DESIGNER and Electrolux UltimateCare Ambassador Rajo Laurel gave tips to BusinessWorld last week on how to care for your clothes. With the thousands of garments that have passed through his hands, he knows what he is talking about.
1. When washing designer clothing, turn them inside-out first. This helps the piece keep its color, and reduces the risk of ruining any stitches or embroidery on the outside. If anything, only the inside or the lining would be damaged, and only you would know the difference.
2. Always read the care labels. “It tells you how to take care of them,” Mr. Laurel said. They’re not just gibberish. “Wash in cold water only” does mean “wash in cold water only.”
3. Wash clothes immediately upon purchase to get rid of chemicals. According to Mr. Laurel, he often has to pre-wash his fabrics before working with them to get rid of chemicals meant to keep pests away from clothing — these chemicals just might irritate the skin, and well, leave a nasty smell on the clothes. To prevent this, wash clothes as soon as they’re bought, and especially before using them.
4. To protect beaded and embroidered items, place them in a stocking. Once the garment is inside a stocking, tie both ends, and pop it in the washer. It works two ways: the machine is protected from stray beads or sequins, while the beads, sequins, and stitches themselves remain safe from the washer’s forces. For heavier items like wool or cotton, do the same but use a pillowcase instead of a stocking.
5. When storing clothes for a long time, rub the seams, hemlines, and collars with white wax. This will prevent discoloration — think yellowing collars on white shirts — as the wax acts as a seal for the fabric.
6. If all else fails, find a dry cleaner you can trust. Mr. Laurel swears by the cleaners in the The Peninsula Manila. “They’ve been taking care of my clothes since I was young,” he said. — JLG