Properly caring for your shirts practically guarantees you that your shirts will last much longer and will look as crisp as new even after having washed dozens of times.
However, we do realize that, with a few rare exceptions, proper quality cleaners are almost inexistent and that not everybody has the time or resources to wash and care for their shirts at home. Nevertheless, we have come up with a short list of useful tips that you can follow to get the most out of your bespoke shirts.
• The best way to clean a shirt in order to maximize durability is the traditional way (and the most time-consuming)…washed and ironed by hand. Let it soak in warm (up to 60 degrees Celsius) soapy water for an hour (the more the better) and gently scrub the soiled areas with hand soap and a soft toothbrush. Hang dry, then spray water and press by hand.
• Second best alternative is to wash your shirts by machine. You may, first, gently scrub the soiled areas with hand soap and a soft toothbrush. Set the machine on delicate cycle and warm water (up to 60 degrees Celsius); do not mix with other clothes and let the shirts soak in the soapy water for an hour at least. Do not use the dryer; instead, hang them dry in a well-ventilated environment and press by hand.
• Third best alternative, and the most common, is to send your shirts to the cleaners. However, there are a few things you need to know about this option:
- Always ask for machine wash instead of dry cleaning.
- Ask for no starch to be used.
- If possible, ask to be hand pressed.
- Ask about different levels of service as some places will offer better care for a premium price.
- Compare and try different cleaners and don't hesitate to pay more for a better service/result, think of it as an investment.
• Your shirts' elbows and cuffs can wear out faster if your desk or keyboard drawer has a rough surface. Make sure to put some padding to minimize these friction points.
• Your car seatbelt could damage your collar. If it goes directly over your collar, try to reposition it or add some padding on your seatbelt.
• Take the time to unbutton. Undoing your buttons too quickly puts unwanted pressure on the button and buttonhole threads.
• Don't lose your collar stays. Keep them preciously when you send them out for laundry or when you wash it at home. They are an important part of the collar as they help it keep its natural shape.
• A small pair of scissors is always helpful to cut loose threads.
• Spray your perfume on your body instead of your shirt. Wait for it to dry and then put on your shirt. Not doing so could stain your shirt permanently.
• It's always preferable to hang your shirts on supportive wooden or thick plastic hangers.