If you’ve ever done laundry, you’ve probably run across at least one article of clothing with the label “Dry Clean Only.” These clothes can’t just be tossed into a washing machine with water and detergent. Why? Because they are made of fabrics that may shrink, lose their shape, or change colors if washed in water. Try it, and you’ll definitely be sorry.
If you want to save money on professional dry cleaning services or just don’t have access to dry cleaners because of the current situation, the following tips will allow you to dry clean at home.
Dry clean at home? Is it a good option?
If you’re short on time and happen to have a washing machine, then dry cleaning at home is a good option. Although there are garments that are labeled “dry-clean only”, you can still wash them at home if you use the right detergent and set the water at a temp that’s not too hot.
What supplies are needed?
Warm/hot water: Use for linen, cotton, and durable synthetics. These fabrics can be washed with regular detergent. Cold/cool water: Use for wool, silk, lace, or cashmere. The detergents that have to be used for these delicate fabrics need to be specific for each particular one.
It is important to treat the stains first. Stains can be effectively cleaned with Dawn dish soap or by applying detergent directly onto the stain and working it with a soft brush or your fingers. Stain bars and solutions can be used on more stubborn areas.
The items should be left to soak for about half an hour then washed with cold water until they don’t feel sudsy. Wringing can pull and stretch out the material, so don’t wring the fabric! Gently pressing the water out by squeezing between your hands will do the trick and won’t sacrifice the look of your garments. Also, the drying process may be speeded up by placing the item on a clean dry towel and rolling everything up like a burrito to absorb the extra water.