How to Save Money on Dry Cleaning

Knowing just a few clothes care tips can save you tons of money on dry cleaning.

You will need

  • Neatness
  • Roomy closet
  • Garment brush
  • Home dry-cleaning kit

Step 1 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.

Step 2 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.

Step 3 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.

Step 4 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.

Step 5 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.

Step 6 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.

Step 7 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.

Step 8 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.