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How to wash 'dry clean only' at home?

How to Clean Dry Clean Only Clothes at Home

Cotton, durable polyesters, and linen are safe to wash in your washing machine. It’s best to wash delicate cotton fabric, wool, and silk by hand as an alternative method. When your machine washes any dry clean only clothes, turn the garment inside out and put it inside a mesh bag intended for delicate clothing items.

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Use the gentlest cycle on your machine, a mild detergent and cold water. When your garment finishes its cycle, lay it out completely flat to dry. If you want to hand wash your clothes, fill a tub, sink or basin with cold water and a little bit of mild laundry detergent.

Mix the water until soap suds appear. Afterward, dip your garment into and out of the water until it is completely saturated. Next, agitate it gently in the water and use your fingers to rub away any soiled areas. Once you are sure that the garment is clean, empty the tub and refill it with cold water.

Dip the garment in and out of the water until the clothing is no longer soapy. When it is time to dry your garment, lay it on a towel and roll it up inside. Squeeze the towel gently so that the garment releases the water.

Do this three to five times until the fabric is no longer dripping wet. Afterward, lay the garment out flat to dry. If you want an easier solution to your dry cleaning dilemma, there are at-home dry cleaning kits available.

These do-it-yourself dry cleaning kits are often available for less than $20 but read through reviews to make sure that you buy the most effective one. Steam washers, portable steamers, and steam dryers are also effective at cleaning dry clean only clothes.


How Much Does Dry Cleaning Cost?

An average men’s shirt costs $1.85 to dry clean, while a woman’s shirt costs an average of $5. Suits cost $9.50 to $12.50 to clean, and long coats cost an average of $15. Women often pay more for their dry cleaning because their clothes are more likely to have special seams, extra buttons, trims, silk, and no-crease slacks that cost more to clean.

If you have a blouse or shirt that has a basic design, have your husband drop it off with his shirts. While the dry cleaner may still charge the higher price for female clothing, there is a chance that they will assume that it was your husband’s shirt and charge the lower price.

Hand Wash Your Dry Clean Only Clothes

Another option is hand washing. To hand-wash, use a clean sink or basin. Fill the tub with cold water and add a small amount of a mild detergent, like Woolite.

Test a small spot before you get carried away. Do a quick test and ensure you’re not going to destroy the color. The last thing you want is dye bleeding out of your clothes. A cotton swab can be handy for this task.

Mix until the water appears sudsy.

Dip your clothing in and out of the water until it’s saturated, then gently rub any soiled areas softly with your fingers.

When you feel confident that the garment is clean, empty the sink or basin and fill it with cold water, this time without soap. Dip the item in and out of the water until it’s no longer soapy.

Leaving soap on the item can damage it in the long

Leaving soap on the item can damage it in the long run so rinse gently but thoroughly.

To dry, lay the garment on a clean dry towel.

Roll up the towel with the clothing inside, pushing on it gently to remove water. Unroll the towel and move the garment to a drier area of the towel.

Repeat this process until the fabric is no longer dripping.

Then, lay it out flat to dry. Do not hang it because it can lose shape on a hanger while it’s wet.

How to Take Care of Suits

According to the duo, it’s not advisable to wash suits and blazers at home, but you can freshen them with a few key moves.

First, spot treat the inside lining to remove underarm odor. “Wet our Wash & Stain Bar and gently work a lather into the affected areas. Wipe away suds with a damp cloth like our Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth,” says Whiting. But beware, don’t use paper towels to blot—they will leave behind lint. Then, spritz a wool or cashmere freshening spray on the inside lining of suits and jackets to neutralize any odor and further freshen.

Some other tricks are to hang suits outside (with care to be out of direct sunlight) so the fabric can breathe. Or, you could steam the pieces of your suits to help reduce any odor caused by germs and bacteria.

Tip: for added scent pour one capful of ironing water, like The Laundress’, into the steamer tank.

6 Steps to Clean a Dry Clean Only Comforter

Placing the comforter in the washing machine

Step one is perhaps the most ignorant part. By thi

Step one is perhaps the most ignorant part. By this, we mean to say is that most people don’t care about it.

Things will be better if you own a big washing machine. A large front-loading washing machine with fewer disturbances (minimum number of clothes) will offer better results. 

Using the right amount of detergent

This is important. 

This is important. 

Using the cleaning agents we offered will certainly be effective. Still, using mild amounts is recommended if you’re willing to keep the insulating properties intact.  

Warm washing, cold rinsing

With comforters, it must get the proper care while

With comforters, it must get the proper care while cleaning with a washing machine. 

That is why we recommend simply a move-over along with two rinse cycles (not more than that). 

Every particle of the detergent should exit the comforter. Otherwise, there may be issues with the material wholeness. 

Drying a dry clean only comforter

You can always ask this question: can you put a dr

You can always ask this question: can you put a dry clean only comforter in the dryer?

The answer, in general, is yes. And that’s what we will be doing here.

Take a dryer of large capacity and put the comforter in it. Make sure that it doesn’t spend too much time in the dryer. Usually, a couple of hours should be enough.  

