How to Wash "Dry Clean Only" Garments at Home (the Safe Way)
Sending your dry clean only clothes every few days can become hectic, and even more so if you have a lot of them. While you might be able to wash clothes with a 'dry clean' label, dry clean ONLY clothes are a risk. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. Here are a few knacks you can save for the next time you have to wash your dry clean only clothes immediately without ruining them:
1. Spot Test the Clothes
Even if you're desperate to wash your dry clean only clothes using the alternative home-cleaning method, you need to first ensure they can get through the wash. Start with choosing a spot on the cloth, preferably one that isn't right in the center; a corner should do. Next, make a solution of water and the laundry detergent you use. Pour 2-3 drops on the spot. Then, rub a cotton swab over the wet spot. If the color bleeds onto the cotton swab, it's best to avoid washing the cloth at home completely. If it doesn’t, it means your clothing can retain its color in the washing process. However, proceed at your own risk and don’t wash a dry clean only cloth that’s expensive or significant to you.
2. Delicately Washing the Clothes
The best way to wash dry clean only clothes at home is the hand-washing method. For this, pour cold water into a tub and add a small amount of mild detergent. Always double-check the detergent you’re using for this process, since a harsh detergent can mean the end for your dry clean only clothes. Dip the clothes in the tub a few times, then let them dry. If you’re still hung up on using a washing machine, add cold water and a mild detergent. When new to washing dry clean only clothes at home, avoid putting in any other clothes with these. Switch the settings to the gentlest cycle.
3. Skip the Machine Dryer
The drying of dry clean only clothes in an automatic dryer saves a ton of time, but would you really want to risk shrinking your clothes? Well, that's what can happen if you put them in the dryer- the fabric either gets worn out or shrinks. Instead, put in the extra work and air-drying your garments by placing them flat out on a drying rack. This technique works for a post-emergency wash or even if you accidentally spilled water on your clothes.
4. Ironing the Garments
All types of clothes, including 'dry clean only' can get wrinkled in the closet or after you've worn it 1-2 times. Unless you have money growing on trees, sending it to a dry cleaner each time you wear it isn't exactly practical. At one point or another, your dry clean only clothing will call out for much-needed ironing. You can iron these garments at home, as long as you follow certain steps. Use the fool-proof method of lowest heat setting and another layer of fabric in between your dry clean only cloth. It may take longer, but this will ensure the clothes are ironed out without any damage.
5. Refreshing with a Steamer
Some experts recommend using a steamer when times get tough for your dry clean only clothes A fabric steamer can get your clothes unwrinkled and make them look good as new once you're finished. The important bit is not to apply direct heat of the steamer on to the clothes because, again, heat can damage these garments.
Read the labels on your dry clean only clothes before you experiment with them. Additionally, knowing the type of clothing material and how well it resonates with these tips can help a great deal in deciding whether it’s worth the risk. Besides that, these techniques are as safe as you can go with washing these clothes at home.