Dry cleaning can be a hassle. You’ll need to keep a separate laundry bag for dry clean only clothing, remember to bring it to the dry cleaners and pay for more expensive laundry services. It can be tempting to just throw dry clean only items into your home washing machine or with your regular laundry service. Do we still need to worry about dry cleaning clothes anymore?
What is dry cleaning?
Dry cleaning, like the name suggests, means cleaning clothes without water. The clothes still get wet, as dry cleaners immerse clothing in a cleaning fluid and remove it with a solvent. The process is thought to be more thorough than traditional washing. After washing is done, clothes are dried according to best care instructions and reshaped.
Why are some clothes dry clean only?
Dry cleaning is important for delicate fabrics or clothes that wouldn’t fare well in the dryer. Although it’s becoming more common to find clothing that can be put in a regular washer and dryer, some more expensive items may still need to be taken to the dry cleaners. Depending on your laundry set up, it may be worth investing in a dry clean at home kit that uses your own dryer.
The easiest way to know if something needs to be taken to the dry cleaners is to read the clothing care tag. If the clothing says “dry clean only,” there’s a good chance that it should be taken to the dry cleaners, unless you know how to properly care for that type of fabric and garment. Consider the phrase “dry clean” on a clothing tag a suggestion if it doesn’t say “only.” Many clothing manufacturers would rather you be more careful with your clothes to preserve them longer over having upset customers with damaged clothes.
Certain clothes should be dry cleaned to protect them from damage. This includes certain fabric blends, wool, suits or other items with lining, delicate fabrics such as silk and rayon, and items with embellishments like sequins or beads. The regular wash cycle can damage these items and cause them to lose their shape. Clothing items like this also happen to be more expensive, so it makes sense to pay the relatively low fee for dry cleaning over paying to replace these items.
Can you wash clothes that say “dry clean only”?
Some clothes rarely need to be dry cleaned, even when the care label says to dry clean them. These fabrics include polyester, nylon, cotton, and linen. In fact, cashmere and wool may last longer if you hand wash them and dry them when they become dirty, as opposed to sending them to the dry cleaners.
When in doubt about whether or not a piece of clothing should be taken to the dry cleaners, it’s best to ask. At Laundry Magician, we’re laundry experts and can answer your questions. Call us at 513-806-2037 to discuss what we can wash and what should be dry cleaned.