delicate wash only!!

As per a request from you lovely ladies (Chibi) I’m writing to you about laundering your Lolita clothing. Don’t be scared, these things are totally washable, it’s just a matter of figuring out how and doing a little extra research to ensure the safety of your lovely garments! ;374 Let’s get started:

First, you’ll need to know if your clothes can be washed at all. We’ll give you a little list that you can check to see just if your favorite OP can be washed. (Master Launder Lister here!) Next, we’ll need to do a color-fastness test before putting your clothing anywhere NEAR water. Many brand items, especially those in reds, blues and sometimes blacks, will leak like horribly maintained faucets. This can be disastrous and should be carefully checked with the color fast test AND the master list. If you do not know the name of your print, photograph it and ask around.

General Washing Instructions for Items machine-washable.

  1. Wet a section of the fabric and press it against some white fabric to see if it transfers. (PLEASE USE SCRAP WHITE COTTON IF YOU HAVE IT!)
  2. If it bleeds, hand-wash this item because you do not want the dye to run into your lace. (Continue if it does not and ONLY if you’ve double checked the master list.)
  3. Use as mild a soap as you can (Something for babies or for hyper sensitive skin is great) and wash on delicate in COLD WATER ONLY. NO BLEACH and Warm water will cause shrinkage or worse. ;39
  4. If you’re concerned about your lace getting snagged, put your item in an lingerie bag. It is a mesh bag that pull-ties shut and makes it safe for lacy and delicate fabrics to be washed without snagging.
  5. Now it’s time to dry. Stay away from your dyer. Really, as far as your loli-clothes are concerned, it’s the devil. Hang dry your pieces in a safe, well-ventilated area.
  6. Press on low heat after it has dried. (DO NOT DO THIS FOR SCREEN PRINTS OR ANYTHING THAT CAN MELT)

For the most part, these steps can be applied to most dresses and skirts. Be sure to check the master list and ladies, please; Do NOT dry-clean your dresses unless it specifically says to. Some dresses may require spot-cleaning only. If you are super uncomfortable attempting to launder, use this as your fall back method as it tends to be more safe than sorry!


Ok, stop panicking. Breathe a little bit. It may be salvageable. Let’s say you leaked blue dye all over some white lace (<– click for example of this horrible turn out) on your favorite JSK. What can you do? Well, you can’t necessarily just throw it back in the wash and hope it turns out. ;364

So, let’s think, the world offers a lot of little ingenuous  ways to handle situations like this. TIDE has little handy-dandy pens called bleach pens that work great in a pinch. If you do not have them locally, you can order them here. ;163

These work great for attempting to restore white areas. My white high-waist skirt is frequently subject to spills and drops of yummy sauces and foods.  When I can get my hands on these pens, I carry them around with me. Especially, if I am in that white skirt. All you have to do is treat the affected area (use a towel behind the affected area to prevent bleach bleeds) and then let it dry. Repeat the process until it’s back to normal. I use this method on my lolita whites as well as my regular whites. It works like a dream for me and keeps the heart attacks at bay.  ;251 Now, if you’ve already ironed any leakage or staining, you’re SOL as it’s pretty much been cooked into the fabric. ;38 So be careful.

If you’re skeptical about using bleach pens, you can also try an enzymatic spot cleaner such as UNIQUE. It’s hypo-allergenic, non-toxic and all natural. It uses similar enzymes to break down stains like the enzymes in yogurt and in your GI that help you break down food! (Of course, you can find UNIQUE cheaper else where. Natural food stores carry it for less than a 1/3 of the price as Amazon. A small 12oz should only cost you no more than $7.00USD. I would know. I sell it at work on a daily basis. HAHA ;263 )

Here’s one more solution that you can try as well, if you’re desperate for options. (CLICK)

Sweet, it turned out, I have no place to hang dry this though…

That’s fine, laying out your clothing in nice shady places (direct sunlight will FADE your colors) works just as well.  If you need to, designate a spot on the living room floor for a few hours and Police Tape it off if you have to, to prevent foot prints from unsuspecting wanderers. ;183 Keep your critters locked out of said room as well. Paw prints aren’t attractive unless you can disguise them in a paw print print. LOL ;306

So.. those are mostly Brand items on that list?
I’m getting to you~ ;298 Ok, so most off-brand items are pretty sturdy as far as washing goes. My black Shopping Gals JSK from F+F & sax Bodyline dress are tossed in the wash in cold water, a small amount of gentle detergent and run on delicate. They come out looking great. I hang dry them in the window with the blinds closed, but where the fan can get them with nice cool air; they dry fairly neatly. To minimize wrinkles, tugging the fabric taut for 5 seconds, in would be affected areas, as it dries helps to stave off giant ugly wrinkles. This is key for me because I don’t own an iron or a board, nor do I have the room. ;323

GENERAL ADVICE (taken from EGL in case you skipped it)

? Never dry clean screenprints, hand wash instead
? Don’t dry clean things with pearls or rhinestones
? This Pink Music Print can be cold machine washed on the gentlest setting
? Spray starch on bows that can’t be removed on dresses to prevent floppy-ness after washing. Spray, you arrange the bow the way you’d like, lay flat to dry and voila! you have a perky bows again!
? Never use Oxyclean on a lolita garment
? Don’t just leave things soaking without checking, prints have been known to just melt off
? Red and black tend to run more, and very dark blue too.
? If you want to check weather or not it will run, wet a small spot (that is not too obvious), and then dab a white paper towel on it, see if the color run.
? If you’re still a little worried about colour’s running always use cold water.
? DO NOT hang it in a place directly under sunlight, it will make stuff fade.
? DO NOT dry clean screen print.
? DO NOT wash in warm water, not even lukewarm.
? If the print runs, avoid heat and dryers! Try handwashing in cold water 2-3 more times, add half a cup of vinegar to the wash. (The vinegar preserves the print and doesn’t smell when you mix it with detergent)
? Always remove anything detachable (bows etc) before taking to the dry cleaners. however secure they seem, dry cleaners will lose them!
? Baby’s blacks and Meta’s newer prints often run
? Baby’s crepe like fabric (VR, Paris Windows etc) seem more color fast then their plain cottons
? Some faded colors can be restored with dye, if the item is one solid color (e.g.: Boleros)

DISCLAIMER: Do not wash your garments if you are too unsure. Check and re-check the master list as many times as you think you need. Milktan is in no way responsible for your results. These are tips and this is just a general guideline. Follow your gut feeling if you feel there’s a better, safer way to wash your garments!!