Dry Cleaning Tips
Dry Clean Only ?
Don’t try it at home.
If an item is labeled “dry clean only,” there’s a good reason for it. Don’t put anything in your washing machine that doesn’t belong there it could shrink or become discolored, and the agitation from the machine will wear out the fabric faster. Don’t try to remove stains on dry clean items either; professional dry cleaners know how to treat them based on the fabric and the stain.
Keep up with regular cleanings.
Regular dry cleaning will actually help your clothes last longer. Solid materials left behind after perspiration evaporates can be especially damaging to the life of a garment, as can store them without cleaning first to remove visible and invisible food and beverage stains that attract insects.
Clean suits and formal dresses every 2-3 wearings to prevent dirt and oil buildup that can corrode the material. In between cleanings, hanging clothes near the steam from a shower will help refresh them and allow them to keep their shape longer. Let your dry cleaner know about stains before having them cleaned. Do not try to remove stains yourself. Blot spills without rubbing and take to the cleaners as soon as possible. Attempting to remove stains from some fabrics, like silks, can cause permanent damage.
Clean before storing.
Stains from seemingly clear substances like body oils, perspiration, white wine and sugary substances may not appear for some time. Once these have a chance to oxidize, they may show up as light brown or yellow splotches that are difficult to remove. Before putting away seasonal items for long-term storage, have them dry cleaned. Dry cleaning to remove visible and invisible stains before insects find them is important to prevent unexpected surprises a few months down the road.
Use wide, padded hangers for delicate fabrics so the material of the shoulders doesn’t stretch or wear out. Don’t cut hanger straps out of tops and dresses-use them to reduce stress on the rest of the garment. Hang suit jackets on wide wooden hangers to help them keep their shape. And give things room to breathe in your closet they can touch, but don’t cram them in.
Don’t use plastic.
Do not store clothing in plastic garment bags. The plastic breaks down over time and can interact with the fabric, which can weaken it or change the color. Plastic can also trap in humidity that can lead to mildew damage. Garments need to be able to breathe, so wrap them in plain cotton sheets or a cloth garment bag to keep them safe.