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  • Writer's pictureCraig's Dry Cleaners

4 Reasons to Not Wash Dry Clean Only Items at Home


How to Wash Dry Clean Only Clothes

Washing Dry Clean Only textiles at home can be tempting and are often thought of as a way to save money. While you may find DIY tips and advice online for washing Dry Clean Only items at home, it can often end up being a costly mistake instead of saving you money. Some items, such as items with solid colors or cottons, may come out unharmed by handwashing or using a home washing machine. However, for most Dry Clean Only garments and textiles, it is best to follow their labels. The care labels found on your clothing, curtains, and bedding are there for more than just looks. It is essential to follow those instructions for the extending the life and integrity of your items. The Federal Trade Commission requires manufacturers to attach these labels to give consumers information about cleaning their garments without damaging them.

While some labels that say "Dry Cleaning Recommended” or “For Best Results, Dry Clean" can usually be washed safely at home, for labels that say "Dry Clean Only", don't risk washing those items yourself. Sending these items to a professional dry cleaner is a must to reduce the risk of ruining or destroying your garments or household items.

There are several reasons to not wash your Dry Clean Only items at home, here are the top four.


Accidental Shrinking

Without following proper washing and care of your items, it can significantly shrink their sizes. Some garments can shrink more than 2-3 times their original size, and drapes could be reduced to as much as half. One time using a home washing machine for Dry Clean Only items could be the last time you'll be able to use it.


Undesirable Fading or Fabric Pilling

For certain fabrics, such as silk, the dyes can easily bleed, ruining your garment's appearance with one wrong wash. Dry cleaning is a much more gentle cleaning process that reduces the risk of bleeding or fading colors.

Fabric pilling is another struggle for items not washed or cared for properly. The little fabric balls take away from a sweater's soft and sleek appearance. The slower and careful dry cleaning process reduces the risk for pilling, and if it does occur, your dry cleaner will know the best way to remove those unsightly fabric balls safely.


Reduce the Material's Longevity

As the opposite of shrinking, neglected garments can become stretched out of shape. Washing delicate items using unrecommended methods also greatly increases the chances of tearing the fabric or lining of your items or completely changing their textures. The material's longevity can be compromised when not following proper care instructions. For garments or curtains adorned with beads, sequins, or lace, home washing could destroy these additions to the textiles. Since dry cleaning is a more gentle process and professionals cleaners understand how to wash items with such delicate trimmings safely, you'll be able to enjoy your items for longer.


Stubborn Stains Remain

Although some items may survive home washing without any battle scars, difficult stains may still be present after taking them out of the wash. Professional dry cleaners have specialized methods for removing even the most stubborn stains with ease. They are stain removal experts that can bring your stained item back to its like-new state.


While washing Dry Clean Only textiles at home may not cause damage, why risk it when your local dry cleaner is only a phone call away? Following your garment's care label is necessary for long-lasting items that look their best. If you're ever in doubt about the proper care for your clothing or household items or don't understand an icon on your care label, contact us to learn about the best cleaning method.



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