Our Department Chair, Ronda Chaney, has spent many years creating exquisite garments from wonderful materials. Here are some of her favorite laundry tips that keep her garments looking fresh and fabulous.

Only wash garments if they are dirty.

Just because a garment has been worn, does not make it dirty.
If there is a stain, try spot washing the garment.
Garments can be aired out doors.
Using a mixture of one part vodka, two parts water and misting clothing can also remove smells.
Unnecessary washing causes fibers to get damaged and garments to prematurely age.

Hand wash things by soaking (5 minutes) in minimally soapy water then rinsing thoroughly.

Use a small amount of soap when hand or machine washing.
Too much soap can damage garment fibers.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly!

Avoid dryers. Air dry garments and block sweaters flat.

When using dryers use low heat.
Use clothespins on the hem of shirts so that the marks can be easily pressed out or tucked into your bottoms.
Hang jeans upside down to dry.
Don’t hang sweaters as that can ruin the shape.
When items are hung out to dry, they can end up stiff. A quick (5 minutes or less) follow up round in the dryer will bring back the softness of the material.

Understand how to press a garment correctly.

Never wrinkle unnecessarily. Hang garments immediately after wearing, don’t crumple on the floor.
Press silk while it is still damp. Iron on a low setting turn off the steam to prevent watermarks.
Wait until garments cool to put them on after ironing, or you risk adding new wrinkles.

What tips do you have for caring for your clothing?


  • Excellent advice. Thank you, Ronda! Another tip: Most of my dresses are on hangers, but folded at the waist, not hung by the shoulders. I noticed one day that several of my dresses had distorted shoulders simply from hanging in my closet. Now I fold them over a triangle-shaped hanger. Yes, this can cause some wrinkling around the waist for some designs, but I can iron that out—I couldn’t fix the shoulders of the dresses that were distorted from being hung normally. So the extra work is worth it to preserve the dress.

  • Such useful and wonderful tips, thank you for sharing them Ronda. I also wish I knew some of those little secrets before! But I guess it’s better late, than never 🙂

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