“Dry-Clean Only.” the phrase that sometimes is the make or break when we purchase new clothes because it adds so much cost to the purchase. Instead of leaving it at the store, bring your new favorite item of clothing home with you by following some of these ideas that may make you reconsider laundering at home.
Check the Material
Start by figuring out what type of material you’re working with. Most store-purchased clothing items are colorfast, but it’s always smart to do a quick test to double-check hues won’t fade or bleed before hand washing ( a little water and soap does the trick on a hidden area). It’s also a good idea to spot treat with a gentle stain remover before giving a gentle cleaning.
How to Hand Wash
After you know what type of material you’re working with, you can safely hand wash these items at home:
- Cashmere: Your lovely cashmere sweaters can be hand washed with warm water and a gentle cleaner. Hand wash in warm water, then dip in fresh cold water until the clothing item is free of soap. Cover a countertop with a soft, dry towel and lay the cashmere item flat to air-dry. Avoid wringing, rolling, or hanging, which will stretch the material.
- Wool: Just like cashmere items, wool clothing can be hand washed, or machine washed on gentle in cold water for a cleaning when needed. Just like washing cashmere, lay flat and avoid hanging or wringing.
- Leather: Use a damp cloth to clean jackets or pants, but avoid being too aggressive while cleaning, which can damage the surface.
- Silk: Silk is a hard material to colorfast, so you might experience some fading while hand washing. Wash with a mild, natural soap, such as castile soap, in room-temperature water. Let the item soak for a few minutes and then lightly agitate with hands. Rinse with clean water, then hang dry on a padded hanger.Try an At-Home Dry-Cleaning Kit
If you’re still concerned about actually dunking your beloved clothing item in water, you can pick up a dry-cleaning kit ($20) that works with items that have linings, like business suits and velvet jackets. Follow the directions, and you’re on your way to refreshed clothes.
BOTTOM LINE: The drycleaner still has its purpose, but with a little effort, you can get many of your dry clean only items laundered at home on the cheap!!
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