Cleaning "Dry Clean Only" Clothing at Home

Many of our nice clothes are dry clean only. Taking your suits, dresses, etc. to the dry cleaner can be very expensive. Are you looking for a way to clean them at home? This is a guide about cleaning dry clean only clothing at home.

Cleaning "Dry Clean Only" Clothing at Home, Row of Dry Cleaned Shirts
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I just purchased a white 100% cotton sweater that has a red heart in the middle with dry clean only instructions. Do you think it is possible to wash the sweater by itself? I am trying to decide whether I should return item.

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    I would for sure handwash it in cold water with Woolite or gentle dish soap. I would try to hold the red heart up out of the water so it didnt get wet. After you wring it out, roll it up in a dry bath towel... or two... Do it a couple of times to get out all the water. Try to keep the red heart from being in contact with the white. You might even consider covering the red with plastic wrap (inside and out...both sides of the heart). Best of luck.

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    I am trying to get a yellow stain off the white part of a blouse that says "dry clean only". The blouse is lime green and white. The stain is on the white part of the blouse.

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      I have a pale pink cotton Guess jacket. So I left it alone for a bit and when I came back coffee or pop or something like that was spilled all over my coat. This was a couple of months ago and I need this stain to come out! The thing is, that my dry cleaners doesn't ensure that they can get the stain out so I want to know if it will be able to come out before taking it there. If anyone can help that would be great or any at home remedies even though it is dry clean. Please help.

      dark stain on light pink jacket
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        I recommend you take it back to your dry cleaners and tell them to blot the stain with Streetan and dry it out with their spotting gun and then throw it in the dry cleaning machine.another thing you can try at home yourself is go get yourself a bottle of Awesome you can pick it up at the dollar store spraying the area with awesome and blot it with a damp cloth feathering the end so it doesn't make a ring and then dry it out with a blow dryer do not drinch the garments with awesome or water though because it will leave a ring.

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        My sister has a 100% wool coat that was her grandmothers. How do I safely clean the coat at home without the extreme expenses of a dry cleaner?

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          Hand wash in cool water with extremely mild detergent and not too much of that. If the garment isn't stained, you needn't worry about scrubbing, simply fill your kitchen sink or bathtub with soapy water and dip the item up and down a few times. I'd recommend the bathtub. Use your shower head to rinse the soap from the coat. Be thorough. Gently (I stress "gently") squeeze the water from the garment, starting at the top and working down. Do not twist the garment! Continue squeezing until you've removed as much of the water as possible. Lay out several thick towels on the floor in an out-of-the-way area. Spread the coat on top of the towels, being careful to align the collar and sleeves. Smooth your hands over the entire coat to emulate ironing (i.e., try your best to remove any wrinkles just using your hands). Leave it lie overnight. Check it the following day and if reasonably dry, hang it on a good sturdy coat hanger (one which meets the should seams). Leave until absolutely dry.

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          I have a nylon jacket that's dry clean only, oh and it's down. I thought I'd wash it with gentle soap and hang dry and then after put it in dryer to fluff. Thank you for any tips.

          By Janice S

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          They sell dry clean kits in the grocery store. They include their special cleaning solvent and a bag to place the item in. Much cheaper then buying another coat if washing ruins it.

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          If you have items that you have been dry cleaning (say, a silk blouse), a way to rejuvenate them is to wash them by hand. That will freshen them up by removing cleaning fluid buildup and make the whites white.

          Source: My Mother

          By pamphyila from L.A., CA

          CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          Can you wash a men's robe that says Dry Clean Only? The contents are 80 percent polyester and 20 percent acrylic?

          By Pat

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          I just bought a lovely pair of Ann Taylor slacks at a Thrift Store. I didn't think to check the care label. It says "Dry Clean Only". The fabric is 91% triacetate, and 29% polyester. Can triacetate be hand-washed?

          By VBartlett from Columbus, IN

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          Forget dry cleaners. I have not been for years. Think about the finer fabrics, wool, linen, silk, cashmere. They were all invented before dry cleaning. I do all of the above on the delicate cycle. For silk, roll up the item and store in the freezer until ready to iron It is actually the ironing and pressing that is the challenge. But there is a system for getting a professional look. I will post that another time. Think of the chemicals you are keeping out of your life if you do it yourself.

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          I have a lovely and expensive wool peacoat. Unfortunately my niece threw up all over it. I checked for a washing label, but can't seem to find one, so I'm assuming it needs to be dry cleaned. Unfortunately the one closest to me has closed. Does anyone have any ideas on how to clean it? I've heard of washing on a gentle cycle with Woolite, but I'd like some other opinions before I give it a try.

          By Katie

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          If the tag recommends dry cleaning, you're taking a risk by washing it yourself. However, some wool coats may be safely washed by hand or machine. If your coat just needs a touch-up, you can safely spot clean even dry-clean-only coats.

          To hand wash:

          1) Swish the coat back and forth in the soapy water for several seconds. Let the coat soak for up to 5 minutes.

          2) Smooth out wrinkles with your hands, and gently shape the coat.

          3) Lay the coat on a large bath towel. Roll the coat in the towel. Leave it for a few minutes to absorb water, then *dry.

          *Allow the coat to dry thoroughly before hanging or wearing

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          How can I dry clean a cotton dress at home?

