Hi All,

I have been asked to help with the costumes for a local theatrical group. Many of the costumes are made of acetate and say dry clean only. Our cleaning budget can not accomodate dry cleaning bills. Is there any way to safely wash these costumes and not ruin them? They REALLY could use a cleaning!!

Thanks for any help you can give me.


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    Feb 25, 2014, 03.48 PMby purplefan

    In North America, clothing labels have to offer one method of cleaning. As sewists, we learn the methods printed on labels are not necessarily the only methods possible for garment care.

    Just make sure no one has used nail polish remover recently on their nails if they are handling the costumes or you’ll see holes emerge as the remover dissolves the fabric on contact. http://www.ehow.com/how_8321679_wash-acetate.html It seems a cool water wash is the way to go as acetate is heat-sensitive (need to use air-drying so racks or hanging lines are needed). I’d suggest using Woolite, either the Everyday or Delicates versions. Extra Dark for dark costumes if you have it. Depending on the trims, you could hand-wash or go the gentle-cycle setting route with a washer. Test wash a couple of costumes and see how it goes.

    Depending on the stains, I’d suggest using laundry soap bars (Sunlight; not a fan of oil based bars at all) on stains that need a scrub (gently) to see if they lighten before do the detergent wash.

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