RenaissanceFestival.com Forums

Faire Garb => Garbing => Topic started by: gem on September 19, 2009, 02:37:26 PM

Title: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: gem on September 19, 2009, 02:37:26 PM
I'm sure that I've mentioned this before, but we've a lot of newer members, and I thought I'd throw it out again.

I steam pretty much all of my garb in the dryer (this is also how I pre-treat wools before sewing).  It's a fabulous way to shake a lot of wrinkles out and generally give new life to your garb, either for non-washables, or for between washing/ironing/drycleaning  Kind of similar to Dryel or home dry-cleaning kits, but without the cost or chemical smell.

Take a bath towel (preferably one you've washed most of the fuzz/lint off of already), get it completely wet, squeeze out a little of the excess (but don't wring it out--you still want it *wet*), and toss it into a dryer.  Set the dryer to high.  Add your garb pieces.  Run for about 30 minutes (until the towel is dry).  Promptly rescue the clothes from the dryer and hang up.  Voila!  Lovely fresh unwrinkled garb!

This works fantastic on silk and wool (you'll never see another wrinkled kilt or crushed silk chemise), really well on cotton gauze and linen (tough creases may still need the iron), and pretty well on heavier cottons.  This is the *only* way I ever "cleaned" my peacock blue velveteen Irish dress (b/c I didn't pre-shrink the fabric before sewing; silly me).  Use caution with delicate synthetics/beads/embellishments, or with mixing colors that might bleed when wet, and don't ever do this to an item that is stained without actually cleaning it first.

I just did my brown linen gamurra and gold-shot chemise (which have been sitting crushed in the bottom of my sewing tote all summer), and they look *fabulous.*

I've been wanting to try adding a little essential oil to the process to get some fragrance benefits, but I'm a little nervous about staining something.  I'll have to experiment.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: McGuinness on September 21, 2009, 07:40:10 AM
There has also been another little quick tip around our faire for several years now. A former costumer was very allergic to Febreze and it couldn't be used on any of our costumes, ever. Instead, she used a 50/50 mix of vodka and water. The alcohol kills any odor-causing bacteria and doesn't leave behind any perfumes or the like. Some still use it and the costumer has also let us know that she started using the flavored vodkas and said they work just as well and leave behind a faint smell of lemon or whatever kind it happens to be.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Lady Rebecca on September 21, 2009, 04:22:15 PM
^That's what we used this summer for all the non-washable opera costumes. If you're not allergic to Febreze, though, I would still go with that.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Joyce "Delfinia DuSwallow" Howard on September 21, 2009, 05:05:41 PM
I use Dry Cleaners Secret, so far so good.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Casche on September 21, 2009, 05:52:47 PM
I know Texas Christian Univ theatre department uses the vodka/water mixture... except they call it a "secret formula" so no one decides to drink some during a show, heh.  It's serious stuff, after a few sprays, the boys' costumes smell fresh again and the dressing room loses the boys' locker room smell. And it doesn't mask the scent, like febreze, so none of that nasty mixed-smells smell.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: isabelladangelo on September 21, 2009, 07:37:16 PM
I have yet to find any piece of garb that is truly non-washable.   For my beaded stuff, I either throw it into the bathtub with enough oxyclean to make the water slightly glossy looking or I stuff it into a pillow case and throw it into a washing machine on low.   

Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Dayna on September 23, 2009, 07:19:04 PM
Absolutely, and if you're worried about beads rubbing against each other, lay the garment on a sheet, safety pin around the edges here and there and a few in the middle scattered around.  The sheet will keep the beads from coming into direct contact with each other.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Lady Kathleen of Olmsted on September 25, 2009, 03:48:37 AM


I hand clean all of our non-washable garb using Amway's L.O.C. The Undergarments are Gentle Cycled washed and hung to dry.

There is a product called FRESH AGAIN that kills the enzymes that cause odors to linger in clothing. I used that a lot when I worked at the Costume Shop.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: SweetPandora on December 01, 2009, 04:55:52 PM
I was told that I could hang some of my non-washable garb up in a room with several incense sticks.   The smoke sanitizes the garb and gives it a great scent ;)  Good luck!
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Taffy Saltwater on December 02, 2009, 01:27:58 PM
Thanks for the hint about the vodka/water mixture.  I used it on some very vintage furs that were smelly, left them to dry and they came out odorless.  I didn't know vodka could be used externally.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Hoowil on December 05, 2009, 10:18:06 PM
For some smells, particularly the BO type, you cna also try freezing. Roll it up, toss in a bag in the freezer, and let sit a few days. It'll kill most odor causing bacteria and some must smells, without getting the peice wet at all.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: dragongirl on December 06, 2009, 02:59:01 AM
Thanks for the hint about the vodka/water mixture.  I used it on some very vintage furs that were smelly, left them to dry and they came out odorless.  I didn't know vodka could be used externally.
Vodka is also wonderful on glass.  I use it to clean my cut crystal glass from the 1920's.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Celtic Lady on December 06, 2009, 07:08:06 AM


I hand clean all of our non-washable garb using Amway's L.O.C. The Undergarments are Gentle Cycled washed and hung to dry.