You’d want to be as patient as possible with such a delicate task. This will ensure a clean outcome with no possibility of mold growth. 

Including dryer balls

Dryer balls are usually there to maintain the fluf

Dryer balls are usually there to maintain the fluffiness. Use 4 to 5 balls in the dryer so that it can help with maintaining the evenness of the comforter. 

A good practice here would be to fluff up the comforter more than 5 times by taking it out of the dryer. This will ensure a proper cleanup along with the right consistency.  

Setting it down

After the previous step, all you need to do is get

After the previous step, all you need to do is get the comforter out and let it sit outside for some time. 30 minutes to an hour in the sun should be plenty. It’s for the sake of air circulation. 

And that’s it. 

Home Dry Cleaning Kits

Dry cleaning really isn’t dry. Basically, dry cleaners dip the clothing into a cleaning solution. Yes, you can buy home dry cleaning kits in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores. The kits aren’t really designed for full-scale cleaning. They’re for removing spots and freshening up your garments. Here’s how you use a dry-cleaning kit:

  1. Use the pre-treater included in the kit to treat any stains.
  2. Put your garments into the cloth or mesh bag included in the kit, along with the cleaning solution cloth.
  3. Turn on the dryer according to package instructions and dry for the recommended amount of time.
  4. Remove from dryer before the time is up to avoid wrinkles.
  5. Take items out of the bag and hang immediately.  

Pros of DIY Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning kits are:

  • Easy to use 
  • Leave your clothes unwrinkled and smelling fresh. 
  • The stain remover works well on water-based stains, like tea or coffee
  • It costs less than dry cleaning

Cons of DIY Dry Cleaning

  • The stain pre-treatment does not work well on oil-based stains, ink, makeup, or sweat stains
  • If you try it and it does not lift the stain, it may work to set it. So you may accidentally make stains permanent.
  • You must pay attention and remove clothing from the dryer immediately
  • Your garments are wrinkle-free, but not pressed
  • You’ll have to schedule more time after washing them to iron

Wool Cashmere Care

When it comes to wools and cashmere, Whiting explains, that you can follow the same steps as above, but use a detergent that is made specifically for that purpose. You want to make sure that it is pH neutral, because it’s more gentle on woolen fibers like cashmere, merino, mohair, and even blends. However, this will still thoroughly clean, removing odor, dirt, and oil, while preserving your sweaters’ soft and supple feel and natural lanolin.

Wash by hand or machine

Ready to wash your clothes? Pick your washing method carefully. Here’s how to deal with delicate duds.

To wash by hand

Start with a clean sink or basin when hand washing. Swish carefully in cold water to keep each article of clothing, especially sweaters and other knits, looking beautiful. Part of good care is selecting the right detergent for the job. Don’t automatically go for detergent you pour into your washer. A mild detergent will give far better results. Whether you favor a few drops of baby shampoo, a small amount of Woolite, or a squirt of Eucalan, it will treat your clothes more kindly. Drain the soapy water out, refill the basin for a cold water rinse and press out the suds till the water is clear.

        Credit:                      Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images / Tanya Lovus

Hand wash delicate clothing using a mild detergent instead of the stuff you usually pour in your washer. Treat them gently, or you might wish you’d taken your clothes to the cleaners.


To machine wash

Select a cold water delicate or wool cycle on your washing machine, and for best results, tuck each clothing item into a separate mesh bag. Pull your laundry out of the washing machine as soon as the cycle ends.

        Credit:                      Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images /bungoume

Some more delicate clothes are safe to machine wash if you put them in a laundry bag before you pop them in your washer. Turn them inside out before you do.

To dry

A delicate cycle can leave lots of water in the clothes. That’s on purpose—it doesn’t spin them hard. Step away from the dryer—these clothes are not going in there. Lay each wet garment on a towel. Roll up the towel with the clothing inside, pressing gently to remove water. Unroll the wet towel and move the garment to a dry towel. Then, lay it flat to dry.

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About this article

Co-authored by: Safir Ali Professional Dry Cleaner This article was co-authored by Safir Ali. Safir Ali is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hamper Dry Cleaning and Laundry, a startup in Houston, Texas reinventing the laundry industry. With over six years of experience launching and operating Hamper, Safir specializes in innovative ways to simplify dry cleaning using the experience from his family’s business. Safir holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Texas A&M University. Hamper offers 24/7 on-demand dry cleaning and laundry through delivery and kiosk services. Hamper has been featured on the Houston Rockets, Station Houston, the Houston Business Journal, BBVA, Yahoo Finance, and Innovation Map. This article has been viewed 877,135 times. How helpful is this? Co-authors: 11 Updated: February 21, 2022 Views: 877,135

Article SummaryX

Before you wash a dry clean only garment, make sure it is made from wool, silk, or cotton because other fabrics need to be professionally cleaned. If they are made from those more durable fibers, fill a bucket will cold water and some soap flakes or detergent like woolite. Dip the garment in that water multiple times and rub any soiled areas until they are cleaned. Then, wrap the garment in a towel and squeeze the excess water out of it before you hang it up to dry. Keep reading to learn how to machine wash cotton, linen, and polyesters!

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Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 877,135 times.


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