An attractive young female looking through a clothing closet. She is smiling. Horizontally framed photo.

If your clothes could talk, they’d tell you they want to last a long time, looking their best. Isn’t that what you want from them too? Keeping your clothes clean, fresh and attractive just makes sense, both environmentally and economically.

We’re Clothing Whisperers at Best Cleaning. Our experience in the dry-cleaning biz means that when we spot wear and tear on your clothing, we know what your garment is telling you. Let’s help you out with a few translations:

A worn or faded spot: “Don’t scrub a stain.”

While paying immediate attention to a spot is important, it’s easy to overdo it when you scrub. Start by blotting the fabric–remove as much as you can of that red sauce, guacamole or hot fudge disaster. Sometimes water, club soda and spot treatments will help, but sometimes they make matters worse if it’s labeled dry clean only. Likewise, some fabrics can take a little scrubbing, while others are too delicate for any friction. Call us for advice–but don’t delay, stains get increasingly stubborn the longer they set.

That matched outfit don’t quite match anymore: “Wash all my pieces together.”

Wash all parts of a coordinated outfit together, or else the pieces will fade at a different rate and won’t be coordinated for long.

The shoulders and neckline are misshapen: “Upgrade your hangers.”

Wire hangers aren’t built for long-term garment hanging. Invest in a variety of hangers for specific needs: slacks, skirts and blazers all look better and last longer when hung properly.

Wrinkles, creases and misalignment: “Don’t squish us.”

Clothes want to breathe, too. When you pull a favorite from a cramped and crowded closet, it won’t be fresh and ready to wear.

Tangled and torn in the machine: “Zip my zippers, tie my ties.”

A closed zipper is less likely to break or snag other garments. Zip zippers, tie drawstrings, and close all Velcro completely to prevent damage while washing. Some items with zippers, drawstrings or Velcro should be laundered in a mesh bag to protect the rest of the load.

Saggy knitwear: “Fold me, don’t hang me.”

Knitwear keeps its shape better folded instead of hung. When you hand wash sweaters, lay them flat to dry, never hang them. The heavier the garment, the more its own weight will pull it out of shape–wet or dry.

Jeans will hold their color longer if you turn them inside-out before tossing them in the washing machine.

Want the longest life out of your beloved outfits? Work on your Clothing Whisperer skills. Read (and obey) your tags, treat your clothes with gentle respect, and get professional help with cleaning and stains. Your clothes will thank you.