Q And Answer: Best Way To Clean Dress Shirts?

December 17, 2009

Q and Answer: Best Way to Clean Dress Shirts?

Jacob from LA writes to us:

While I understand a good deal about the care of my New Standards, shirts have always eluded me. Dry cleaning is a no no, but should I fear a cleaner’s launder/press service and go the entire hand way? Any advice is warmly welcomed.

Here’s the story: most dry cleaners are hacks.  They’ll throw your shirt into a vat of boiling water and chemicals and press it all at once at crazy temperatures.  There are exceptions to this rule, but they are few and tough to find.  If you want the convenience of dropping shirts off dirty and picking them up folded and pressed, then the price you pay is a shorter lifespan.  (The other price you pay is the price you pay – a buck or two per shirt per wash.)

We recommend washing your shirts yourself.  Put a little stain remover on the inside of the collars – OxiClean works great.  Wash them in the machine on delicate with like colors, and either hang dry them (better) or dry them on low heat.  If you like, you can iron them while they’re still very slightly moist – the ironing will be easier.

That said, when we’re rich, we’re going to have a laundry service, and when our Barba shirts get shiny from ironing, we’re going to use them to mop up spills around the garage.  And we’ll also take a lot of treasure baths.