You want your favourite shirts and blouses to look good even after years of wear — and they can with a little tender loving care. Here are eleven tips for repairing, storing and cleaning shirts and blouses.
1. Clip loose threads
You’ve just purchased a nice new dress shirt or silk blouse.
Before you wear it, check all seams, hems, buttons, and buttonholes for loose threads.
To avoid unravelling later, clip them off instead of pulling them.
2. Secure loose buttons
New shirts can also have loose buttons. Check each button on your new garment and add a few stitches if they are not sewed on properly.
Doing this is especially important for buttons that have only two holes.
3. Sew on buttons with dental floss
If you know that the buttons on a garment are going to get a lot of wear and tear, resew them on with white dental floss, not thread.
The buttons will hold a lot longer.
4. Polish the buttons
To quickly reinforce buttons, put a dab of clear nail polish on the threads.
The nail polish will keep threads in place and prevent unravelling.
5. Cover your buttons
Button covers can give your old blouse a new look.
Slip the cover over the button, snap into place, button, and go.
6. Lint be gone
Have pesky little lint balls invaded the buttonholes of your favourite shirt? Dampen a cotton ball and run it through. The lint balls will disappear.
7. Pamper your silk with the right hangers
Drop that metal hanger. When hanging up a silk blouse, use plastic or padded hangers.
Metal hangers will leave small creases in your silk, and wooden ones may cause snags.
8. Stop, stuff, and roll
Your blouse has a flattering soft-roll collar.
Keep it that way by twisting some tissue paper and slipping it under the collar roll while the shirt is stored for its next wearing.
9. Link cuffs
If you wear shirts with French cuffs or other shirts that use cuff links, here’s how to keep the cuffs from getting accidentally creased.
After pressing a shirt, use a bag twist-tie to link the two sides of the cuffs. They’ll stay nice and flat while waiting to be worn.
10. Prevent ring-around-the-collar
Remember that old detergent commercial that touted the horror of ring-around-the-collar? Well, you don’t need any particular soap to get rid of those rings, because it’s really very easy to prevent them in the first place.
Just apply a little talcum powder or chalk to the collar of your shirt before you put it on. The powder will absorb sweat before it can cause rings.
Did you read this tip too late to prevent rings on some of your favourite shirts? No sweat. Get rid of the stains by applying a paste of baking soda and water.
Scrub with a small brush, such as an old toothbrush; then launder as usual.
11. Skip the starch
If you have your shirts cleaned professionally, they’ll last longer if you don’t starch the collars.
At the very least, don’t include starch in the last laundering before putting your shirts away for the season.
Starch is an organic material that attracts bugs that will feast on your garments while they are stored.