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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
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What is methyl chloroform and can it be used for spots and stains?
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:
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?
The viscose is the questionable part. I would definitely hand wash it in the kitchen sink or bathtub with cool water and a mild soap. Don't wring it out; just press out the water. Good luck!
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.
You would have to wash it in cold water all by itself so that the red heart doesn't bleed. Dry cleaning is expensive, but if the sweater is expensive, you may not want to ruin it. You will have to decide whether or not you want to take the risk. I personally would. Hand washed sweaters are softer than dry-cleaned ones.
Can you wash a men's robe that says Dry Clean Only? The contents are 80 percent polyester and 20 percent acrylic?
I have washed several 'dry clean only' items in the past. I just always used the delicate or hand wash cycle, and cold water. You do run the risk of ruining the time though.
If it has a sash, you can try that. Put it in a lingerie bag, or if you don't have one, tie it up in an old pillow case, and give it a try. Just don't put it in the dryer. If the sash comes out okay, you can probably do the robe.
Good luck to you!
Yes, I wash all 'dry clean only' clothes. Remember, wool, linen, silk etc were all invented before dry cleaners. And synthetics were invented specifically to go into washing machines. I do everything on cold/delicate.
The tricky part is the ironing/pressing, but the savings is worth that effort. There are tailors tricks for ironing too, but that is news for another time.
You can wash the robe using a mild detergent and cold water. Do not put it in the dryer as the acrylic in the fabric will sometimes shrink.
Wash on gentle, line dry. If it is a heavy robe, you may have to run through the spin cycle more than once.
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
I have quite a few things that say dry clean only. I have one word for you, cold water. That is the most important cleaning part for dry clean only clothes. Also hand or lay flat to dry. May not come out looking perfect but sure beats spending the money at the cleaners.
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.
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.
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.
How can I dry clean at home without a kit?
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.
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.
You need a new dry cleaner. Find one that guarantees they can get it out or you don't pay the money.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
Is there a clothe spray for spot cleaning a white wool coat?
How can I dry clean a cotton dress at home?
By madhavi from Thane
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.
Woolite makes a product you can use to dry clean your dry clean only clothes at home. Very simple, easy to use.
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
Depends upon the piece of clothing. Many silk pieces are marked "dry clean only" when you can actually hand wash them carefully. If your jackets/sweaters/coats need freshening up, try Febreze or a similar fabric spray.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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?
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!
Will machine washing a pair of slacks labeled "dry clean only"made of 65%polyester/35%rayon ruin them?
Does anyone know of an at-home method of cleaning men's dress suits? I remember reading books that mentioned "sponging" and other ways to clean wool suits prior to dry cleaning, but I don't know the procedures with today's fabrics.
By Elizabeth K.
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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
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.
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)
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.
Saves a ton on dry cleaning bills!! Thanks for the tip (09/02/2008)
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
A lot of clothes that _say_ dry clean are actually able to be washed in water. Most fabrics that we conventionally think of being dry clean only actually wash fine in water, except for two things:
1. Did the manufacturer pre-wash the fabric? Often, they don't. When you pre-wash fabric, it gets smaller, so if your clothes have not been pre-washed, your garment _may_ get smaller. Fabrics that are really bad for this are rayon and wool. Linen, silk, and _woven_ cotton (not knitted!) tend to be better.
2. Is the garment made out of a lot of fabrics that don't wash the same way. For example, polyester and linen shrink in completely different ways. If your garment is all of one fabric, you have a better chance of getting a garment through a wash unscathed. Also, sometimes the innards, interfaces, shoulder pads, etc. may get twisted in a wash. A less structured garment is more likely to survive water.
So, if you are willing to risk your clothes, you can often get away with "never" dry cleaning. I wear silks, rayons and wools all the time and I only go to the dry cleaners for my husband's suits (which I'm NOT willing to risk).
Obviously, if you wish to try this, HAND-WASH the garment first and let air dry.
By Kathleen K.
I am a believer in not dry cleaning, but recently I washed some Dry Clean Only clothes, in cold water on the gentle cycle, and had some problems with mild shrinking. The pieces didn't shrink a lot, but just enough. This is probably a silly question, but does anyone know of any real way to un-shrink clothing that has been shrunk? Clothing made of wool or viscose or rayon, which can be very delicate, but not always! Sometimes it turns out fine when washed gently in cold water.
I have heard that soaking the item in cold water with hair conditioner and then stretching it out helps, but maybe nothing really does.
I'd appreciate any tips anyone might have! (05/17/2005)
I was wondering if you ever found a solution to your shrunken garment problem. I've been searching the web and so far all I've learned is that washing the garment in cold water and then drying in high (yes, high) heat and then ironing is the best solution. Supposedly it's warm WATER and the TUMBLING that shrinks clothes, not heat from the dryer. Heat from the dryer and ironing is supposed to aid in stretching. I don't want to risk this though if you've found a better solution. (11/04/2005)
You can 'un-shrink' something by getting it wet again, if you're brave, use a little warm water.
Then, fold a towel and reshape the item on the towel. Place another folded towel ontop of the item and press. Let dry this way.
If it's really shrunken, maybe do this twice. The second time, let dry for a bit and then stretch and reshape again.
I worked at a dry cleaning firm for 3 years where I was the owner's assistant. I dabbled in just about all of the dry cleaning process.
First of all, dry cleaning is an oil-based cleaning solution (usually percloroethylene) where upon the cleaner is "shot" into the washer and then sucked back out again by a "dryer". The cleaner adheres itself to many particles (that are NOT sugar-based or contain chemicals) which is why it works. However, there are so many iffy things that can occur.
For example, if you get the smallest spot of any kind liquid (but water) on your garment, it can react to the heat and/or dry cleaning fluid used which may result in a stain you did not notice before leaving the item. For example, Sprite, which dries clear but contains sugar, will turn a dark brown in dry cleaning because the heat caramelizes the sugar in it. Likewise, perspiration, hairspray, etc. all damage the color and/or fibers in a garment which can go unnoticed by you, until the mechanical action of the cleaning machine washes away the top layer of damaged color or washes out the damaged fibers.
I, too, would not recommend taking anything with sequins, glitter, or other added on accoutrements because in my years there, we found most of these things, despite what the label says, would NOT hold up to the dry cleaning process.
Remember that if you request a cleaning method other than the one on the label, the dry cleaner cannot be held responsible if something goes wrong. Likewise, if stain of some sort does appear such as the above, or in the underarm area, it is most likely NOT the result of mishandling by the dry cleaner, but of an unknown stain prior to cleaning, or simply a mislabeled cleaning method.
You would be surprised at how many garments are mislabeled in foreign countries simply because the manufacturers just want their money from the sale. Once you buy it, the manufacturer may disappear or refuse to back up its garments, and while there are laws that supposedly protect you, the consumer, against this, it may take weeks, months, or years to get any compensation out of the company.
The dry cleaning process simply does not create stains, it just may not be able to remove them. If you know of a stain, tell the counter person or dry cleaner and have them mark it with tape to be spotted prior to cleaning. They use a high-powered steam gun that can push the stain out of the fabric without damaging the fibers but if it is not gotten prior to cleaning, again, a stain will probably result. Just thought I'd let you all know.
By Wendy Cabler