Ways to Wash Hand-Painted Clothing

If you are fortunate enough to score an artful piece of hand-painted clothing for your wardrobe, here are three ways you might want to consider to clean it: 1. Hand Wash Hand washing is the safest and most recommended method for washing wearable art. A large sink or even the bath tub can be used with cold water. Use just enough mild detergent to make the water slightly soapy. Spot cleaning any problem areas first before washing the whole garment is always a good idea. Gently swish the garment. Drain the sink and repeat with clean water. Avoid wringing the part of the garment containing the art. It could damage your painting. Instead you can use a large towel to soak up some of the excess water before hanging or laying flat to air dry. (And as I type this, I think I would not be opposed to taking it outside and washing and rinsing it with the hose. Stop laughing; I think I’m seriously going to do this. Have a durable hanger handy as it will be heavy once it is soaked. Prop it on the back of the lawn chair to dry (I don’t have a clothesline…oh, the irony!). Protect the garment with an old towel draped over a lawn chair so no metal {eek, rust!} can touch the draped jacket.) 2. Machine Wash on Delicate Remember to spot clean first. Turning your garment inside out is normally recommended to protect the paint. Use the smallest amount possible of a gentle laundry detergent and always use cold water. As soon as the wash cycle is done, give your painted garment a couple of shakes and smooth any wrinkles by hand especially on the painted area. Hanging or laying flat to air dry is preferred, but if your dryer has a delicate setting that is a possible alternative. 3. Green Dry Cleaners If you are unable or unwilling to clean your hand painted clothing yourself, find a green dry cleaner who can steam clean your garment for you. Make sure you inform them that your garment has hand painted art so they can treat it accordingly. This is essential for leather. Now that you know what to look for and how to care for hand painted clothes, you can start collecting or creating your own wearable art with confidence.