Laundry: washing knits.

Old Oct 7, 12, 9:03 am
  #1  
tcl
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Laundry: washing knits.

I was wondering what everyone here does in terms of laundry with their larger knit items such as dresses, cardigans and other items not suitable for line drying due to their tendency to turn into "monkey" clothing by getting long and skinny when on the line. Do you bring a folding sweater dryer or trust your favourite (and expensive) merino/cashmere to the dry cleaning service (if available) of the hotel?

Over the years, I've had several favourite pieces die a painful death by hotel laundry that I've recently been considering bringing along one of these pop-up sweater dryers. Problem is that I like traveling one-bag as much as possible and while these do fit in my carry-on, they are bulky.
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Old Oct 7, 12, 12:05 pm
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I typically roll in a towel to remove as much water as possible, then either lay out on the floor or over the back of a chair (on a towel)
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Old Oct 7, 12, 1:07 pm
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I use Space Bags and wash them myself when I get home. I do not trust cleaners I do not know and dry cleaning chemicals are actually very bad for those fabrics. The Spacebags do a great job compressing them and I can easily pack for a week in my carryon. I have actually packed for a week and a half without doing laundry in that thing and I really have Spacebags to thank.
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Old Oct 8, 12, 1:30 pm
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Pin it down

You could also bring a box of sewing pins or T-pins and tack the squished dry item to a clean dry towel. Knitters call it "blocking". Basically, if you lay a wool item on something with a bit of grip, it will help it from migrating and deforming. Pinning it into place helps if you want to lay it on a clean towel and drape it between two chairs/chair & desk etc or if the knit is smoother fabric that doesn't "stick" well. You can also attempt to reshape some woolen items by pinning wet/steamed items into the desired shape.
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Old Oct 8, 12, 4:11 pm
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Wearing a thin t-shirt beneath the knit usually allows me to get several wearing from a sweater/sweater dress before washing is necessary. (Travel-sized Fabreeze also helps.) If I were hand washing in a hotel, I'd dry it just as I do at home: Flat on a bed or table with a towel beneath it. I usually change out the towel at least once--while also turning the garment over--to ensure it dries as quickly as possible.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 3:59 pm
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I travel with a large Sham-Wow or swim towel to remove water from hand laundry. The Sham-Wows sound goofy but do work. I wring out the clothing carefully and then hang or lay out to dry.

Do not lay out clothes in the bathroom as they will not dry fast enough. Put a fresh dry bathtowel on the desk. Turn up the room fan to HIGH.
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Old Oct 12, 12, 11:21 am
  #7  
tcl
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I've been carrying Aquis or MSR ultralite towels to roll my knits in (Current pieces in question are a swing cardigan and a matte jersey dress) to aid with the drying. I also always wear an underlayer such as a silk T or cotton T. However, I tend to find myself in stinky situations such as smokey (kitchen or even second hand smoke) where simple airing-out doesn't quite work.

As most of my travel wardrobe is black-based, hotel towels leave white lint all over everything where even a good lint brush or tape doesn't remove everything (hence bringing my own towels). I would love it if hotels would offer an option of black towels like how good restaurants offer black napkins.

I'm going to try the blocking thing again now that the weather is cooler and the knit is denser/tighter weave. Will report back
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Old Oct 13, 12, 12:23 am
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After using an MSR towel to roll my knits to get most of the water out, I then drape clothing on an open umbrella to let them continue to dry. I've had good results using this method with lighter knits. I'm sure the mesh sweater dryer allows for more circulation (and faster drying), but I'm a dedicated one bag traveller myself and can't spare the room.

Is there room in your 3-1-1 liquids bag for a travel size Febreeze? This might help get the smell of smoke out without your needing to wash.
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Old Oct 15, 12, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by SalishSea View Post
I then drape clothing on an open umbrella to let them continue to dry.
Using an umbrella is a great idea.
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