Some dry-clean-only items, such as those made from delicate fabrics like silk or wool, should not be washed at home. These items require professional dry cleaning to avoid damage. Attempting to wash them at home could ruin the fabric, shrink the item, or cause the colors to bleed.
If you are unsure whether an item can be washed at home, it is best to err on the side of caution and take it to a professional cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to clean and care for delicate fabrics safely.
Fabrics you SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH at home
Here’s a list of fabrics that are typically not recommended to be washed at home and should be taken to a professional dry cleaner:
- Silk: This delicate fabric should always be dry-cleaned to avoid damage.
- Leather: Washing leather can cause it to lose its texture and shape, so it’s best to take it to a leather specialist for cleaning.
- Suede: Like leather, suede can be damaged by water and should be taken to a specialist for cleaning.
- Rayon: This fabric can shrink and lose its shape when exposed to water, so it’s best to avoid washing it at home.
- Velvet: Velvet is a delicate fabric that can be easily damaged by water, so it should be dry-cleaned.
- Taffeta: Taffeta is a crisp, lightweight fabric that should always be dry-cleaned to avoid damage.
- Wool: Wool can shrink and lose its shape when exposed to water, so it’s best to take it to a professional for cleaning.
- Cashmere: This delicate fabric can be easily damaged by water and should be taken to a professional for cleaning.
- Lace: Lace is a delicate fabric that can easily be damaged by water, so it’s best to avoid washing it at home.
- Embellished fabrics: Fabrics with embellishments such as sequins or beads can be damaged by washing, so it’s best to take them to a professional for cleaning.
Dos and don’ts when washing dry clean only clothes
When washing clothes labeled as “dry clean only,” it’s essential to follow some dos and don’ts to avoid damaging your clothes. Here are some things you should and shouldn’t do:
5-step guide to washing dry clean only clothes
If you’re tired of spending money on dry cleaning, you may be tempted to try washing your dry clean-only clothes at home. While this can be risky, it is possible to do it successfully with the right approach.
Here’s a 5-step guide to washing dry clean only clothes:
Check the Label – Before you start washing, make sure to check the label of the garment. If it says “dry clean only” or “dry clean recommended,” you should proceed with caution.
If the label says “hand wash,” “machine wash,” or “washable,” you can safely wash the garment at home.
Test for Colorfastness – Before washing, it’s important to test for colorfastness. Dampen a small, inconspicuous area of the garment with water and press a white cloth against it. If the color transfers to the cloth, the garment is not colorfast and should not be washed.
Choose the Right Detergent – Choose a mild detergent that is appropriate for the fabric of the garment. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, as these can damage the fabric.
Wash Carefully – If the garment is safe to wash, place it in a mesh laundry bag and wash it on a gentle cycle in cold water. Avoid using the dryer, as heat can damage the fabric. Instead, lay the garment flat to dry on a clean towel.
Iron or Steam – Once the garment is dry, you may need to iron or steam it to remove any wrinkles. Use a low heat setting and a pressing cloth to protect the fabric.
If you’re considering washing a dry-clean-only garment, you probably have some questions. Here are some frequently asked questions about washing dry-clean-only clothes:
Can you wash dry-clean-only clothes at home?
Yes, you can wash dry-clean-only clothes at home, but you must realize that you could ruin your garment. Read the care label and follow the instructions carefully. Some fabrics may be too delicate or prone to shrinking, and washing them at home could damage the garment.
What happens if you wash dry-clean-only clothes?
If you wash a dry-clean-only garment, it may shrink, lose its shape, or become damaged. The fabric may also fade or bleed, and any embellishments or trims may come loose or fall off.
What should you do if you accidentally wash a dry-clean-only garment?
If you accidentally wash a dry-clean-only garment, don’t panic. Take the garment to a professional cleaner as soon as possible and explain what happened. They may be able to salvage the garment if you act quickly.If you accidentally wash a dry-clean-only garment, don’t panic. Take the garment to a professional cleaner as soon as possible and explain what happened. They may be able to salvage the garment if you act quickly.
Can you iron a dry-clean-only garment?
It depends on the fabric and the care label instructions. Some dry-clean-only fabrics can be ironed on a low heat setting, while others may be damaged by heat. Always check the care label before ironing a garment.
What should you do if a dry-clean-only garment gets stained?
If a dry-clean-only garment gets stained, take it to a professional cleaner as soon as possible. Don’t try to remove the stain yourself, as this could damage the fabric. Explain what caused the stain and let the cleaner know if you’ve already tried to treat it.