How to Dry Clean Clothing At Home

While some clothing will need professional cleaning, there are certain fabrics that can be cleaned at home. Once you've familiarized yourself with the different kinds of clothing and stains that accompany them, you are set to take care of your dry cleaning issues in the comfort of your own laundry room. This article will give you some insight on how to dry clean properly.

Deciding on what Clothing can be Washed

You may not know this but you can dry clean more of your clothing than you think. Try reading the label or care instructions on your garment to see if you can do your dry cleaning at home.

  1. Knowing the Truth about "Dry-Clean Only." When manufacturers design clothing, they are required to label the fabric with one or more cleaning methods. You may see "dry-cleaning only" on your clothing label but that doesn't mean that you can't hand wash your garment. All it means is that you should be careful with the approach you take.

  2. What to Wash. Clothing, in most cases, that is unlined or made of natural / synthetic fibers can be hand-washed. In fact, they can be put in a washing machine and ran through a gentle cycle in cold water as well.

  3. Things you shouldn't Wash. Pleated Skirts, delicate synthetics and suits lose their shape when they come in contact with water. This issue makes these types of clothing a perfect candidate for dry cleaning.

Home Dry-Cleaning Kits

You can find these kits at drugstores and supermarkets as they are designed for home dry cleaning. It is used with standard dryers and will cost less than professional dry cleaning.

  1. How it Works: Spot treat the clothing with the pre-treater and then put the clothing and the dampened pad, along with the cleaning solution, into the dryer. The heat from the dryer will steam these two items, which minimizes wrinkles. Hang the garments up before the cycle end so the clothing doesn't wrinkle.

  2. Pros: Clean scent. Refreshed clothing. Eliminated Odors. Low Cost. Supplemental to dry cleaning.

  3. Cons: Kits will not rid clothing of all stubborn stains. Just because clothing comes out unwrinkled and soft, they will not be starched or pressed like they would be if they were professionally cleaned.


In order to dry clean clothes at home, and be successful at it, owning an appliance is your best bet to accomplish the mission. Short of having a live-in launderer, owning a dryer, steamer or other appliance will require a good investment. It will also lower the amount of trips you have to take to your local dry cleaner. Here are a few choices on the market:

  1. Steam Washers. Most water heaters in a home are set to 125 degrees but that temperature usually drops by the time water reaches your washer. When you have clothing that has oil or other hard stains, warm water will not cut it. Learning how to dry clean properly takes brains but it also takes elemental help, like hot water. A steam washer is designed to hit temperatures of 150 degrees, which helps break down those hard stains, like grease and grass. But this type of washer also cools the clothing to help prevent it from shrinkage.

  2. Steam Dryers. Blasting steam into your clothing while drying can help them smell like new and that is one of the main reasons people dry clean clothes professionally. It is important that you should launder your clothing first before steaming them.

  3. Portable Steamers. If ironing is not possible with some of your clothing, a portable steamer may be the answer. Many people will take their clothing to the dry cleaners just to have it steamed. This product is perfect for people who suffer from wrinkled clothing and just need a quick fix that only takes minutes.

How to Keep Clothing Clean

Dry cleaning at home for a week could mean saving plenty of money in professional cleaning expenses. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you will cut down on your dry cleaning bill and you just might keep your clothing around for a little longer as well.

  1. Keep the Toiletries Away. Don't apply hair products, perfumes, deodorants and scented sprays well before putting clothes on. This is so these items won't get transferred onto your clothing.

  2. Address any Stains Immediately. Make sure that any spill is taken care of right away. The sooner, the better. This will ensure that your home dry cleaning chores are easy and painless.

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