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Tips For the RV Woman’s
High Performance Wardrobe
You’re a woman who is going places. That calls for a suitable wardrobe for all seasons and all reasons. Space is limited. Garments should be easy care. How can you keep looking spiffy?
Rule One is to read labels that come with the new materials. Many travel garments are treated to block water, ultraviolet rays or both. They may have a no-iron finish. The wrong cleaners could destroy these treatments. White fabrics that turn yellow from antiperspirants could look even worse if you bleach them with chlorine.
* Chlorine can also be deadly on swim suits. Soak in cool water with a little mild detergent, rinse, then hang to air-dry. Ditto for salt water swimming. The suit will dry without rinsing but salt crystals that are left behind will be scratchy. Then they will draw moisture out of the air and make the suit feel damp.
* Hats. The best hats for travel can be folded, rolled or crushed to save space. Fabric hats are usually treated to resist UVA and water. Clean according to labels. Straw hats may not be straw at all but another botanical product or raffia, paper or synthetic. Read labels. I love this kicky, casual, smoosh-able denim sun hat because it’s treated for UV protection and the brim is really, really BIG.
* Fitness outfits. High-performance fabrics are designed to draw sweat away from the body, and that means the sweat smell stays in the garment. Even if you’ve worn it only briefly, it’s going to ripen. Wash promptly in a mild baking soda solution. Baking soda is also a good sweetener for clothing that reeks of campfire smoke. Use ½ cup per gallon of water. Don’t rush it. The solution needs several hours to neutralize odors.
Change fitness clothes often, wash ASAP. Here's a good buy on a set of sports bras.
* Espadrille shoes are a favorite slip-on with many of the travelers I know. Unlike sneakers, they pack flat and go with any casual outfit. They come clean with an old toothbrush. When the rope soles get grotty, brush or vacuum first, then use a foaming carpet cleaner. Let it soak in for a few minutes, then gently brush in the cleaner. When it’s dry, brush or vacuum again.
Incidentally, espadrilles (canvas shoes with rope soles) come in all sizes and colors for both men and women. If you’re arty, buy them in a plain color and customize with a fabric paint.
*Canvas totes, like canvas shoes, are a coarse weave that is best cleaned with a vacuuming or brushing, then a spray-on cleaner and a soft brush. Don’t forget to vacuum the inside too. The best quality bags are as stiff and heavy as sheet metal. That’s plus for grocery shopping and lugging heavy leads from the house to the RV. Don’t machine wash or they’ll turn to cement. Spot clean as long as possible, then soak, hand wash and block to dry. * Keep red wine stain remover such as Wine Away (recommended brand) on hand for stains from red wine, red or blue berries, coffee, blood, ink and red medicine stains.
* Do your towels and sheets develop a musty odor in a stored RV? They may need just a tumble in the dryer with some dryer sheets. If not, machine wash, adding a cup of baking soda to the load.
* Rust stains on fabric usually yield to vinegar or lemon juice. To remove mildew from washable fabrics, wet the spot and rub or brush in some powdered laundry detergent. Wash in hot water with bleach. If the fabric can’t be bleached or washed in hot water or bleach, brush in a paste made from white vinegar and salt. Sunlight is a natural bleach.