How to Clean Embellished Clothing


The 2014 Academy Awards are just four days away! But if this Awards Season has taken its toll on your sequin-adorned, rhinestone-studded, bejewelled and bedazzling party dresses, you’ll need a quick fix if you’re going to have them ready in time your Oscars party.

With a lot of embellished clothing, professional dry cleaning is the first port of call – just send it to LaundryRepublic, and our experienced team will take care of it for you!

But you could always try handwashing at home. Washing embellished clothing at home can seem daunting, particularly if your custom or designer clothing doesn’t come with detailed care labels.

Luckily, we at LaundryRepublic can walk you through how to wash your embellished dresses without losing all the beautiful detailing.

Firstly: make sure you know what you’re dealing with! Identify the material – some fabrics need to be dealt with a little differently. For example, if you’re dealing with a knit rather than woven fabric, make sure you don’t wring, stretch or hang-dry it – you’ll risk losing the shape. If you’re not sure about the material, check the label!


You’ll also want to check how the embellishments have been attached. Methods can include glue, sewing, rivets or pronged ring settings – often you can tell just by turning the garment inside out to see the stitching, settings or small glue dots that may not be visible on the outside of the garment. If the garment is lined, you can feel the reverse side through the lining with your fingers to determine what application method was used.

If glue has been used, be very careful not to use hot water for washing, as many adhesives can melt. With sewn embellishments, take particular care not to twist or wring the garment, as the tiny threads used to sew beads on could break, which could ruin the design!

The safest way to wash embellished dresses at home, even if they say they’re safe to machine wash, is by hand.

Wash the dress inside out in your kitchen sink, using warm water (remember, not too warm for knits!) and a small amount of mild liquid detergent. Another reason to avoid using hot water is that it can shrink your fabric or soften adhesives, and can ruin the finish on beads.

Rooting for a Brit flick win for 2014!

Rooting for a Brit flick win for 2014!

Don’t soak for more than a few minutes – again, you don’t want to damage the finish on your beads. Gently knead and swirl the garment in the soapy sink water to remove light soiling. For larger garments, you may want to use a bathtub to make rinsing easier!

When your dress is clean, drain the water and press down on the garment with your hands to press most of the water out. There will still be a lot of water in it, but you can cut down the drying time by popping the washed garment into an empty washing machine and use the gentle spin cycle to remove excess water. Don’t do this with velvet, though – it can cause permanent creases in the pile.

Woven fabrics that won’t stretch can then by dried by hanging, somewhere dry or outdoors, away from direct sunlight. For knits and other stretchy materials, lay them out on a flat clean surface, out of direct sun.

If your dress feels a bit stiff after air drying, just put it in a pillowcase and fluff it quickly in the dryer – but make sure you use a low heat, and no more than 5 minutes!

Be very careful when ironing your embellished clothing, and make sure the iron never comes into direct contact with any of your sequins or beads. Professionals use a press cloth to iron embellished clothing, but at home you can just cut a square out of an old t-shirt, and put this between the iron and the clothing. Make sure to select an appropriate heat setting – not too hot for fine silk and polyester. Don’t let the fabric get too hot, or embellishments could soften or crack, and adhesives could melt. If your embellishments are attached with glue, give the garment a couple of minutes to cool after ironing before you move it.

"Thanks to LR's top tips, our pearls have never been pearlier!"

“Thanks to LR’s top tips, our pearls have never been pearlier!”

Now you’re ready to party!

Flickr Photo credits:

nikoretroLiz WestKent CaptureEbbAndFlow

Britons just aren’t great at doing laundry at home


It turns out we Britons just aren’t great at doing our laundry at home.

According to figures published in today’s Metro, Britons ruin more than £2 billion worth of laundry every year. In our lifetime, each of us will ruin £3,969 of clothing!

If you’re like the 600,000 Britons who’ve damaged up to nine garments in a single year, or if you’re among the two-thirds of us who’ve shrunk our clothes in the wash, we’ve got good news – there’s an easier way!

Just get LaundryRepublic in your building, and let us take care of it for you! No more shrinking, no more stretching, no more leaving that one red sock in a bundle of white shirts… We’ll pick your laundry up and bring it back to you beautifully clean – without all the fuss.

Today's talker - METRO LAUNDRY



Huge discounts on service washes!

wash + dry + fold laundry serviceAt LR we love saving you time, and with up to 40% off service washes until the end of February 2014 there’s no excuse not to try out our brilliant wash + dry + fold laundry service and start getting your free time back today.

