Some people have a thing for shoes. My thing is pants. Good pants are like a magic diet pill that instantly makes you feel and look...better! The problem is that good pants are usually not cheap, so when my family and I got caught in a sudden downpour in the middle of a tennis match last week, my only thoughts were of my favorite white pants hanging on the clothesline, "My pants!"
I ran home and rushed to the back yard just in time to save my pants from getting completely soaked in the rain. I brought them into my bedroom and carefully hung them over a clean chair to dry. Only then did I go get the rest of the laundry.
If you do a lot of dry cleaning or have some nice clothes in your closet that need cleaning, here's the scoop on handwashing even an expensive pair of pants that might say "dry clean only". The only pants I ever send to the cleaners are my wool slacks that might shrink when washed with water. I've never had a problem with hand washing cotton, linen, silk or synthetics and encourage you to try this method for all your delicate items that you wouldn't throw in the washing machine.
Items to prepare: Bath or Beach Towel, Stain Fighter or Dishwashing Liquid, Shampoo or Woolite
1. Pre treat any stains with some stain fighter or even plain old dishwashing liquid. Rub it in, rinse out, and rub some more.
2. Start filling a sink with some warm water and squeeze in some shampoo while the water is running to create suds. A tablespoon full or about the same amount you use for your hair should be fine.
3. When the sink is 3/4 full, put your items into the water and massage the water through the fabric. Do this for a minute or so and your water should start looking pretty dirty. Drain the water and fill the sink with clean water. Rinse by massaging the clean water through. Drain. Repeat if necessary.
4. Squeeze as much water out of the clothes as possible without damaging the fabric.
5. Spread out your towel and lay the wet clothes on top. Either fold the towel over the items or put another towel on top and push evenly all over until the towel is pretty wet.
6. Now you're ready to get hanging. Utilize any belt loops or hanging loops so that you don't get pinch marks on your delicates. If you don't have those, try moving the clothespin to another part of the clothing halfway through the drying process.
That's it! Oh and don't forget to check the weather report.