Judith asked: How do I restore a nylon and fleece jacket to its original condition? The jacket was bought in Ireland at the Guinness storehouse. It is nylon with fleece lining. My husband had it cleaned, and I think it was dry cleaned or maybe starched. It is stiff and has a crackly feel. I have washed it in cold water with detergent and borax, but there is no difference.
If you wash your clothes or garments only to discover they’re stiff and uncomfortable, your problem is likely soap residue. These steps will help you determine if the soap residue is indeed the problem and will then give tips for softening up the garment.
You Will Need:
- White vinegar
- Clothes line (or place to hang dry)
- Fabric softener sheet
- Washing machine
- Your stiff garment
Steps to Restore the Softness:
- Stiffness can be caused from soap or fabric softener residue. To determine if soap or detergent residue is the problem, wash the garment without fabric softener and allow to air dry. If the fabric continues to naturally dry stiff, the problem is soap or detergent residue.
- To get rid of the residue, you may need to run your washing machine empty a few times. This will depend on the amount of build up in your machine. If you notice suds in an empty washing machine, you definitely have a build up of residue. Try running the machine with a few cups of white vinegar to cut the soap and allow it to be removed.
- Remedy the stiff fabric by washing it with a couple of cups of white vinegar. Wash the items in the washing machine, but do NOT add soap or detergent to the water. Only add 1-3 cups (depending on the stiffness) of vinegar to the washing water.
- If it’s dryer safe, try drying on a low-heat cycle with a fabric softener sheet.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Always follow label directions. If it’s not safe to machine wash your garment, consult a dry cleaner.
- Spot test the garment in a hidden spot before using vinegar, detergents or liquid fabric softeners on it.
- Liquid fabric softener may be used during the wash cycle with the vinegar if the label indicates it’s okay. This will help with the softening process.
- Some materials, particularly those which shouldn’t have been washed to begin with, will remain stiff until they’re broken in again. Avoid drying these in a hot dryer. Allowing them to air dry or running them through on the “fluff” or “delicate” cycles will reduce the “crispy” feel of these garments.
To cope with over-soaped garments, I’d try rinsing by hand in the bath if you’re unsure about using the washing machine, in cool water until the water is completely clear. I have to do this with all my husband’s clothes as he has a skin allergy and it works well.
I bought a white sweatshirt and it is so stiff that it is uncomfortable to wear. It is not over-soaped. I need help. I don’t want to have to give it away, but I can’t wear it while it’s this stiff. Any suggestions?
White vinegar can be used as a fabric softener for naturally stiff clothes as well.
Source: eHow – How to Loosen a Stiff Shirt
Source: Simply Good Tips – Natural Cleaning With Vinegar