Which shirts must be dry cleaned or hand-pressed instead of commercially laundered?
Q: Which shirts must be dry cleaned or hand-pressed instead of commercially laundered?
A: Dry clean and/or hand press: Any shirt which, according to the care instructions on its tag, should be dry cleaned, hand-washed, or ironed with a cool or warm iron. This includes shirts made of silk, linen, and synthetic fibers such as lycra, spandex, rayon, or nylon.
It also includes shirts which:
have fragile buttons made of shell or wood, are made of thin delicate cotton, have embroidery on them, do not button-down the front, or are sleeveless.
Commercially Launder: Any cotton or cotton & polyester blend button-down shirt with sleeves that can be pressed safely by automated shirt presses. The care instructions on its tag usually indicate that it can withstand the high temperatures of typical laundry shirt presses.
Why?: Most synthetic fabrics melt and distort in the high temperatures used by the automated shirt laundry presses which are designed to get the wrinkles out of thick cotton shirts, something which requires a great deal of heat, steam, and pressure. To keep shirts with even 2% lycra or spandex from being ruined, these shirts need to be pressed by hand at a lower temperature than what is used in the automated shirt laundry presses. Laundry presses are notorious for breaking fragile buttons, so any shirt with wood or shell buttons should be hand-ironed. Linen often bleeds its color when laundered. Linen shirts wrinkle very easily and rarely turn out right when pressed by the automated shirt presses, and so need to be pressed by hand.