Updated: Nov 16, 2020
They call them delicates for nothin’! Delicate fabrics require a gentle approach to cleaning, but ironically, chemicals from the dry cleaner are actually super tough on them. Mind. Blown. Here are some dry-clean-only fabrics you can—and should—be laundering at home. (You can thank us for all the money and time you save on dry cleaning later.) Before washing any of these fabrics, always test an inconspicuous area of your garment for water reactions before washing. Here’s how to do it. Next, pretreat stains. If the stain is oil-based, a lather is best with cool water and rub it into discoloration. If it’s tannin-based (think juice, wine, coffee, or tea), use our a stain solution if needed. And for stains that seriously won’t let up, soak the garment in cool water for up to 30 minutes to allow the formula to sink in. Silk Step 1: Test For Color Bleeding This kind of fabric is prone to bleeding, so it’s smart to test it first. Grab a small section of the hem from the underside of the garment and dip it in warm water. If you see dye seep into the water, wash it individually (if it’s a solid color) to avoid staining other items. If it’s patterned, avoid washing at home. Step 2: Hand Wash Turn your silk inside out. Fill a basin or sink with cool water and add a cap of your favorite scent of Topanga to the water. Submerge the item and gently swirl the water around with your hands until the detergent is fully dissolved. Soak for no longer than 30 minutes. Step 3: Rinse Run cool water over the garment until it rinses clean. Don't wring the garment! Instead, press the excess water out with your hands or against the sink. Step 4: Dry and De-Wrinkle Hang to dry or lay the item flat in its natural shape. Once dry to the touch, steam to release wrinkles and bring out the silk’s natural luster. Between washes, a misting of Topanga Fabric Spray will banish icky odors and add a refreshing scent.
Wool & Cashmere Step 1: Prep For Washing Flip the item inside out to halt friction and fading while washing. Step 2: Hand Wash Add two capfuls of Topanga Scents (many detergents can be harsh on your fabrics, but this one is pH-neutral and ultra-gentle) to a basin or sink of cool water. Submerge the garment, agitate with your hands, then let it soak for 30 minutes. If you’d rather use the machine, place your item in a protective mesh bag and use the following settings: Coldwater + woolens or delicate cycle + low tumble. Step 3: Rinse Run cool water over the item until it’s no longer soapy. Gently press against your sink to drain excess water—don’t wring or twist. Step 4: Dry Lay the garment flat on a drying rack or clean towel. To avoid damage and shrinkage, keep away from direct sunlight and sources of heat such as a radiator. In a rush? Lay your item flat on a towel then roll both upwards, as if you’re rolling a burrito. This will quickly sop up excess water. Step 5: Remove Wrinkles & Pilling Ironing can crush or flatten the natural pile of the yarns. Instead, steam to remove creases or give your garment a spritz of Topaanga Fabric Spray. Pilling? For cashmere, glide a sweater comb over the area in one direction to remove them; for wool, use a sweater stone. Brushing your cashmere or wool between wears with a brush will also release the fabric’s natural oils and keep it looking new. Linen Step 1: Know What Not To Wash If your linen item is structured (like a suit or blazer with shoulder pads) or un-launderable (such as upholstery) we don’t recommend washing. Instead, spot treats any staining. Scroll up to TOP for the how-to. If you’re working with flax linen, which is prone to pit stains, yellowness, and general dinginess, presoak with a sprinkle of a bleach alternative, in a basin of hot water for up to 30 minutes. Step 2: Machine Wash Wash your linen with Topanga Detergent on the normal cycle with hot water. Spray with Topanga Fabric Spray to soften and reduce static and wrinkles. Step 3: Dry Linen is sturdy enough to go in the dryer on high heat. It’s prone to wrinkling, so to make ironing easier, remove from the dryer before the cycle is up so that the fabric is still a bit damp. Then iron or stem on the highest temperature setting to loosen up creasing and lay flat to dry completely.