Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Give that sweater a bath!

Last Thursday, a wonderful thing happned—I found a beautiful cream sweater at Rugged Wearhouse for only three dollars (Reasons like that are why Rugged Wearhouse is rapidly becoming my favorite place to shop)! I didn't try it on, because it was a size medium by KIKIT, which just happens to be the exact size and brand of the teal sweater I love so much, and I was in a hurry to make it to Arlington for Board Game Night.

Immediately after that, a sad thing happened—I waited at the bus stop for almost 45 minutes (it should have only been 6) and had to skip out on board game night since I was so late, following which, I arrived home and discovered why the sweater had been marked down so low. It had a grayish line running straight across the front, as if it had been draped over a particularly dusty closet bar, or some enterprising geometry student had taken a pencil to it.

Please note the price tag which originally
valued this item at 28 dollars!

It looked like a careful hand-washing would probably clean the stain right out, and I had skipped board game night, so I had plenty of time to do it—the only problem was...I despise getting wet! Now, I shower every day and think nothing of it, but when it comes to kneeling over a bathtub, splashing water all over myself and my clothes (not to mention getting up close and personal with the dog hair and housemate hair that always seems to be clumped all over every corner in the bathroom), I get a little repulsed.

The solution? Take a shower with the sweater! I accomplish two missions in one, and don't have to worry about getting intimate with the bathroom floor!

If you hate water like me, or have avoided hand-washing your laundry for any number of other sensible reasons, let this be your introduction to a rather unconventional method for getting the job done!
  1. Carry your sweater into the tub and drape it over the curtain rod while you take care of your personal cleanliness. If you need to let your conditioner sit a few minutes before rinsing, washing a sweater is a perfect way to while away that time!
  2.  Plug the drain.
  3. Dump your sweater unceremoniously on the tub floor and allow it to get thoroughly saturated.
  4. Squeeze a little bit of shampoo onto the stain and gently rub it in. I use Infusium Repairologie, which would probably be greatly beneficial if my sweater were wool, but probably won't harm the acrylic either.
  5. Repeat this until the stain is removed. This particular stain only took one try, but others may require a bit more attention.
  6. By this time, you should have a goodly amount of water in the tub, so if you want to wash the whole sweater rather than just spot-treat it, you can simply add more shampoo and knead it into the sweater on the floor of the tub.
  7. Rinse. You can do this by holding the sweater under the running water OR, if you have skipped step six, you can swish the sweater around in the standing water to disperse the soap.
  8. Squeeze dry gently, but don't twist, unless you want your sweater to be all deformed afterward! Don't worry about getting it bone-dry in this step, because you're going to use a towel to finish the job.
  9. Exit the tub (Don't forget to rinse out that conditioner!) and dry yourself off, but don't put away the towel! You'll need it in Step 10!

    I'll pause here in case you want to get dressed before moving on to the next step.
  10. Lay the towel flat on the floor and lay the sweater on top of it.
  11. Roll up the towel with the sweater inside it. When it is completely rolled into a log, walk all over it to squeeze more water out of the sweater into the towel.
  12. Unroll and let the sweater air dry. If the label says it's dryer-safe, you can pop it in there, but that wastes energy, and if any of the stain does remain, you run the risk of baking it in permanently. I always use a drying rack, because it prolongs the life of delicate synthetic materials.
Look ma, no lines!

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