Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Washing Pit Stains*
-Gwen Whiting

I was borrowing some tennis and golf gear for my vacation and this shirt came out of the closet…

I grabbed it from my friend (name omitted for "pit" anonymity) as it was such a horror I couldn't let it go back in the drawer as is...

So as I'm washing all my vacation clothes (with some super duper sunscreen and mineral bath stains) I documented the shirt…

First, add Stain Solution & Bleach Alternative to pit stains:

Use the Stain Brush to work it in:

I soaked in hot water for less than an hour and send through a regular load of wash.

Then – be amazed – yellow stains are gone!

For our complete recipe & washing video – visit http://www.thelaundress.com/LaundryTips/pits.asp
*We recommend this process on durable fibers such as cotton, linen and some synthetic materials.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Here is this week's question and answer:

This question seems obvious so I am almost embarrassed to ask...here goes. What is the benefit of a fabric softener and should I be using this in my wash? I use the dryer sheets already. Will the fabric softener build up over time in my clothes? I always assumed this product was for just adding scent to your clothes. Help! I want my baby's clothes to look nice. Also, would fabric softener help my sheets look smoother?

Thanks so much for your help!

Hi Amber-this is not a silly question at all! Fabric softener generally reduces static, is scented, and makes fabrics softer. It does coat the fabrics so we do not recommend using it on towels very often as it does reduce the absorbency. We also caution that it should not be used on childrens sleepwear because sleepwear has flame retardency by law and fabric conditioner reduces the retardency. I also don't recommend using it on synthetic fabrics either. Frankly, I don't use it at all. Our detergent has natural softening properties so I don't feel I need it very often. It will most likely make your sheets smoother though.

If you do choose to use fabric softeners snuggle and downy are made with animal fat which I think is probably not what you want for your baby. Our fabric conditioner is made from canola oil. Dryer sheets are good for static. I hope this is helpful for you.

Happy Laundering!


Hi Gwen,

Thank you very much for the prompt reply and all the information you provided me! Having consulted a laundry expert - you - I now feel confident to go forward with using my Laundress Baby Wash and dryer sheets! Great information too on the fabric softener; I may try some on my sheets and see what that does to help the wrinkling factor. I always take them out when they are 80% dry and lay the sheets out flat and the duvet still has some wrinkling. Maybe in my next order I will purchase some of your fabric softener to try. I wouldn't have bought those other brands you mentioned...funny thing is my 62yo mom always told me the additives in these fabric softeners are bad for your clothing and will break the fabrics down quickly. Thus the reason I have never used fabric softener!!!

By the way, I am becoming a HUGE Laundress fan and I have told everyone I know to buy your products! Am thinking of buying some for gifts too. After finding moth holes in one of my husband's sweaters I just decided to wash (using the machine hand wash cycle) everything and was really disappointed with the way they felt after air drying. Then I bought your wool/cashmere wash soap and decided to pick up some baby wash and dryer sheets too. Wow, I have found your wool/cashmere wash is an AMAZING cleaner and softener. Not only does it make our sweaters buttery soft but I was thrilled by the green nature of your products, this made me feel good as we began to reduce our dry cleaner usage.

Keep doing what you are doing, I am quite a fan.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Preserve and protect contents of closet

By Michelle Crowe Special to Tribune Newspapers
January 3, 2010

Chances are the holiday season brought at least one new favorite item into your wardrobe.

Whether your treasures arrived via a thoughtful Santa-type or your own smart shopping strategies, it makes sense to do everything you can to keep them looking great through this winter and others to come.

By employing a few insider tricks and tools, you can ensure that soft sweater or party dress keeps winning compliments, wear after wear.

Washing sweaters
A one-size-fits-all approach may streamline wash day, but it also could shorten the life of your clothes. That's why two fashion industry veterans who studied fiber science at Cornell University developed The Laundress, an eco-chic line of specialty detergents and washes formulated for washing different fabrics.

