Up next in Stains & Laundry (80 videos)
No matter what you spilled on your clothes or furnishings, we can tell you how to get it out.
You Will Need
- Roomy closet
- Garment brush
- Home dry-cleaning kit
Know what's really "dry clean only
Take that "dry clean only" label with a grain of salt. Many silks, wools, and linens can be hand-washed safely in cold water. But be aware that silk is more susceptible to fading over time if it's hand laundered.
Do a quick test
Before washing a "dry clean only" item, dip a small, inconspicuous edge of the garment in water. If it shrivels up, take it to the dry cleaner.
Hang your clothes
Hang your clothes as soon as you step out of them to reduce the chances that they'll get wrinkled or stained.
Let clothes breathe
Leave space around dry-clean-only clothes so they have a chance to breathe in your closet. Never leave them in plastic garment bags; humidity can get trapped in the bag and cause mildewing.
Brush and air wool suits
Lengthen the time between dry cleanings for your wool suits by wiping away surface dirt and lint with a garment brush after wearing and then letting them air out for a day or two.
Freshen with DIY kits
Use home dry-cleaning kits on unsoiled items that just need a bit of freshening. They're good at removing odors like smoke.
Pay for pressings only
Don't pay for dry cleaning just because you hate ironing: Launder easily wrinkled items at home and just pay the cleaner to press them.
Avoid dry-clean-only items
Limit the new items you buy that require dry cleaning. The costs add up fast, making a moderately-priced garment an expensive one in no time at all.