cartoon drawing of a laundry basket

How do You Know When to Dry-Clean Clothes?

Dry-cleaning is expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient. When sorting through laundry, it is always disheartening when the Dry-clean Only label comes up. There are some solid reasons to dry-clean, though if the article is worn quite often, it may be best to hand wash at home to avoid excessive damage.

cartoon drawing of a laundry basket and detergent

Clothing manufacturers are required to include at least 1 washing instruction on their labels, so not every article labeled dry-clean only is necessarily just that. Depending on the fabric, it is possible to do a hand wash and air dry, 

There are also several other options for dry-cleaning. Stores sell a dry-clean kit that goes in the dryer. It will do a moderate job of cleaning and will leave the garment smelling fresh.  Another option is to purchase some mesh garment bags and use them to hold the clothes in the wash, keeping them from direct contact with the washer itself, saving the fibers from any undo wear.

Flamsteads dry cleaners store front

Best Practices to Dry-Clean

Dry-cleaning is unavoidable but there are several things that will help avoid it for as long as possible. Here are some steps that will not only help avoid the dry-cleaner, but will also extend the life of your clothing:

  1. When finished wearing dry-clean only clothes, use a steamer to get any wrinkles and odors out before putting away
  2. If hand washing, use a drying rack or hang to dry 
  3. Use a lint roller or a suit brush to remove any lint or pet hairs

When in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take it to the dry-cleaner. Just remember not to go too often as the clothing will wear out much faster. If you want to find out more information on dry cleaning check out this article from cosmopolitan.

Check out more articles from Lightning Clean to learn more about laundry.