Knowing just a few clothes care tips can save you tons of money on dry cleaning.
You will need
- 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.
Never wash leather, suede, acetate, rayon, and fine silks. If you hand wash an item marked “dry clean only” and you ruin it, it is your responsibility.
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.
Pure silk, crepe de chine, shantung, and doupioni silk are good candidates for hand washing in cold water. Chiffon, georgette, taffeta, silk satin, and charmeuse should be dry-cleaned.
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.
Did You Know:
Scientists working for the U.S. Air Force have developed a self-cleaning fabric that repels water, oil, and bacteria.