Your clothes will come back in a neatly wrapped parcel, lovely and fresh. It’s a like a laundry birthday present!

Use the voucher code SWASH40 when placing your order at to reduce the price of a standard load (up to 6kg) to £9.99 and the price of a large load (6-12 kg) to £19.99. That’s a reduction of £7.00 and £10.00 respectively!

The offer is valid until February 28th 2014, and as with all service washes you should only include items suitable for normal washing and drying (excludes bulky bedding such as pillows and duvets). If you have any questions, give our friendly team a call!

BBC Radio 1 discusses horrors of serviced laundry in laundrettes

Hello LaundryRevolutionaries!

I wonder if you heard Scott and Chris on Radio 1’s Scott Mills Show recently, having a good old moan about taking laundry to the laundrette for a service wash. The grudging customer service, the shrinking clothes, the difficulty fixing a pick-up time…

If only they had dropped their laundry at a LaundryRepublic locker or concierge, and let us take care of the rest!

Chris, Scott, it’s time you joined the Laundry Revolution already! Customers across London are already reaping the benefits of a hassle-free laundry experience. Just drop your clothes off, any time of the day or night, and we’ll deliver it back to you clean and sparkly (and not two sizes too small!)

Listen to the conversation from 15:22

How to fold fitted sheets

So simple, even a baby could do it! Well, he's trying.

So simple, even a baby could do it! Well, he’s trying.

Hello, Laundry Revolutionaries! If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to start keeping things a bit more tidy – well, we hope you’re doing well so far! But even the most committed neat freak can have their resolve tested by the humble fitted sheet. With its weird shapes and raggly edges, it cries out to be bundled up and chucked in the closet – but don’t give in! We at LaundryRepublic have the answer.

First, find one of the short edges, and with the sheet inside out, put one of your hands into each of its corners, like a glove.

Then bring your right hand to your left, and fold the corner in your right hand over the corner in your left. Any lefties should swap all the directions around, as from this point, your right hand will do most of the work while the left does the holding.

With your right hand, reach down and pick up the corner that is now hanging in front. Pull that up, and fold that over both corners – and if the corner that’s showing is inside out, you’re doing it right!

If wriggling occurs, check for stowaways.

If wriggling occurs, check for stowaways.

Next, pick up the final corner with your right hand, and fold it over the others. You’ve got all the corners! Don’t drop them, even if they wriggle.

You can then lay the folded sheet on a flat surface. Straighten it out so the edges are straight, folding in two edges so that all of the elastic is hidden. With a well-earned sense of triumph, fold the sheet into a rectangle, and keep going until it’s the size you want!

So, there’s no need to give up on a neat and tidy New Year just yet.

Of course, you could always just send your bedding to us for cleaning, and our team will make sure it comes back to you beautifully folded!


Photos from Flickr: by Tofslie and FairerDingo

How to get rid of those stubborn rings inside shirt collars

One of our Laundry Revolutionaries wanted to know how to get rid of those stubborn rings which form inside shirt collars. So, we thought we should share our tips!

For all of these tips, an old toothbrush will really help you out – if you’ve got one that’s been sitting around for a while that you might be happy to replace, they’re very handy for really getting your home-made stain removers deep into the fabric!

Ok, not that old

OK, not that old

There are a good few ways to get rid of these pesky stains, but it does depend whether your shirts are white (ooh, classy) or coloured (stylin’!).

For white shirts, make your own stain remover by mixing 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water. Let your shirt sit in the solution for a few hours or overnight, then pop in the washing machine as normal.


When life gives you lemons, make home-made stain remover!

When life gives you lemons, make home-made stain remover!

If you don’t have any white vinegar, try direcly applying lemon juice, which can rival heavy duty cleaners for cleaning power. Or, if you need a quicker fix, get a little of your dish washing detergent and mix it with water to make a paste. Apply that to the stained area and let it sit for half an hour or so before laundering in the machine.

(Gross tip – the rings around the collar are formed by the natural oils from your neck, so as well as dish washing detergent, you can use any cleaning agent labelled as a “degreaser”.)

CAREFUL THOUGH! The above methods can all bleach dyed clothing, and for your colours, you’ll need something a bit more gentle.

Don't forget to take the shampoo out of the shower first...

