Good Housekeeping's 'Stain Rescue'

FLANNEL: Napped fabric in plain or twill weave. Cotton and synthetics may be machine washed. Dry at low setting and remove while damp or line dry. Wool should be dry-cleaned.

GABARDINE: Firm, closely woven twill fabric, originally and often worsted wool; also made of cotton and synthetic fibers. Follow label directions or dry-clean.

LACE: Open-work textile; may be cotton, linen, or synthetic. Hand wash using a detergent for delicate fabrics. Avoid rubbing. Squeeze out excess moisture; don't twist or wring. Shape by hand and hang to airdry or dry flat; do not tumble dry. Pin delicate lace to a cloth before washing.

LINEN: Natural flax fiber; light- to heavyweight fabrics. Hand wash or machine wash in warm water if colorfast; use oxygen bleach, as needed. Iron damp on wrong side. For heavy linens, use a hot iron; for lighter-weight linens, blends, and linens treated for crease resistance, use a lower temperature. Can also dry-clean (especially heavy linens).

MICROFIBERS (IN CLEANING CLOTHS): Tightly woven polyester and nylon fibers. Machine wash separately to keep them lint-free. Never use fabric softener as it reduces the cloths' static properties and makes cleaning less effective. Line dry or machine dry on normal setting, again, separately from other laundry.

MICROFIBERS OR FLEECE (IN CLOTHING AND BEDDING): Small and fine polyester yarns that are tightly woven. Machine wash in cool to moderately warm water and air dry or machine dry, warm setting. If you have not purchased anti-pill fabric, turn garments wrong side out when laundering to reduce pilling. Fleece is heat sensitive, so hot dryer temperatures and ironing should be avoided to reduce pilling.

MOHAIR: Fiber from the angora goat. Treat as wool.

NYLON: Synthetic fiber used in fabrics of different weights, sometimes blended with other fibers. When used alone, it is both dry-cleanable and machinewashable; use warm water. Tumble dry on a low setting, or hang on plastic hanger and drip or air dry. To avoid permanent yellowing, keep away from sunlight or direct heat.

ORGANDY: Sheer, lightweight, plain weave cotton. Hand wash; starch to maintain characteristic crisp appearance. Iron damp with hot iron. Can also dry-clean.

POLYESTER: Strong synthetic fiber in fabrics of various weights and textures; often blended with cotton and wool. Does not shrink or stretch. Wash in warm water. Tumble dry and remove promptly to prevent wrinkles. Iron at low setting. If blended, follow guidelines for the more delicate fiber.

RAMIE: Natural fiber from ramie plant (similar to linen), used alone or blended, often with cotton. Machine wash in warm water; tumble dry. Iron damp with hot iron. Can also dry-clean. Avoid excessive twisting.

RAYON: A generic term for a man-made fiber including viscose and cuprammonium rayon. Some garment labels identify the fabric as "rayon," some as "viscose." Follow label care instructions. Dry-clean for best results.

RUBBER: A fiber found in both natural and manmade form. Used in sneakers. Remove laces (wash those separately) and machine wash warm. For best results, air-dry or dry at low setting. Using too high a temperature in the dryer will sometimes melt the rubber or shrink the canvas part of the shoe.

SATIN: Fabric with a lustrous finish, traditionally silk, now also acetate and polyester. Dry-clean silk and acetate. Wash polyester satins following fiber guidelines.

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