          By madhavi from Thane

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          Woolite makes a product you can use to dry clean your dry clean only clothes at home. Very simple, easy to use.

          Good Luck.

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          I have some dresses that require dry cleaning. I would like to know how to do that work in home conditions?

          By Marita from Shkoder, Albania

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          Another suggestion - check into the "Dryel" product (I believe it is a Procter and Gamble product) that you can buy at the grocery store or discount store and use in your dryer. I've not used it for any kind of set-in stains, but it works well for refreshing and de-wrinkling "dry clean only" garments at home.

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          I purchased a rayon/linen tunic, long sleeve shirt that states you have to dry clean it. Can Woolite be used to hand wash this? Are there any other solutions instead of the fortune and inconvenience of taking it to a dry cleaners all the time? Thank you.

          By Elyag from Rochester, NY

          Washing Dry Clean Only Clothes

          Try Dryel for dry cleaning at home. Here is a link where you can watch a video about how it works and should be able to find all the information about Dryel that you need here.

          By Anonymous

          Washing Dry Clean Only Clothes

          I'm from Macedon, NY. I have washed many garments that say dry clean only with very good results. Wool, cotton, and linen always come out great, but I'm a little leery about rayon. If there is more linen than rayon, fine, but rayon is rather unpredictable. If there is more linen than rayon, put a tiny amount of Woolite in your washing machine, yes, as you start filling your machine with cold water. Stir the water in the machine to get the suds going. Add the garment and short wash on gentle cycle. It should come out fine. Good luck! (05/15/2009)

          By nativegirl

          CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          I never dry clean clothes. If it is wool, I just use Woolite and wash by hand. Anything else I use a mild detergent such as Woolite, Dreft, or Ivory and gently wash by hand in cool water.

          When wringing out water, do that gently and do not twist. I always dry outside (or on the drying rack inside in the winter). The items always come out nice and I have saved a lot of money.


          Hand Wash Dry Cleanables

          Saves a ton on dry cleaning bills!! Thanks for the tip (09/02/2008)

          By cschuess

          CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          I haven't had any clothes dry cleaned for years (oh, I can hear some gasping, she must be dirty). No, I've found over the years that most things can be successfully washed in the washing machine. Even things that have "dry clean only" labels on them. Nothing has ever shrunk or wrecked on me yet!

          I wash in cold water only (that helps to save on electricity bills, too). I've washed my woolen winter jackets, and many other items. Of course, I don't think you would wash a fancy ball gown, (I don't have any) or a man's business suit, but for other items it works just fine.

          By Ellie from Melbourne, Australia

          Washing Dry Clean Only Clothes

          I washed a "dry clean only" one time in cold water and my women's dress shrunk to a little girls size dress! After that the only way I would take care of "dry clean only" clothes was to use the Dryel product. But I didn't follow manufacturers way of doing it, I reused the cloths a few times by experimentation. I found I could successfully dry clean my good work clothes for very little money since I was reusing the sheets. I even logged my activity and kept track of it. I figured just sprinkling a little water on the sheet (which I did) reactivated it. All I can say is it seemed to work just fine. I never had anything go awry when I used this method. By using this method I drastically cut even the expense of using the Dryel way of doing my own dry cleaning! (09/22/2006)

          By Loridawn1956


          I have trousers 55% linen, 45% rayon. I have washed them using standard washer/dryer. Significant shrinkage over several wash/dry cycles over a 6-month period has occurred. (10/25/2007)

          By guest

          Washing goose down duvet

          I have washed my goose down comforter by hand in the tub, using Woolite. Make sure you never wring it out or twist while washing. It will break the feathers and ruin it. Basically you knead the comforter and let set for an hour or two, then empty and rinse until it doesn't feel soapy anymore. You can add some vinegar, about a 1/2 cup, to the rinse water and let set for 15 minutes, then rinse out with fresh cold water.

          This should help the yellowness go away when the sun shines on it. I then let it dry outside on the line for all day, but it did not dry all the way. I placed it in the dryer on delicate with low heat and it stayed fluffy, and was definitely white and smelled like new. The tumbling of the dryer did not hurt the fluff a bit.
          Hope this helps. (03/06/2008)

          By banjorebel

          Washing Dry Clean Only Clothes

          Washing/drying down jackets or comforters. I have a down jacket that has instructions for washing and drying. I washed it on cold with other clothes, but the label said to dry it alone with 3 clean tennis balls. I thought this was crazy, but I had some new ones and I tried it. The jacket was as good as new and very fluffy.

          You could do this for comforters perhaps on a no heat setting in the dryer and more balls. Just thought this was a strange but interesting find. I think my jacket was a Kenneth Cole. (07/29/2008)

          By Den

          Washing Dry Clean Only Clothes

          I discovered that using Woolite for Darks on the gentle cycle does a great job in cleaning a lot of clothes marked Dry-Clean Only. It helps them hold their shape without shrinkage and discoloration. Most poly textiles are washable. Regular Woolite works best for light colors.

          I then use the delicate cycle on the dryer to get out excess water and then let them hang until fully dried. Investing in a steamer is a great idea to get out any residual wrinkles and return things to shape without having ironing marks. Saves loads of money! Dryell also works good for woolens. You have to be careful washing things with wool content. It almost always has some shrinkage. (10/02/2008)

          By Melonie

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          Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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          Home and Garden Cleaning Dry CleaningAugust 3, 2011
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