Apr 12, 2013

How To: Wash Dry Clean Only Clothes at Home

When it comes to dry-clean only cloths, washing your favorite pieces can be a huge hassle. Popping by the Dry Cleaners isn't always ideal, and they could leave unexplained marks or stains on your clothes. Also, the chemicals used at these Dry Cleaners can trigger allergic reactions which can range from respiratory problems to skin irritation.

These same chemicals also remove the natural oils from yarn, which can leave sweaters looking dull and thin. But cleaning your favorite sweater dress or down comforter doesn't have to be an inconvenience, and it also doesn't have to break the bank. Apparently women’s blouses cost twice as much to dry clean as men’s button-down shirts! But just by using a few of these tricks, hard-to-clean items can be washed at home for far less. Consider the following helpful tips to clean delicate garments at home:
  • For fragile items that are machine washable, use a mesh bag designed for laundry. Mesh bags help protect bras, lingerie, and fine fabrics. To minimize , turn the items inside out and use the shortest and gentlest cycle available.
  • Hand wash clothing in cold water with a mild detergent. Once you’re sure colors won’t bleed, use a spot remover on stains and scrub gently with your fingers. Linen, cotton, cashmere and polyester pieces can be washed by hand, but don’t hand wash fabric like silk, velvet and taffeta.
  • Unless using a dry cleaning kit (like Dryel), skip the dryer. Too much heat can ruin accents, embroidery and fibers. Instead, lay flat to dry on a white towel to avoid discoloring. If the garment was hand washed, gently push out excess water using a towel before laying it flat to dry. Roll fabric between towels to dry as needed, but don’t twist or wring out delicate clothing.
Be careful when hanging wet fabric on racks or in closets, it may stretch and lose some shape!
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