I need to take one of my dresses to the dry-cleaners in order to clean it for my next fancy date. I almost never go to the dry-cleaners, but I feel like when a tag says "dry-clean only," it's not messing around. Therefore I consulted Good Housekeeping's Guide to Homemaking for what I need to do with my clothes before I take them in. The book never lets me down! Here's what I got:
1. Check the shoulder pads. If they are covered with a plastic material, or if they contain sponge rubber, they should be removed. Plastic-covered pads usually become stiff and shrink excessively, while sponge-rubber shoulder pads are seldom dry-cleaned satisfactorily.
Ummm...my dress doesn't have shoulder pads because I bought it after 1990. Still, what kind of shoulder pads were covered in plastic? Would they crinkle when you walked? Fifties fashions always look so cute in old pictures... I wonder if they weren't as comfortable as they look.
2. Remove all ornamental buttons, as they may be damaged during dry-cleaning.
Remove the buttons? As in, cut them off and then sew them back on? This seems like a lot of work. What if I just be really careful not to get my clothes dirty so I don't have to take them in to the cleaners? Dang...I guess that ship already sailed for this dress. I don't have any buttons on the dress, so that's a moot point anyway. The book didn't say anything about zippers, so I guess I'm okay.
3. Clean out all pockets. Certain types of matches left in pockets are particularly hazardous. They may ignite during the deodorizing process, which follows the dry-cleaning, and start a serious fire.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?! Who keeps matches in their pockets?! Why would you suddenly need matches?! We are not boy scouts camping out in the wilderness; we are wives cooking barefoot in our freshly mopped kitchens. Okay but really... I don't think I've ever kept a match in my pocket in my life. I almost want to now, just to see what happens if I accidentally wash and then dry it. Then again, it could send my apartment up in flames, so I guess I won't.
4. Be careful not to leave lipstick in pockets. It can cause great damage to clothes during dry-cleaning.
Valid. I bet this one is still applicable. I don't keep lipstick in my pockets, but it seems like people might actually do that. I guess one out of four rules is still worth passing on. So lesson of the day: don't keep lipstick in your pockets.
Or shoulder pads.
Enjoy your clean clothes!