Dress Rescue or Drescue

I had a very nice cream Prada dress from five years ago which I wore a couple of times this summer. Hurrah it still fitted and I still liked it. All good.

I took it to be dry cleaned and it came back with orange stains under the arms where deodorant and perspiration had reacted badly with chemicals. Not good.

I decided to have a crack at sorting it out myself. Hmm, definitely not good!

I do like a home remedy and so with white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda I applied a small amount of fizzing paste to the stains. I carefully rinsed and thought I could see an improvement. A second application and I was convinced I’d saved the dress but I was worried about being left with water stains.

I decided the thing to do was wet the entire dress and leave it to dry, despite it being dry clean only. What could possibly go wrong?

It was a synthetic fabric, I used lukewarm water and I carefully left the dress to dry flat. It was then I realised that the dress had shrunk, it was a dress for midgets, dolls or a very small child and it certainly wasn’t going to fit me again.

I felt sad and decided to go to bed in denial where I looked up “How to unshrink clothes” on the internet. Again, several home remedies came up involving hair conditioner or baby shampoo to relax the fibres. I decided to call it a day.

Arriving home from work, I decided that as water had caused immediate shrinkage perhaps ironing was a better way forward. Drying the fabric rather than wetting it seemed a logical process. Hopefully I wouldn’t burn or shrink it even more!

I carefully ironed the tiny dress inside out and lo and behold, it reverted back to its original size. A miracle indeed as I never thought I’d squeeze into the little dress ever again.

And so, with many lessons learned (look for a new dry cleaner, don’t wash clothes which aren’t supposed to be washed, don’t sweat, always have white vinegar to hand) I now have my dress all ready to wear (once I sew up the rip from where I tried it on when it was small) and the best thing is, incredibly the stains came out!

Another handy household tip!

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