If you see the phrase “dry clean only” on one of your clothing items, you should follow it. This tag – most commonly found on silk, acetate, wool, velvet, and taffeta clothing – indicates the item will likely be damaged if you attempt to wash it in water. Dry cleaning uses chemical solvents, not water, to clean delicate natural and synthetic fibers. Dry cleaning helps prevent shrinking, distortion, changes in texture, loss of color, and other damage that can occur when delicate items go through the rough and tumble of a washing machine and dryer. Dry cleaning also dissolves grease and oil in a way water cannot, meaning this cleaning method can remove certain spills and stains that fail to come out in the wash. If you’re determined to wash dry clean clothing at home, follow these tips for the best results:

Test the colorfastness

Dampen a cotton swab with mild laundry detergent and dab it on a hidden seam. If any of the dye comes off, the clothing is not colorfast, and you should have it dry cleaned.

Test the detailing

Beading, sequins, and other details must be sewn on and colorfast to wash at home. If decorative items are glued on or any dye comes off when you perform the colorfast test, have this clothing item dry cleaned.

Hand wash particularly delicate items

You can often hand wash polyester, cotton, linen, cashmere, nylon, and acrylic clothing with “dry clean” on the tag. Fill a sink with mild detergent dissolved in cold water. Agitate the garment with your hands, allow it to soak for several minutes, and rinse it with cold water. Avoid wringing the water out, or you could stretch the fabric.

Carefully machine wash some items

You can also put polyester and other more durable “dry clean” garments in the washing machine. To minimize potential damage, turn the clothes inside out, place them in a mesh bag, use mild detergent, and run the delicate cycle.

Always skip the dryer

Whether you wash by hand or in the washer, never put dry clean clothes in the dryer because high heat is bound to damage delicate garments. Instead, squeeze (don’t twist or wring) any excess water from the clothing and hang or lay flat to dry.

Washing dry clean only clothing can ruin the garment, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and take it to a professional cleaner. Laundry Day Delivery has been in business for over 20 years serving the greater St. Petersburg area. When it comes to laundry, Laundry Day Delivery has got you covered! Clean clothes in 24 hours are just a text or phone call away (even the same day if requested)! Call us today at (727) 550-6531 or get in touch with us online. And please ‘Like’ us on Facebook!