Laundry tales or why you shouldn’t get scared to launder your sari at home

The sari is my all time favourite garment for a special do. There’s nothing like its flowing drape which complements all kinds of shapes and sizes, hiding what needs to be hidden and showing off the sexy bits that need to be highlighted. But what is truly the best is that it is timeless and formless and can drape you for twenty years or more  without having to worry about trends, style or fit!!!

So I was upset when a few drops of fruit juice fell on my sari at one of the  fancy weddings I recently attended. I have always used my clothes carefully. I’ve never dropped food on my clothes, accidentaly torn them or even dirtied them ; moreover I was seated while eating and least expected any spillage. But accidents do happen and I watched with horror as a few drops of fruit juice splattered on my sari.  Roo and Dee who were with me at the wedding, told me to go home immediately and wash off the stains in plain water before getting it laundered.

Unfortunately that turned out to be the wrong advice as per  the laundry man. Here’s what actually happened when I took it to the laundry :

He : Madam, there is no guarantee for the stain.
I : But there is guarantee for the price isn’t it?
He: What do you mean?
I : You will definitely charge me for washing  it  won’t you? 
He : Not washing madam.  We don’t wash. We use chemical for dry cleaning.
I : Whatever it is, you will still charge me for cleaning it without assuring me of proper results, won’t you?
He: Madam , even a doctor doesn’t give you guarantee when he treats the patient. But you still pay when the patient dies.
I : How can you compare a sari with a patient? In any case how do I know you have actually tried cleaning it at all? You may very well just fold the sari, put a laundry label and charge me for a job you didn’t do!
He: No madam, of course we will try but there is no guarantee.
I : Ok. So if you are going to charge me for accidentally ruining my sari, I may as well do it myself.
He: Suit yourself Madam.

This was my conversation with my regular laundry Alfred at the corner of Forjett Street who was going to charge me around Rs. 150-Rs 200 for the job.

I decided to go up the hill to the new  and more expensive German Laundry where the conversation went :

She : Madam, the stains will go but the water mark won’t go.
I: Oh! So you mean to say I shouldn’t have washed off the juice?
She: No madam, silk should never be washed.
I: So now I will have a sari with no stains but with water marks?
She : Yes
I: Ok , in that case I may as well try washing it myself and ruin it for free.

And I went down the road to Pressto who was going to charge even more than German Laundry.

So I came back home and quickly hand washed the sari with Genteel but since handwashing is not my forte, I dumped it in my Siemens washing machine for a Single Rinse cycle to ensure that all the soap was out.

I took it out of the machine and was amazed to find that not a bit of the shocking pink ( Rani Pink) had run! However, the stains had not  gone completely, so I put it for another 30 minutes of Delicate wash with a dash of Vanish and lo and behold my sari was clean enough to wear for yet another do.

Moral of the story : Don't get intimidated by those stains and the stories spun by launderers. Click To Tweet

Be bold and brave to launder that sari at home!

p.s. Ironing out the sari while it is still damp may be tedious but it ensures a completely wrinkle free, freshly laundered look!

Image of Bellybytes


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A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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5 Responses

  1. I have lost count of the numbers of garments I have lost to Laundries across cities. Emboldened by your post and suggestions I am going to try washing my garments at home next time.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Mayuri Nidigallu recently posted…On being nice #MayTivationMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      You should . After all nothing lasts forever and why keep your clothes to outlive you ? I have two daughters yet don’t harbour any hopes of them wearing any clothes of mine …. so I wear them , enjoy them and even wash them !

  2. Kokila Gupta says:

    I am wasting all my beautiful saris at home from past many years with soft fabric cleaners like Genteel.Although, with hands only. Good you took the plunge. 🙂

  3. Kokila Gupta says:

    I can’t see my comment being uploaded here! ??
    Kokila Gupta recently posted…A story of loss : MoonMy Profile

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