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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 pam munro from L.A., CA

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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.

By 1 found this helpful
September 26, 2016

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

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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:

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https://en.wiki  -Trichloroethane

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By 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.

Answers

February 18, 20160 found this helpful

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.

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February 18, 20160 found this helpful

My closet is filled with lovely garments many of which (allegedly) require dry cleaning. I once watched a documentary about how damaging that process can be and since then (these past 30 years) have assiduously avoided doing so.

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Your sweater? The first time? Wash it in cool water in your kitchen sink using just a few drops of dish soap. Dunk the sweater up and down in the soapy water a couple of times, rinse it thoroughly with cold water and squeeze dry (do not twist / wring it out). Lay it flat on a thick towel or two someplace where you won't have to move it for a day or three.

After the first time you'll know it's colour fast and you can probably safely wash it with other delicates in your laundry, using cold water and gentle settings. Air dry it for a few minutes in the dryer before laying flat on a towel.

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February 19, 20160 found this helpful

Oh, Honey!! I would test the red heart first before putting it in the water. I'll bet it WILL BLEED ONTO THE WHITE !!!! --- been there.

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Good luck,

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February 20, 20160 found this helpful

I think you are right. I do like the sweater but it seems like a lot of trouble to keep it. Does anyone know anything about Dryly (sp) that you can use in your own dryer

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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

Answers

September 15, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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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!

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September 15, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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September 16, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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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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By 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?

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By VBartlett from Columbus, IN

Answers

January 18, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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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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February 27, 20110 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
February 11, 2017

How can I dry clean at home without a kit?

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By 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.

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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

Answers

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

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Anonymous
November 15, 20150 found this helpful

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

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By 0 found this helpful
May 19, 2011

How can I dry clean a cotton dress at home?

By madhavi from Thane

Answers

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.

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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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By 1 found this helpful
January 6, 2011

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

Answers

January 6, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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January 6, 20110 found this helpful

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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By 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!

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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

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December 31, 20140 found this helpful

Will machine washing a pair of slacks labeled "dry clean only"made of 65%polyester/35%rayon ruin them?

By A.Clay

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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

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By 0 found this helpful
October 20, 2011

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.

Thank you!

By Elizabeth K.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 6, 20110 found this helpful

A baby spit up on my blazer which is 53% rayon and 47% polyester. Instructions say "Dry Clean Only," but I don't want to have it dry cleaned. How can I get the spot out?

By Lindy from Missouri Ozarks

Answers:

Cleaning "Dry Clean Only" Clothing at Home

ehow.com/how_2072601_those-steep-dry-cleaning-fees.html
Pictured on this website is a product that can be purchased at most any large grocery store chain. This website has a lot of information and I use it all the time. (02/16/2010)

By Marjorie

Cleaning "Dry Clean Only" Clothing at Home

Dryell is an at home dry cleaning product that is available at most grocery, drug stores, Target, etc. The starter pack comes with a bottle of dry cleaner-style spot cleaning solution. I've had a lot of success with the product and it has saved me a lot of money on dry cleaning. Good luck. (02/19/2010)

By tahlula

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February 16, 20100 found this helpful

How do you wash a down jacket that says "dry clean only" at home?

Herbal from Louisville, KY

Answers:

Cleaning "Dry Clean Only" Clothing at Home

Okay, this will not work for anything but a down jacket or down slippers. But I live in Colorado and have had many a down jacket. This is how we clean them; Wash in cold water in Woolite. Spin in the washer twice to remove as much water as you can. Pop into dryer with tennis balls or a tennis shoe to fluff the jacket as it dries. Works every time and I have cleaned down jackets that have even been thrown up on. (01/05/2007)

By Debra in Colorado

Cleaning "Dry Clean Only" Clothing at Home

I use Dryel "At Home Dry Cleaning" on everything that says "dry clean only." I haven't been to the dry cleaner in 2 years. You can find it at the grocery store and just follow the instructions on the container. (01/05/2007)

By Carla J. Sanders

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January 15, 20110 found this helpful

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 gayle from Rochester, NY

Answers:

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.
http://www.dryel.com/ (05/07/2009)

By Joy

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 Kay Johnson

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

I never dry clean clothes. If it is wool, I just use Woolite and wash by hand.

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May 7, 20090 found this helpful

I haven't had any clothes drycleaned for years (oh, I can hear some gasping, she must be dirty).

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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