Deciding Whether to Wash or Dry Clean Your Clothes

Wash or Dry Clean Clothes

Deciding Whether to Wash or Dry Clean Your Clothes

In the past, it was more common for you to be able to toss most of your garments into the washer to get them clean and care for them in a way that allowed them to last as long as possible. At Stitch It, we’ve noticed that times have changed so that more and more items are “Dry Clean Only.” That being said, there are times when you can still hand wash “Dry Clean Only” items, or use a home dry cleaning kit. So which is it? Are you better off using a washing machine, or taking your clothes to a professional dry cleaner for the best results? Should you wash or dry clean your clothes?

Circumstances Matter

Even if you can toss a shirt or pair of pants in the washer, doing so might not be in your best interest. For instance, if there’s a stain on the clothing that you aren’t quite sure how to treat, you’re better off taking it to a professional dry cleaner rather than risk making the stain worse or ruining your clothes. There are also some materials, such as rayon, acetate and triacetate, that might be labeled as “cold wash only,” but still the fact remains that water can still lead to shrinking.

While washing and drying some fabrics is perfectly fine, you might run into trouble with ironing them. There are some pleats that are difficult to maintain on your own with an iron, and a professional dry cleaning service with a pressing machine and the right expertise is often better suited to take care of the job for you instead. Clothing items that are specially treated so they can better maintain their stiffness or finish are also better cared for by experts.

Special Materials

There are also certain types of material you don’t even want to attempt to care for on your own. The finishing oils contained in suede and leather can be worn away by water. Dyed material can bleed when water is applied to it, which is something you don’t want to find out the hard way when you toss dyed fabric in with a load of clothes.

With the way the fashion industry is constantly changing, you might encounter a type of material or fabric you aren’t familiar with. Rather than take a risk washing the garment on your own, do yourself and your wardrobe a favor and take it to a dry cleaner to find out how to care for it the right way.

Tips for Washing “Dry Clean Only” Clothes

If you learn you can wash select “Dry Clean Only” items, proceed with the right information in tow. For instance, wash the item by hand rather than put it in the washer, mainly because the spinning and agitation of the washer and dryer can cause problems. If handwashing isn’t good enough, opt for the gentle cycle. We also recommend washing the item by itself rather than with other items of clothing. Finally, cold water and a gentle detergent go a long way in minimizing a washer fiasco.

Still unsure whether you should dry clean or toss your clothes in the washer? Stitch It is here to answer your questions and take care of your clothes

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