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Some people assume the dry clean only tag is a way to create a financial boon for the dry cleaning industry; it is not. The manufacturer is actually the one who determines the cleaning instructions. Think about it from this perspective: Slap a dry clean only label in and you are guaranteed the professional dry cleaner will know exactly what to do.
Your dry cleaner knows how to remove spots without leaving rings, and how to press a garment with the correct amount of steam or heat to avoid discoloration and burns. Well, move over dry cleaners. Armed with the right products, and articles like this, you can care for most of your garments at home. Yes, you can wash dry clean only clothes, but this will require time and patience. If washing in machine: Do wash in cold or tepid water.
Hot water may cause shrinkage to your garment. Do use a mild cleaning solution. Before we begin, a little knowledge: Dry cleaning isn't really "dry" at all.
The reason why it's dubbed "dry cleaning" is because it doesn't use water. Instead, it uses a liquid solvent, the most common being tetrachloroethylene, and a process that doesn't put a garment through the agitation of a machine.
You could actually purchase "dry cleaning at home" products from Woolite and Dryel that will give you all you need to dry clean using your dryer, but these products can put a big dent in your pocketbook depending on how often you need to use them.
The first thing to do is to decode the label. What do all of those symbols mean? At a minimum, a label must cover washing, bleaching, drying, and ironing. Since , symbols alone have been adequate in conveying this information. The one we're concerned about here is the circle: Take a look, and you'll either see an empty circle, which means it requires professional care; a circle with an "F" or "P" inside, which indicates the type of solvent to be used; or a circle with an "x" through it, which means "do not dry clean.
Likely the care label will also include written instructions, but in case they don't, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the legend of these symbols. Note that a piece of clothing can be cared for in more than one way, but manufacturers are only required to list one:. Labels for clothing must have a washing or dry cleaning instruction. If an item can be washed and dry cleaned, the label needs only one of these instructions.
Remember that consumers like having washing instructions for items that can be washed. If you prefer, give instructions for both washing and dry cleaning. Exactly — even if a garment says that it is "dry clean only," it may not be the only option. Ultimately, what can help in determining candidates for DIY care is the fabric: What type of fabric is the clothing made from?
Depending on the type of fabric, DIY is often fine. It's true that clothes made from delicate synthetics like rayon, suede and leather, velvet, taffeta, and most silks likely won't do well with soap and water.
These will in most cases require a trip to the cleaners. Many other fabrics , however, such as cotton, synthetics like polyester and nylon, wool, some silk, and linen, will do quite well with a gentle handwashing or some time spent in the "delicates" cycle of a machine. Mild detergent and air drying or in some cases tumble dry on low can be combined for a convenient, at-home laundering of many items purporting to be "dry clean only.
For fabrics, keep in mind these tips: Acrylic can take warm water while colored cotton should opt for cold water to prevent running or fading. Meanwhile, white garments made from nylon should only use cold water. Spandex is sensitive to higher temperatures, and did you know you should avoid putting denim in the wash — at least at first? For cashmere, silk, and wool, and the wood pulp-based rayon, avoid the dryer.
Also, note that style should be considered when deciding on whether to dry clean or not to dry clean. Simple garments , those without a lot of embellishment, are prime candidates for gentle DIY washing. So now that you've decoded the label and determined your garment can be washed at home, you're ready to give it a try.
Using a cotton swab dabbed with water and a bit of detergent, conduct a spot test on an inconspicuous area of your garment. If the tested area bleeds and your cotton swab is no longer white, then that's your answer — the garment must be dry cleaned. If your garment passes the spot test instead, then it's time to wash.
Tips For Washing Clothes Labeled “Dry Clean” (and “Dry Clean Only”)
Oct 15, · Some dry-clean-only materials, such as rayon, will shrink if you wet wash them by hand or machine. Most items will only shrink for the first washing. Never machine wash dry-clean-only garments that have delicate lace or beading, or special creases, pleats or stitching%(11). We show you CAN wash 'dry clean only' clothes at home - and save a fortune. as the tumbling action of a dry-cleaning machine may damage the fibres and cause them to turn to felt (when the soft. The secret way you can wash 'dry-clean only' clothes at home Skip the dry cleaners—you can do this. 0 comments Kori Perten. February 15, Also important: Avoid the dryer like you would the plague! That dreaded machine will only transform your dry-clean-only garments into tiny, saggy shadows of their former selves.