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Tips from the Trade: How to Wash a Dress that's Smocked

The only thing better than a brand new smocked dress or outfit is keeping your kids' closet full of current smocked clothing in like-new condition. Luckily, there are some tips for how to wash a dress that's smocked so that it lasts for years and can be passed down to the younger kiddos. Here's what to do.

Tip 1: Always wash by hand. Because smocked clothing is delicate and hand-sewn, it's important to be gentle with it when you're cleaning it. Otherwise, you might risk it fading. Fill up a sink with cold water and use detergent specifically designed for hand washing. Carefully rub the fabric to get out any stains and odors and then let soak for a bit.

Tip 2: For persistent stains, use a mild detergent. We've found that if you've got a really tough stain that won't come out, mixing a mild powder detergent with equal parts water to make a paste will usually get the job done. Spread the paste over the stain, massage it into the fabric, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, wash as usual. 9 times out of 10, this will knock out the stain.

Tip 3: Rinse thoroughly after hand washing. Once you've cleaned the smocked garment, rinse 2-3 times to make sure you get all of the laundry detergent or fabric soap out of the fabric. Then, wring the fabric a few times to get all of the excess water out.

Tip 4: Use the gentle cycle. If you absolutely need to wash it in the washer, turn the garment inside out and wash on the gentle cycle with cold water. Once it's finished, let it air dry.

Tip 5: Let the smocked dress or outfit air dry for best results. Once it's dry, you can use an iron on a low setting to get rid of any wrinkles and to make it warm and toasty for your little one (if they're about to get dressed).

Do you have any tips for keeping your smocked dresses and smocked outfits in tip top shape? Share them with us in the comments!


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