There is a product called FRESH AGAIN that kills the enzymes that cause odors to linger in clothing. I used that a lot when I worked at the Costume Shop.
My aunt used to be a distributor for Amway years ago and my mom always bought their products. It is a really good product. Just use a little and it rinses out easily. Great for cleaning up greasy spots.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Betty Munro on December 06, 2009, 09:01:48 PM
My vodka never lasts long enough to try it on a garment.  Darn pyrates, they'll drink anything when the rum runs out!

Seriously though, I just bought a llama or alpaca wool sweater, and I'm afraid to wash it ... I assume the vodka trick would work on it ... has anyone used it on wool?  I assume all wool, whether it be sheep or alpaca or llama would all react the same way?  Plus it would be nice to get rid of that slight animal odor.  I guess since it is hand spun home crafted it didn't get the commercial odor eliminator, and it still kind of smells like a farm animal. 
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Miranda on December 07, 2009, 08:57:45 AM
The vodka fix works really well, especially if you put in 5 or so drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil into the mix.  Nasty sweaty smells are caused by bacteria.  Alchol is an antimicrobial, hence why it works so well, without the added perfumes of the commercial product.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Adriana Rose on December 08, 2009, 12:27:55 PM
also the lavender and tea tree oil are an antibactrial.

For the wet towel Gem the essentail oil should not cause any staining, make sure to place the drops into the middle of the towel the oil will soak into the weave of the towel.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: gem on December 08, 2009, 02:27:55 PM
Thanks, Adriana!  I'm surprised nobody is giving my dryer method a try.  (It's now being touted on blogs and sewing sites as a method for pre-treating woollens before you sew with them!  Which I also do.)  Whenever I get a new dryer, I'm absolutely getting one with a steam function.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Miranda on December 08, 2009, 06:57:56 PM
also the lavender and tea tree oil are an antibactrial.
Tea Tree is also anti-fungal, great for post rainy day faire induced trenchfoot!

A bit off topic but, hey there is post about shoes floating around so what the hey!
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Kehle on December 09, 2009, 09:21:22 AM
Thanks, Adriana!  I'm surprised nobody is giving my dryer method a try.  (It's now being touted on blogs and sewing sites as a method for pre-treating woollens before you sew with them!  Which I also do.)  Whenever I get a new dryer, I'm absolutely getting one with a steam function.

I'm gonna give it a try, thanks for the tip.

As for the oil, I was gonna suggest dropping a cork with your oil into a sock and tying the end of the sock so if the oil does stain, it's just the inside of a sock. But I have no experience with oils. But it seems to me a cork is soft enough to not damage your dryer. I'm a newb in all things so only take my suggestion at your own risk. The drops on the wet towel are probably better, I'd just still be afraid of staining. We used to have a dryer that stained everything on it's own with nothing (other than clothes) in it, so now I'm just extra paranoid.

You could also try throwing dryer sheets in there if you don't mind the smell of them.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Elennare on December 09, 2009, 04:51:15 PM
How does the dryer trick work in regard to shrinking things?  The dryer I have currently is notorious for shrinking just about ANY article of clothing put in it if it's set to high.  Does the steam from the wet towel prevent this, or would I still have a problem if I gave this a try?
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Adriana Rose on December 19, 2009, 02:09:31 PM
For the cork in the sock trick... DO NOT USE ONE THAT WAS IN A WINE BOTTLE!
just a thing to keep in mind  ;D

there are corks at places like Hobby Lobby and other craft stores or i think at hardware stores too maybe
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Merlin on December 19, 2009, 03:09:36 PM
I'm a wizard...we don't sweat...why would we?
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Tixi on January 19, 2010, 02:14:41 PM
I assume everyone is talking about plain, unflavored vodka, but has anyone tried, say, citrus vodka?
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Aelynn of Georgina on April 22, 2010, 06:47:01 PM
Gem, I have used that dryer trick for years on all our "dry clean only" clothing, including hubby's uniforms (he's a pilot), long before ever going to faire.  I keep a few prewashed microfiber cloths next to the dryer just for this purpose. Works like a charm! It's also a great substitute for ironing out clothing that has been in the bottom of a drawer for a while or in off-season storage.  I wonder if adding vodka to the cloth would eliminate odours too???

