So, in the spirit, as previously mentioned, of occasionally Dressing Like a Professional, I now own a couple of shells to wear under suits. Specifically, I own two silk ones and one that I originally thought looked and acted like silk, but now I know better. (Polyester = static. NEVER AGAIN.)
I'm sure you can imagine exactly how much damage I can do to silk.
One of them is black, so that one is a little more indestructible.
The other one is a nice bright blue, and the first time I wore it, I went to an event after working hours. I got a glass of club soda, but the nice people behind the bar added some cranberry juice for flavor. I also got a straw. Everything tastes better through a straw, especially when the glass has ice in it. (Because otherwise you have to try to sip around the ice when you tip the cup.)
Of course five minutes into making small talk with other lawyers, I flipped the straw out of my glass, spattering cranberry-soda onto my silk shell. My dry clean only silk shell. Lovely.
Cue ridiculous amounts of googling regarding dry clean only silk and whether hand washing it would send it to instant doom.
Googling suggested that there is only one kind of silk that truly cannot be hand-washed. The rest is just over-cautiousness on the part of the manufacturer, who does not want to be blamed when you ruin your clothes.
I decided to risk it. This shell cost me $6. (I had rewards from b@n@n@ republic.) At $6, I could almost just buy another if I ruined this one. I did, however, go purchase Ivory dish soap for the gentleness factor. (Googling tells me that I should have bought the Ivory laundry detergent. Blame Target. They didn't have it. Or any other gentle detergent.)
Here is what I did (in case you ever have a similar dilemma): I put a light dusting of Borax into the bottom of a big metal bowl. I added cool water and a bit of Ivory dish soap. I dunked the silk shell a couple of times, then emptied the bowl and rinsed the shell a couple of times. I did not scrub it or ring it out. Instead, I laid it on a towel and rolled the towel up around it, squeezing the towel roll. Then I hung it up to dry.
It worked miraculously, until late that night after I had taken out my contacts and, to see if the spots were all gone, I leaned too close to the shell and touched my nose to it. My nose that was still wet from the sinus rinse I had just used.
I had to wash it again (yesterday) to get the waterspots out.
I wore it today. Guess what I had to do tonight?
I cannot be trusted to avoid spills.