Cleaning preserves your clothes and ensures you dress to impress.

The first rule of cleaning is to always read labels carefully and be aware of the signs.

If your clothes need dry cleaning, find a good dry cleaner – preferably an independent because they will take more trouble and you can build up rapport and get better personal service

Dry Cleaning

Don’t rush the dry cleaner if it’s something special. If it has a stain, add a note to the garment telling the cleaner what the stain is – then they’ll know what chemical to use to get it off. E.g. Lipstick, curry, coffee.

It’s better not to try to remove the stain yourself if it is something you care about.

Better to not touch it even with water and take it straight to the cleaners – they’ll have a better chance at removing it if it hasn’t been tampered with.

If you spend a lot of money on a designer garment, do ask for an extra piece of fabric and extra buttons or trim. Designers like Catherine Walker and Louis Ferraud will do this.

Buttons buckles and trims

Dry cleaners do not take responsibility for buttons and buckles. If in doubt – remove them or cover them yourself in silver foil. This stops them getting bashed against the side of the drum. Some dry cleaners have clip on plastic button covers.

Do ask for them to be used. Karen Millen states on her labels ‘all accessories to be removed. This can mean braid trim, beads, sequins, leather and fur bits.

Beaded dresses are very delicate and do ask the dry cleaner to test clean the beads first by taking a couple off and putting them in to the dry cleaning solution.

Leather and Suede

Leather and suede’s are never the same after cleaning. Chemicals reduce the natural oils in the skins, making them less supple, so try to clean them yourself.

Leather can be wiped over with a soapy cloth using saddle soap, then buffed up with a duster afterwards. Some suedes are washable and a glove shampoo would do.

As soon as you have the garment home spray some shoe protector all over, this will keep the marks off a bit longer.

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