Few laundry-related nightmares are worse than getting a tough stain out of a dry-clean-only item. I hate running unnecessary errands and also own entirely too many pieces with tags that scream “DRY CLEAN ONLY,” and so, I’ve tried every at-home laundering method I could find on my sensitive fabrics and silhouettes. I’ve hand washed countless sweaters in my kitchen sink, spot-treated coats before steaming them with essential-oil-infused water, and I’ve even de-pilled items with a body razor. While these methods worked well enough, they weren’t perfect. The act of hand-washing items in the sink itself is good (it’s still my preferred way to wash knits) but I struggled to find a detergent that was both gentle on the fibers and tough on the stains. My infused-steamer approach to coat cleaning was an easy immediate fix to refreshing the scent, but it faded quickly, and running a razor along my sweaters was nerve wracking. The last thing I wanted to do was accidentally shave a hole into them. All of this anxiety went away once I tried out The Laundress’ Wool & Cashmere Kit.
I first found out about The Laundress after I discovered a months-old espresso stain on one of my favorite Harry-Burns-inspired sweaters while unpacking my cold-weather clothes this year (in truth I discovered stains on a lot of the sweaters I had tucked away at the onset of summer). When my usual trick of dabbing the stain with soda water didn’t work, I was interested to see if there was a way to save the sweater without making a trip to the dry cleaner or running it through my washing machine. And that's where The Laundress came in. The Laundress Kit comes with everything you need to take care of your knits, and includes a Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, Stain Solution, Wool & Cashmere Spray, and a Sweater Comb. Considering sweaters typically don’t need to be washed after each wear, the seemingly small 16-ounce bottle of concentrated shampoo has gone a long way for me. But the stain solution is the real MVP of the bundle. Even though it’s just a 16-ounce solution, it has passed the ultimate test: making the months-old espresso stain disappear with ease.
Most importantly, it’s easy to use. If the stain is new, you’ll dab a small amount of the Stain Solution onto the area before washing by hand or in the machine. If it’s a lived-in stain, you’ll want to pre-treat the stain by letting it soak in some warm water after applying the solution but before washing. It’s quick, simple, and makes the pre-existing stain a distant memory. I use the spray, which comes in the same cedar fragrance as the shampoo, to quickly refresh my pieces between wears and before storing so I don’t need to wash them after every wear, and the sweater comb removes pills faster, and easier, than my previous body-razor approach.
Now, with the help of The Laundress, I can successfully trick people into thinking my years-old sweaters and coats are brand new, avoid making a trip to the dry cleaner, and no longer panic when I spill something on even my highest-maintenance sweater (which happens more often than I’d like to admit).
The Wool & Cashmere Kit
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