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Cleaning "Dry Clean Only" Clothing at Home

Category Dry Cleaning
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.
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June 22, 2010

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

Comment Was this helpful? 2
June 22, 20100 found this helpful

You do not want to do this with any pleated clothing, the pleats will not stay fresh looking, they will look "frumpy". Anything else should work.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

1 found this helpful
September 26, 2016

What is methyl chloroform and can it be used for spots and stains?

Answer Was this helpful? 1
September 26, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I did a search for Trichloroethane or methyl chloroform. The most important information is that it is a nervous system depressant, among many other problems, and causes ozone depletion. Use as a solvent has been almost phased out all over the Earth. You can try further research and this very helpful site:

https://en.wiki  -Trichloroethane

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0 found this helpful
January 17, 2017

Can you wash a 100% cotton coat which has 100% polyester padding, 100% acrylic fur, 100% polyester fur (edge of collar and edge of detachable hood and outer sleeves which are 100% viscose Pu coated?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 18, 20170 found this helpful

this is the information I was able to find.....After washing the viscose item in cold water, users should dry the article of clothing on a rack before ironing it on the lowest setting. Viscose will not hold its shape and softness if it is dried in the drier, wrung out by hand or spun to dry. ... Viscose is an absorbent material, but does not hold up well when wet... I would say to treat it carefully

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January 20, 20170 found this helpful

Yes you can. I have washed viscose and faux fur many times. Wash in a delicate laundry product such as Woolite on gentle cycle and then air dry. Afterwards dry on fluff air only in dryer to fluff the fur. No heat . Dry cleaning has toxic chemicals you don't want to be exposed to.

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0 found this helpful
February 11, 2017

How can I dry clean at home without a kit?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 11, 20171 found this helpful

This website has a tutorial about making your own dry cleaning sheets. I have not personally tried it, but I have gotten other great tips from the author of the site, and I have bookmarked the page for the future. http://www.oneg  ning-cloths.html

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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February 12, 20170 found this helpful

The first question would be - what type of item are you wanting to "dry clean"?

There are some materials that do not do well when home cleaned - no matter the method. Silk is one example because it loses its crispness and is very difficult to iron. Some people say they have cleaned leather at home but this I have never tempted.

I really like Martha Stewart's web site for things like this so maybe you can take a look at her suggestions:

http://www.mart  eaning-solutions

Here is another site that has a lot of suggestions also: Just click 2 times on the "hand written" picture and it will enlarge for reading:

https://thesecr  r-cheap-0150705/

One very important fact; I would never try any of this on an expensive item or one that has large or oily spots.

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0 found this helpful
February 17, 2016

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 21, 20160 found this helpful

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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August 17, 20160 found this helpful

I use dryel for my leather. Very refreshing

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0 found this helpful
September 24, 2016

I have an ivory white pant suit that has yellowed badly, how do I clean it? The long sleeve jacket is 100% linen, with a white silk lining, and the pants are 60% linen and 40% rayon. I have put them in the cleaners, and nothing. It says dry clean only but, that is not helping at all. Please help me.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 9, 20170 found this helpful

You can't bleach rayon or silk.....and rayon is a synthetic... I have never been able to get yellowing out of a fabric without using bleach, and this you can't bleach. Rayon also doesn't take dye well, so I doubt it would work to use a dye remover. You may not be able to get it out. If it were able to come out, I would think the dry cleaners would have been able to get it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 10, 20170 found this helpful

You can't whiten synthetic materials like rayon. Why don't you try dying it a nice cream color?

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0 found this helpful
August 10, 2015

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 11, 20150 found this helpful

You need a new dry cleaner. Find one that guarantees they can get it out or you don't pay the money.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 29, 20150 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
November 4, 2015

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?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 5, 20150 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

September 15, 20110 found this helpful

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

By Pat

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 16, 20110 found this helpful

Wash on gentle, line dry. If it is a heavy robe, you may have to run through the spin cycle more than once.

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September 17, 20110 found this helpful

YES

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October 29, 20140 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 29, 20140 found this helpful

I've tried cleaning and drying a down jacket exactly the way you're thinking of doing it. I washed the jacket on gentle cycle and this seemed to work fine. Then I hung the jacket on the clothes line to dry and that was a disaster! All the down formed a hard clump at the bottom of the jacket.

The parts that were divided into little squares - the down formed hard clumps there too. I tried putting the dry jacket in the dryer with a couple of tennis balls, but that didn't work. I finally re-washed the jacket, let it spin dry and then put the wet jacket in the dryer with two tennis balls. I think it turned out pretty well!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 30, 20140 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

December 27, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 28, 20130 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
November 15, 20150 found this helpful

Is there a clothe spray for spot cleaning a white wool coat?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

January 22, 20150 found this helpful

I have a vest that looks like it is suede, but the shell says 100% polyester. The inside looks like sheep skin, but tag says 60% polyester, 40% acrylic. I brought the vest to a place that is the middle person. The dry cleaner did not want to clean it. Do you think I can wash the vest in Woolite only and hang dry it without damaging it?

By Kelly S

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 19, 20170 found this helpful

I've never had any problem with polyester shrinking more than a tiny bit. You can probably wash the vest in cold water. If you want to use Woolite, you can, but Woolite is just a mild detergent and doesn't have any magical powers to keep something from shrinking. The cold water and not drying in the dryer is the key.

And now I see that this post is about 2 years old, so you probably figured out what to do.

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0 found this helpful
March 22, 2016

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
January 15, 2011

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
January 18, 20110 found this helpful

You most certainly can! Just use cold water, gentle washing liguid and, as was already mentioned, lay flat to dry or you can hang on a proper hanger in a pinch. Triacetate is shrink resistant, wrinkle resistant, easily washed and maintains pleat retention. If you do need to iron be sure to put the heat setting of the iron on medium and use a thin white cotton cloth between the slacks and the iron to protect the fabric from iron marks and/or melting.

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January 18, 20110 found this helpful

Wendy Calbers advice:

She is very accurate. My family has been involved in dry cleaning for over 40 years. There are many different cleaning solvents now, and perc is not being used in many newer cleaners. Once again, her statements about hidden stains are wonderful.

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December 22, 20130 found this helpful

I picked up a dress at a thrift store that's 50% rayon and 50% acetate. How do I clean it without dry cleaning? Can I machine wash this in cold water? Are there any other ways to wash it? Should I just hand wash it? If so, hot or cold water?

By Emma

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
February 25, 20160 found this helpful

The issue with machine washing acetate fabrics is that they lose a lot of strength when wet so spinning in the washing machine can cause damage. Try hand washing first. both of these fibres will wrinkle, so you may need to fluff dry them once you have hand-washed.

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0 found this helpful
August 23, 2015

I have a dress that's made of viscose rayon nylon lining and the instruction on the garment states dry clean. Can my garment be hand washed? It's a more than $200 dollar maxi dress by Ranna Gill. I love the dress, but it's just a hassle to dry clean one garment for me! I guess if I have to I can dry clean it, but I wonder if there's any suggestion to clean this dress easier? Thanks!

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
May 19, 2011

How can I dry clean a cotton dress at home?

By madhavi from Thane

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 19, 20110 found this helpful

Why would you want to dry clean a cotton dress? Are you afraid of shrinkage? wash it like you normally would anything cotton, use delicate cycle or hand wash, hang to dry, do not put in dryer. I was everything in the washing machine, it doesn't matter if it says dry clean only, then I hang it to dry, and iron it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 20, 20110 found this helpful

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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