"It's important to understand that what you use to wash cotton isn't what you should use to wash delicates," co-founder Lindsey Wieber said.

She and Gwen Whiting started the line with a wool and cashmere shampoo, because dry cleaning can remove the natural lanolin from those fibers, damaging them. At the end of the season, washing your sweaters with the Laundress' cedar-scented soap will clean them as well as repel pests."

Cashmere can be washed. Cashmere should be washed. It's the best way to extend the life of your sweaters," Wieber said.

The Laundress products are available at thelaundress.com (which has other laundering tips).

Those little pills have shortened the life of much-beloved sweaters. Friction from everyday movement causes fibers to band together and form little balls that can downgrade even the most elegant sweater.

Knit fans had previously been cautioned against removing pills with battery-operated shavers because they often remove strong fibers along with those that are damaged. This can weaken the fabric and lead to holes.

Enter the Hollywood Sweater Saver. Skim this simple block of natural pumice over the surface to remove pills while sparing the sweater. "Two minutes of quick swipes with this and a sweater looks brand new," says Marie Mathay of Hollywood Fashion Tape.

Hollywood Sweater Saver, $5.99 at hollywoodfashiontape.com.

Steam heat
Stylists and visual merchandisers prefer the gentle wrinkle release of a quality steamer to the direct heat of an iron.

"I try to spritz out wrinkles with water bottles and steamers, only ironing as a last resort," said Amy Meadows, a retail consultant. The Esteam travel steamer by Jiffy is a trusted favorite for many wardrobe pros.

Esteam travel steamer, $69 at jiffysteamer.com

A sewing kit
Replace lost buttons and stitch up dropped hems as soon as possible to prevent clothes from drooping and possibly stretching out of shape. Put together a personalized sewing kit that contains needles of varying sizes and spools of thread in colors that correspond with your wardrobe. Stash the supplies in a stylish box or case that also can hold the extra buttons and bits of threads that are packaged with new clothes.

And that hotel sewing kit? Pop it into your handbag or desk drawer to deal with on-the-go emergencies.

Sewing supplies can be organized in containers like this one, available at Walmart stores.

Preserving shapes
Handbags, shoulders, even the arms of the season's popular cocoon coats should be stuffed with tissue before storing long-term. Olescia Hanson, representative for The Container Store, recommends acid-free tissue for vintage pieces to guard against discoloration. For newer pieces, regular tissue is fine. Repurpose the padding that fills out handbags as well as the paper in holiday boxes.

Also, "use boot shapers — they're a great solution to keep high boots from sagging," Hanson said. Top-of-the-line cedar shapers are excellent for absorbing moisture, which can curl up the toe box, a la "Aladdin." Simple spring-loaded plastic boot shapers work too and can be hung up to save floor space.

A note: "When using cedar blocks or balls, if you can't smell the cedar, it won't be that effective," Hanson said. When the scent fades, she suggests rubbing the cedar blocks with sandpaper to reactivate, or spritz with cedar spray.

Boot shapers, $9.99 at The Container Store, containerstore.com.

Copyright © 2010, Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Here is this week's question and answer:

Hello, I just discovered The Laundress products and am super happy to be DONE with dry cleaning! It is totally liberating! I have the Wool and Cashmere Shampoo and the Stain Solution. I wasn't sure what other products I needed to get to avoid dry-cleaning altogether, which is why I am writing...

1) Is there something I could use to wash silk, or do I need to dry clean that?

2) Also, I have some cotton/silk blend shirts with ruffles and detailing from J. Crew. They say dry clean only, but I never want to dry clean again. What can I use to clean those? Is washing them in water going to ruin all the ruffles? Do you recommend ironing or steaming?

3) My next question is how to wash blazers. I heard that this is possible with the Laundress products. What products do I use? Does the same go for suit pants? We recommend spot-treating with our Wash & Stain Bar or Stain Solution first. Depending on the fabric, hand wash following our Wool & Cashmere Recipe or Delicate Wash recipe...same advice for suit pants. Lay flat to dry and steam afterwards.

