CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR CUSTOM CLOTHING
The chemicals used in dry cleaning can directly damage your clothes, as can the high temperatures. Direct damage and also a shorter lifespan may result. It is not advisable to take your suit for dry cleaning on a regular basis. If necessary, just take it once a year. If your suit gets dirty, try to spot clean the soiled area rather than dry cleaning the suit. You will find stain removal tips below. If your suit is not visibly dirty but requires freshening up, you may want to consider simply having it steam pressed. Laundering the garment is only a final resort and not recommended.
In the event of finding wrinkles, you can hang your suit in a humid room. For example, hang the suit in the bathroom while running a hot shower. If you choose to iron the suit, be very careful not to use a high heat setting. Use the wool setting, and place a damp towel over the suit rather than ironing it directly. Otherwise there is a risk of burning the fabric or leaving shiny marks.
Dress shirts are not meant to be dry cleaned, and you do so at your own risk. We don’t recommend that you dry clean your dress shirts. Dry cleaning will cause fabric fibers to start deteriorating and a yellow tint will start to be seen, caused by the chemicals used in cleaning. Those awful bubbles seen in collars and cuffs are caused by the fusing breaking, which can easily happen during pressing. If absolutely necessary, just dry clean occasionally. Otherwise you may need to replace shirts on a regular basis. If you do use a dry-cleaner, hand ironing is preferable and you should definitely request that starch not be used as it shortens the lifespan of the shirt.
Alternatively use a product like Oxy Clean to pre-treat soiled areas, collars, cuffs, etc., and machine wash on a delicate setting. Hang dry and hand iron shirts while still 10% damp. If necessary you may use the steam setting although a spray bottle with clean water is a good alternative. These steps will help you maximize the life of your shirts.
TOPCOATS & OVERCOATS
Care instructions for topcoats and overcoats are just the same as those for suits. See above.
Here is a quick guide for each gentleman to clean his shoes proficiently:
- Prepare your area, with newspaper or other protective material covering anything that could be damaged by show polish, which stains. With this in mind, also change your clothes to avoid staining your best clothes. You may also wear latex gloves to avoid staining of the fingers.
- In your shoe polishing kit, you will need a small rounded brush, sponge or old cloth to apply the polish. You will also require a horsehair brush, and in order to buff you will need a soft cloth. Use other items as you find appropriate. It is important to use high quality polish. Be careful to choose a matching polish; clear or neutral in the case of light shoes, and well matching polish for brown shoes rather than a different shade.
- First remove any dirt from the shoes using a cloth.
- Apply the polish consistently using your brush. Do not use too much because the polish will take a longer time to dry and the result will not be any better. Leave the laces in, tucked inside the shoe and add a few drops of water to allow the polish to be applied more evenly. Remember to use a circular motion for an even, high finish.
- Wait around 10 minutes while the polish dries.
- Use your horsehair brush to buff. A long, quick sweeping stroke is best.
- Next take your soft cloth and lightly, quickly rub the leather to bring out the shine.
- Finished. There should be a smooth finish. The finish should not be tacky.
TIP: To clean and polish more intensely, take out the shoelaces and consider a saddle soap for getting rid of built up wax and grime. This will allow you to bring the color and polish back. Use cream to start and wax to finish.
Here are some useful tips. Note that many of these involve soaking in something that will later be washed out in the laundry. For non washable items such as suits, use a sponge to blot any remaining moisture. If the stains will not budge, dry cleaning may be the only other option.
Note: many of these methods use soaking or saturating with something that will.
Ketchup: Remove any excess and then soak in cold water and dish detergent. For stubborn stains, use white vinegar.
Ink: Before blotting, spray with a liberal amount of hair spray. You can also use rubbing alcohol. Before putting in the laundry, add detergent directly to the affected area.
Blood: Hold the fabric under cool, running water while rubbing it against itself. Avoid hot water, which sets the stain permanently.
Oils: Use a cloth or napkin to blot the fabric. Baking soda or cornstarch will draw oil out, so rub some onto the stain. Wash with detergent. Alternatively add some dish soap to a sponge and use that to blot the area.
Perspiration: Use normal hair shampoo, without extra conditioners, to saturate the area before putting items into the wash.
Red Wine: Blot with club soda. The stain lifts thanks the bubbles in the soda and the salt prevents permanent staining.
Coffee/Tea: Rinse with vinegar and then blot.
Grass: Prior to washing, soak for an hour in white vinegar.
Chocolate: Scrape off any remaining chocolate. You may find that a spoon works well for this. Use something like Wisk which has an enzyme detergent, to saturate the area and leave for 20 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
Lipstick: Use a credit card to scrape off excess, then blot with wet tissues, and rinse with hot water. The hot water should help the oils to dissolve.
Chewing Gum: Wrap an ice cube and apply to the chewing gum. Once frozen, the gum should be quite easy to scrape off.