How to Launder Delicate Clothing
Some tips tailored to specific fabrics:
Contrary to popular belief, cashmere does not always have to be dry-cleaned. Soap and water will do the trick, as long as you use a detergent such as Woolite and cold water. You can soak your cashmere sweaters and socks in Woolite for about 20 minutes while you gently squeeze the soapy water through them. Use cool water to carefully rinse, and use a towel to squeeze out the extra water. Dry them on a draying rack, as explained earlier. Keep the drying rack indoors because sunlight could fade your cashmere.
If you prefer to have your cashmere dry-cleaned, be warned that the chemical treatments might shorten the lifespan your cashmere sweaters.
Dry cleaning has been known to shrink some types of silk, so unless the label says "dry clean only," you should hand-wash silk clothing with cold water and a mild detergent. Baby shampoo (or other non-alkaline soaps) is also an option. Rinse away the soap residue with cold water. To keep your silk soft, add some hair conditioner to the rinse water. Roll the item on a towel, just as you would for cashmere, and squeeze out extra any water. Then hang it up to dry, away from the sun. You could also use the air setting on the dryer, as long as the heat is turned off. If ironing is absolutely necessary, use a cool setting and place a press cloth between the fabric and the iron.
If your silk clothing is stained, lemon juice and vinegar might get the stain out. Just be sure to test an inconspicuous area first.