4) Is there anything I NEED to dry clean that I cannot wash myself? Are there any risks that I should know about with certain fabrics?

Thank you so much for your help!

Sincerely, Laura

Hi Laura,

1) You definitely do not need to dry-clean silk - our Delicate Wash was designed specifically for delicate fabrics such as silk. Follow our washing recipe here: http://www.thelaundress.com/LaundryTips/washingDelicates.asp

2) If the percentage of silk is more than 50% use our Delicate Wash again - following the same recipe above. (Otherwise one of detergents such as Signature is fine.) Definitely steam afterwards.

3) We recommend spot-treating with our Wash & Stain Bar or Stain Solution first. Depending on the fabric, hand wash following our Wool & Cashmere Recipe or Delicate Wash recipe...same advice for suit pants. Lay flat to dry and steam afterwards.

4) Review "Can I Be Washed?" & "Fabric Glossary" found here:
http://www.thelaundress.com/LaundryTips/recipes.asp on the top left menu for tips on what you can/can't wash. We are always cautious with viscose rayon as it's a very unpredictable fabric when wet, but other than that - you'll find you can pretty much wash anything...double check our guides to be sure though.

Happy laundering!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Laundress made Cool Hunting's Best of 2009 - Top 5 Collaborations!

Best of Cool Hunting 2009: Top Five Collaborations
by Karen Day

When designers and artists team up to multiply their talents, the end result is sometimes greater than the sum of its creative parts. To celebrate the collaborations done right, we've listed five standouts from 2009 below.

Ace Hotel New York Uniforms Drawing on a few different tried-and-true brands, the uniforms for the latest Ace Hotel include exclusively-designed drab green monochrome Chucks by Converse along with custom-fitted shirts and utilitarian shirt-dress housekeeping uniforms by Newark-based L. Gambert, each handcrafted from patterning to production and overseen by second- and third-generation family artisans.

FTC 3L Slick x Burton Commemorating a 25-year-long relationship, the FTC 3L Slick is the upshot of a recent collaboration between San Francisco-based skate label FTC and snowboarding expert Burton. The smoke-patterned zipper detailing and interior lining lay the frame for waterproof zippers and a breathable Dryride Durashell three-layer coated fabric exterior, while the insulated yet lightweight constructions keeps the jacket suitable for a multitude of activities.

Brooks x Dan Funderburgh: Team Pro Alpe d'Huez Saddle Brooklyn-based artist, wallpaper designer and bike enthusiast Dan Funderburgh applied his talents to the Team Pro Alpe d'Huez, a seasonal edition bike seat from Brooks England. The handsome result of the collaboration between the venerable saddle maker and Funderburgh, it features his hand-hammered, topographic impression of the Alpe d'Huez—a legendary climb in the Tour de France that includes 21 hairpin turns and an average gradient of 8.1 percent over 13.1 kilometers.

The Laundress x Le Labo Detergent Combining the captivating aroma of Le Labo's Rose 31 perfume with The Laundress' outstanding eco-friendly detergent, this joint creation elevates "the clothing care experience to a heightened sophistication." The Laundress' biodegradable, non-toxic detergent makes an ideal base for Le Labo's award-winning fragrance Rose 31. All-purpose, the formula suits both hand and machine washing, while the scent works for both men and women with its Centifolia rose aroma (i.e. not your Grandma's rose) with hints of spice and cedar.

Karl Lagerfeld x Dom Perignon Bol Seine As the guest of Dom Perignon at a Versailles dinner, Ami had the chance to learn about the ways the centuries-old brand ties in with French royal history—a heritage the chapagne house playfully embraced with the recreation of a goblet in the shape of a breast. Riffing on the original used by Marie Antionette (and said to be the forerunner to the modern chamagne coupe), Karl Lagerfeld interpreted it with Claudia Schiffer's breast and clean, minimal lines.
To view more, click here.


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