How To Clean Things You Can’t Wash

How To Clean Things You Can’t Wash

It’s always a nice surprise when you find out certain odds and ends around your home can be cleaned in the washing machine—like your yoga mat. (Just put it on the gentle cycle, and for the love of common sense, do not put it in the dryer: Take it out before the spin cycle hits, roll it up in a towel to absorb the moisture, and hang it over your shower rod or outdoor railing.) But some things just can’t be laundered just like your favorite tee. Ahead, how to clean certain items that you can’t throw in the wash.




White Linen Collar

It’s a universal law that you can’t wear white without getting at least one stain—but even if you make it back home without a single spill, you may realize that you’ve inadvertently got makeup, color from a faux tanner, or even sweat on your collar. That doesn’t mean you need to run straight to the dry-cleaner. If the stain feels oily—most makeup contains some oil—try dabbing some baby powder on the stain. Then let Garment Groom set in on the stain before laundering.



Lampshades have an uncanny ability to collect dust—but before you grab the feather duster, try running a lint roller over it to collect any clinging bits. Use a microfiber cloth to rub the base clean.


Outdoor Cushions:

Once the weather heats up, your outdoor patio set is likely getting a lot of play. To keep non-removable covers clean, combine a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of Borax with a quart of warm water. Dip a sponge in the mixture and rub it along each cushion, letting it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Run the hose over everything to rinse it clean, then let it open-air dry in the sunlight.


The Inside of Your Hat

I like to wear a wide-brimmed hat while gardening or while I’m on a hike with my partner, but it’s not something I usually feel comfortable throwing in the laundry with everything else. That means all the bacteria and sweat just sort of hangs out there until the next time I wear it. While most hats, including regular ball caps, are machine washable, you risk the bill stretching out or bending. Instead, fill a bucket or sink with water and add detergent or dish soap. Hand-wash the hat by soaking the whole thing for 10 minutes, then massaging any particularly soiled areas. Let it air-dry.


Inside of A Minaudiere

Is there anything worse than sticking your hand in your purse to get your lipstick to realize it’s opened up and completely stained the inside—and now your fingertips? (Yes, and the answer is realizing your gum is also loose and now matted into the bag’s velvet interior.) For clumpy stains like old gum, I like to use this trick my mom taught me: Hold an ice cube directly on the stain until it’s frozen, then pick it off with a dull butter knife. It should pop right off. For other stains, soak a cotton ball in a stain-removing solution like Garment Groom or our Leather Cleaner, let it sit on the stain for 30 seconds, making sure the solution doesn’t soak through, then wipe it with a dry sponge.


Is there anything else you’d like to learn how to clean? Send us a message on Instagram, and we’ll cover it!