles and perspiration will encourage moths to live and breed in your clothes. Their offspring will make a feast out of the natural fibers like wool and leather and leave those tell-tale holes in your clothes.

Don’t forget about those ski duds from your winter trip.

Textiles need air to thrive. That means you should not store your clothes in the plastic bags that protect your garments when we get them back to you. The sole purpose of the plastic bags is to keep your clothes clean and protected until you get them home.

Don’t store your clothes when the seasons change in the plastic bags that we use. That includes the large bags covering each order and the individual bags we use to protect sweaters.

If you leave the bags on your clothes, it is possible for discoloration of the fabric and even encourages the growth of mold since circulating fresh air helps reduce the possibility of mold growth. You can have similar problems if you store off-season clothes in airtight plastic containers or so-called “space bags.”

Even cramming too many garments in your closet reduces the air circulating around your clothes which can be bad for them.

So that suit coat, pants or shirt has wrinkles and needs an iron or steamer to make them look right. If you don’t clean your clothes before applying heat, you run the risk of food spills or body oils coming to haunt you in the form of dark spots that can be difficult to remove. In general, stains that have been heated become much more difficult to remove.

So be careful – and be warned – that ironing or steaming a garment that has not been cleaned can permanently damage a garment through discoloration.