I often hear people saying things along the lines of “For the price of the brand, I should be able to just throw it in the washer!” which is just ridiculous to say, oftentimes high priced clothing needs special care when it comes to washing or, truth be told, they will get ruined.
So, this post is about the various ways to clean and care for your Lolita clothes, keeping them looking as new as possible. Of course, each clothing piece may require completely different cleaning techniques depending on fabric, trims, and even just varying from brand to brand and from piece to piece. I can’t guarantee that these tips will work perfectly on every piece, but they are all a lot safer than just throwing it in the washer and dryer.
This post might be a little boring for some people, but it’s a very necessary post.
How Often Should You Wash Lolita Clothes?
This question has a few different answers depending upon who you ask, or which piece you are talking about, but my answer to this question is: as rarely as possible. Most Lolita pieces are not going to spend much time against your skin, you’re going to have petticoats and bloomers and other blouses and probably even undershirts between your main Lolita pieces and your skin. So long as you aren’t wearing all those layers on a 90 degree summer day, you’re not going to be getting as much sweat on your Lolita as you would on, say, a tee shirt.
What To Do After Wearing Your Lolita Clothes?
After you are done wearing your Lolita clothes, inspect them for spots that need to be cleaned(eg makeup stains), if any, and clean those spots up with a damp washcloth with a little bit of detergent, rub it on the spot and blot up the excess moisture, do this a few times until the spot is clean. Try using a Tide To Go pen if you have one, it tends to be quicker and easier.
After that hang your clothes up. This is very important because it helps air them out, and often times simply airing your clothes out will help with any smells on them, either from being places with a strong smell, perfumes, or just the regular smell of your own skin. Keep one of those little scented drawer sachets around the hanger if you are extra worried about any smells. If you follow these simple steps you can keep an item of clothing looking and smelling like it’s new for a long time before you absolutely need to wash it.
General Washing And Wear Tips For Lolita Clothes
- First of all, if you haven’t gathered this yet from the intro, never just throw your clothes in the washer and dryer! While you should never put your Lolita in the dryer, especially if it has cotton lace on it, some pieces you can wash in the washer, but you should use gentle detergent, on the gentle cycle, in cold water.
- Also, you need to make sure you don’t load up your washer with a bunch of stuff, especially not towels because they tend to get fuzzies all over your clothes that are hard to get off.
- Wash only a small amount of clothes at a time, and before you put them in be sure to take off all detachable things such as bows, lace-up ribbons, charms, and anything else that you can take off.
- If you have something that laces up through some delicate lace, be sure to take that out because it can get caught on other things as it’s going for a tumble and rip the lace.
- Bows, if they are very heavy, can also get pulled off and rip the fabric, you also may run the risk of the pin on the back rusting.
- Chains and charms should never be washed because they will nearly always break.
- Clothing should also be turned inside out before you wash it because the piece will fade slightly with each wash and this way it ensures that most of the fading will happen to the inside.
- Once it’s done you should hang it up somewhere out of direct sunlight to dry. Usually, a washer gets most of the excess water out of the clothing so you can often hang up pieces to dry inside.
- If you have a clothing item that was both very cheap and has no cotton lace on it (dryers make cotton lace shrink, shrivel, and get fuzzy), you can, technically, put it in the dryer, but don’t keep it in there until it’s toasty and warm, put it in for only about half the time you normally would and then hang it up to finish drying somewhere. I use this for a few pieces that are “throw-away” (I hate that term though!) pieces from Bodyline, pieces that typically only cost me about $15, or a few dresses that I consider house dresses.
How To Handwash Your Lolita Pieces?
If you have the time, you should seriously consider hand washing your pieces, it’s much more gentle on the fabrics and the trims.
- If you plan to hand wash, first remove all the bows and ribbons and flip the piece inside out, just as above, then fill up either a clean sink, bathtub, or bucket (don’t spray them down with bleach to clean them beforehand!
- Just wipe it down with some soap and water!) with some cold water and add a little bit of gentle washing detergent.
- Swish the detergent around to get some bubbles and then add your clothes. Swish them around a bit until they are completely wet and soapy and then gently scrub at any areas you think need to be cleaned, such as the armpits or hems.
- When you feel like it’s clean enough take the pieces out and gently squeeze the water out. Don’t wring the clothes! Just squeeze gently and then put them somewhere to drip dry.
- Remember that a whole lot of water is going to drip off a hand-washed piece, no matter how good you think you got the water out, so hang it up in a shower or over a tiled floor with a whole lot of towels under it.
How To Make Sure You Don’t Ruin Your Printed Pieces?
Prints are a very touchy thing to clean. Some prints simply can’t get wet! If you own a print, especially a rare and expensive one, check out this list on EGL that is a pretty in-depth print list that lets you know how you can wash certain prints and what prints you simply can’t get wet. If your print is not on the list or has conflicting reviews, test a small spot somewhere hidden, such as on the back of a bow or near where the knots in a waist tie would go. Test it by wetting a small spot and rubbing it a bit, letting it dry completely, and then checking to see if it bled at all. If the print looks sort of fuzzy and the whites look dimmer, beware! You now are the unlucky owner of a print you can’t get wet.
So, what now that you know you can’t get your dress wet? Well, the first thing you need to do is to avoid the rain!
Secondly, you might want to rethink how you wear it if it’s a piece you normally wear all the time, consider only wearing it to special occasions, so it gets dirty less frequently and you have less chance of spilling a whole glass of water on it or getting caught in the rain on your way home from the grocery store. When the time comes to clean it you should stick to very carefully spot cleaning it and airing the piece out.
How To Wash Your Lolita Dress?
Maybe, you have collected lots of resources on how to get a Lolita dress on a budget or how to be really elegant lolita in various styles. When you attend a Lolita meet-up, it is not careful to get a stain on your dress. Thus, you have to consider how to make your dress get rid of these stains but still not lose its original luster.
- Firstly, before you put your clothes into the washer, make sure all detachable things have been taken off, such as bows, lace-up ribbons, charms, and anything else that you can take off. If you have something that laces up through some delicate lace, be sure to take that out because it can get caught on other things, which may rip the lace. Bows also can get off and rip the fabric if they are too heavy. Chains and charms should never be washed because they will nearly always break.
- Clothing should also be turned inside out before you wash it in case the pieces will fade slightly with each wash and this way can ensure most of fading will happen to the inside.
- Then you start to wash these pieces in the washer, but you should use gentle detergent with a gentle cycle in cold water. Never mix with other stuff, especially not towels because they tend to get fuzzies all over your clothes that are hard to get off.
- Once it is done you should avoid hanging it up under direct sunlight to dry, which also can lead to fade.
How To Handwash Your Lolita Dress?
It is better to consider handwashing if you have the time.
- In the same way, you also need to remove all the bows and ribbons and flip pieces inside out.
- Then fill up a clean sink with cold water and put a little gentle detergent.
- It seems like all is ready to put your pieces in, but make sure you have swished the detergent around to get some bubbles and then add your stuff. Or the detergent can’t mix well with the water and some particulate detergent can adhere to the fabric.
- Gently Scrub at any areas which need to be cleaned.
- Never wring the dress when you finished cleaning, just squeeze gently.
- Also, don’t hurry to hang it because it is difficult to take too much water out of your dress with your hand. Thus, most of the water in the dress generates vertical gravity which can make the dress get deformed. So put it somewhere to drip dry.
In short, Lolita dress is an expensive hobby. You need to take good care of it, or it will let you be inferior. If you have a cheap one only just for cosplay, you can be slightly relaxed to clean it but not too negligent.
More useful ideas? Continue your reading HERE.