Dry cleaning is a tad expensive and depending where we live, it can also be inaccessible. Many of us steer away from purchasing dry-clean only garments as it can be a nuisance, but it’s not always easy to avoid a piece we love. While it’s not recommended to wash dry-clean only clothing at home, it’s definitely possible with the right care. With some research on how to care for a particular fabric, you can teach yourself how to avoid the dry cleaners.

Dry-clean only clothes must be washed gently and whether using your machine or your hands, make sure to use a gentle laundry soap rather than detergent as it can cause damage. Stain removers can also be used, but should be gentle to use on all fabrics so it’s best to read labels carefully.  

If using your laundry machine, the key is to use a mesh bag and wash on a rapid delicate cycle. Mesh bags are great at protecting your garments, especially delicate pieces like lingerie. They prevent stretching and pulling that can happen in the machine whether from other clothing or from the drum itself. The quicker the wash cycle on the machine, the less agitation your garments will go through. 

There’s always the option to hand wash if you don’t necessarily trust your machine. Simply fill up a bucket or sink with warm water and laundry soap and leave the garment/s to soak for 20 minutes giving it some movement every 3 minutes. Then you can drain and repeat with cold water. 

Whichever way you wash, hang your garments to dry instead of using the dryer. As mentioned, washing your dry-clean only clothing does require research so make sure to read up on treating your fabric first. With the right care, you can save money on the dry cleaners and also treat yourself to garments you love without having to worry about the care label.