Anyone have any tricks for removing yellow sweat stains?  Dh sweats a lot and goes through t-shirts like he owns stock in the company. This will be his first year going to faire and I'm worried he's going to ruin his garb.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: LadyStitch on April 23, 2010, 08:31:43 AM
depending on the garb you might be able to get some of the disposalable sweat patches. We sold them all the time to bridesmaids and brides for wedding day issues.  They were priceless.  When they are icky just remove them and put in a new set.
Another option is the sew in version.  They would protect the garb, and when icky just change them out.  It's a thought.

http://www.mrscleanusa.com/en/cleaning-tips/stain-removal/perspiration-stain.html (http://www.mrscleanusa.com/en/cleaning-tips/stain-removal/perspiration-stain.html)

That link has some good suggestions on removing the stains.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: stonebiscuit on January 20, 2011, 09:44:48 AM
Coming late to this party, but! White distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray on pit stains full strength. Wash. Voila! It works like a charm.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Chelsy on May 04, 2011, 11:25:23 PM
even later to this party, but baking soda and water rubbed onto sweat stains with a toothbrush (and then washed, of course) works well too!
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: LAVAGODDESSSS on August 20, 2011, 03:04:39 PM
This is slightly on topic. But I washed my skirt (it has a drawstring). And the knot came untied. HOW do I get that string back through? (After I get it back from my thieving kitten).

I realize this is likely a "how do you NOT know that? " But I need to know lol.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: redkimba on August 20, 2011, 03:53:59 PM
This is slightly on topic. But I washed my skirt (it has a drawstring). And the knot came untied. HOW do I get that string back through? (After I get it back from my thieving kitten).

I realize this is likely a "how do you NOT know that? " But I need to know lol.

I use a small safety pin in one end of the drawstring & use it to help push the string through the casing.  (I've done this lots with other clothing.)
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Betty Munro on August 20, 2011, 07:44:32 PM
If your casing is too small for a safety pin, then use a needlepoint needle.  They are just a few bucks.  WalMart should have them in the crafting department, and of course any sewing or craft store.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Butch on August 21, 2011, 08:45:08 PM
I have found that using a dowel works much better than a safety pin.  Tape the string to the tip of an arrow shaft, and thread the casing over it.  It moves very quickly!
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Betty Munro on August 22, 2011, 06:54:12 PM
Butch, you are a genius!  I'm putting that on my Home Depot list!
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: LAVAGODDESSSS on August 23, 2011, 01:08:20 PM
Thank you THANK YOU ladies and gents. I swear, I was ... well, swearing over the darn string. The waist is nicely bunched up when on, and that means when the string is out, I have 100" of area to go through.

Anyone know how to get the string back from a cat? lol. I'll figure it out. She thinks it's hers now. Kitten spit. yeck.



Oh, and I just cleaned my garb using this kit from walmart. It was a no name dry cleaner's kit. There was a spray in it, and a 'dryer sheet' (many, actually), and a bag you put it all in. For the extra delicate stuff, I put them into a pillow case, THEN into the bag. There was no washing, just using the dryer on low.

I am lucky that I only have one or two pieces that can't go in the washer. My damsel stuff is built like iron, that stuff can go on 'hot' in the washer, never fade and never have an issue.

But I'm about to get some things that are really really delicate. So this thread is amazing.

How do you all refresh leather?

Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: Adriana Rose on August 28, 2011, 10:06:44 PM
Dryer sheets? I wipe my leather stuff down with a damp cloth and lightly spritz it with lavender water and store with a pouch of dried lavender. Yes I do love lavender lol.
Title: Re: Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)
Post by: StilettoWolf on May 27, 2013, 04:20:21 PM
The vodka and water trick. MIST the leather, don't soak it.

Also cleaning with saddle soap (kiwi brand from Walmart), and then PLEASE condition your leather! I use hubards boot grease it soaks in nicely and it makes your leather buttery soft.

I can't say it enough, (I used to specialize in boot/leather care as a boot black in the local gay leather scene) you need to condition your leather. Boots too. It is essential to the long life of your leather garments.

I'll up a tutorial if it's needed?