Don’t forget to take the shampoo out of the shower first…

Firstly, try a bit of shampoo – it is designed to remove body oils, after all! Doesn’t matter what kind you use, so this is your chance to get rid of the awful bubblegum shampoo you accidentally bought, or that caustic hotel stuff that slipped into your washbag. Use an old toothbrush to rub a little shampoo directly into the stain, let it sit for 15-30 minutes, then wash as normal.

Alternatively, if you have some lanolin-based handwash, apply some to the stains on your shirt (fine with whites or colours), let it sit for 15 minutes, then wash. This method might take a couple of goes!

Of course, if none of these work, or if you just don’t have the time, send your shirts in to LaundryRepublic and our experienced team will be happy to take care of those nasty stains for you!

Flickr images credit: Napoleon’s toothbrush, c 1795 by Science Museum London; Lemons by Penelope Waits; Tears in rain by FailedImitator

Get £5 off duvet cleaning with this exclusive code


The nights have suddenly turned chilly, and lots of our customers are getting their duvets ready for some serious snuggling over the course of the winter months!

Over time, duvets collect large amounts of bed bugs, dust mites and dead skin cells, which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, so now is the ideal time to get it laundered by LR.

To help keep you nice and toasty, we’re offering £5 off duvet cleaning until the end of September. Simply use the voucher code DUVET5OFF when you place your order at

* Photo: Foilman

Dry your laundry faster and more efficiently!

I’ve heard many times that adding a dry towel to a wet load in the dryer make your clothes dry faster. The idea is that the towel absorbs the moisture from the wet clothes reducing the drying time and energy usage.

Our friends at Household Hacker have tested this trick and found out that placing a dry towel in the dryer definitely reduces the moisture in the dryer and save several minutes from the drying time. However, this stops working after 15-20 minutes when the towel starts contributing to the moisture and even extending the drying time. You can see the video here:

If you want to save time and energy and don’t have a clothesline (we don’t have much sun either!), try the following tips to make your dryer work more efficiently.

– Don’t overload the dryer. Smaller loads have more room to tumble freely, drying items quicker and preventing wrinkles. But don’t put only 2 -3 items, that will save you time drying but not energy!

– If you have many clothes to dry, put several loads in the dryer consecutively; the dryer will be already warmed up and will save energy.

– Separate large items from lightweight fabrics for faster and more efficient drying. Help to save energy by letting them air dry for a few hours before placing them in the dryer.

– Clean the fluff filter after each load to make the dryer work more efficiently.

I hope these tips are helpful! If you have any questions or know another tricks, please leave us a comment. And of course, if you want to save the chore of doing your laundry at home, we would be more than happy to wash, dry and fold it for you!

What water temperature should I use?

Checking the care label before washing your garments will save you headaches, but  here’s some general guidelines to keep it simple:


Use hot water to wash linens and towels, white clothing and gym clothes (regardless of the colour). Hot water is best at removing heavy soil and grime from your clothing. However, it can make your clothes wrinkle and shrink, so don’t use it with coloured clothes as they could fade!


Most people use warm water for their laundry. It doesn’t have the power of hot water to remove heavy stains, but cleans well and reduces the possibility of fading, wrinkling and shrinking. It is good for most washable fabrics (nylon, polyester, rayon).


Cold water is good to clean dark and bright coloured clothes, and delicate items. It prevents your clothes from fading, but it’s less efficient for removing stains. If you have heavy stains, you should pre-treat them before washing, wash the load longer or even soaking the item for a few hours in cold water and detergent to ensure a better cleaning.

If you need help decoding laundry symbols: check our basic guide here:

If you don’t want to deal with your laundry chores, why don’t you try our Laundry Service? We’ll care for your clothes, washing, drying and folding everything nicely into a wrapped packaged for you!

Time to pull your coats and wellies out of the closet!

Summer is already behind us (but was it really summer?) and we are storing our seasonal clothes away. Here are some top tips to help you protect your garments and leave them ready for next year!

1. Think for a moment: which items do you want to keep for next summer? If you have a garment you don’t wear any more, donate it! We’ll collect your unwanted clothes for the disability charity Scope to sell in their shops – over £7,000 so far this year!

2. Dry clean or wash your clothes, to preserve them and stop any stains setting in over the winter

3. Sort and pack items by type, in separate storage containers labelled to make it easier to find them next year. Make sure they’re airtight!

4. Place cedar chips in a old sock and put it in the container to keep the bugs away. Scent savers, such as rosemary or lavender, also repel them.

5. Finally, heap the containers under the bed or the higher shelves of the closet, to keep your clothes clean and fresh, ready for the  next summer season!