How To Dry-Clean These Laundry Fabrics At Home

Do you get frustrated when you need to dry-clean your laundry instead of just being able to throw it in the washing machine like you normally would? After all, dry cleaning can be expensive and inconvenient. The typical professional dry-cleaning experience costs between $25 and $50 for three to five items, and these expenses can add up fast if you frequently go to the dry cleaner for your delicate clothing items. Also, professional services may frustrate individuals who like to be in control and don't like other people touching their clothing without being able to watch the cleaning process. Or perhaps you just want to save time, and having to drive to the dry cleaners is a hassle. If so, there are a few ways you can dry-clean your delicate clothes from the comfort of your own home.

You should never put clothes meant to be dry-cleaned in a regular wash cycle — even when tempted — as you could damage your items. While extremely-delicate items that are labeled "dry clean only" may still need to be brought to the professionals, some fabrics you may want to dry-clean at home, which may be labeled "dry clean" or "dry clean recommended," include silk, leather, suede, velvet, wool, and denim. Washing these pieces in a certain wash cycle, by hand, or through spot-cleaning should do the trick. If these methods don't work, you could also use a steamer or a kit. Discover how to dry-clean these types of items at home.

How to clean delicate clothing items at home

One of the simpler ways to clean a delicate fabric is to place it in the washing machine on a delicate or gentle setting. It's typically best to use cold water, and it's also crucial to use a detergent that's specifically made for your fabric. Further, putting your items in a mesh bag can also help protect them. Another option is to spot-clean the item with a mixture of gentle detergent and water. All you have to do is blot that mixture where the clothing needs cleaning, carefully rinse those spots, and let it dry naturally. Spot-cleaning is ideal for any delicate fabrics but especially silk, leather, suede, and wool. 

Meanwhile, hand washing can clean the full garment and is great for silk, denim, and velvet, among other types of fabrics. To hand wash your items, have your tub ready with room-temperature water and put your solution in it. Next, turn your clothing inside out and let the clothes soak for between 15 and 20 minutes. Then, rinse the pieces with water, carefully squeeze and roll to get the water out of the garments, and let them air dry. Or, you may want to steam dry-clean-only clothes to extend freshness. When doing this, it's typically a good idea to cover the steamer's end with a fresh white sock to avoid any water stains. Further, never rush the steaming process — always be gentle and steady.

How to use a dry-cleaning kit

If these options don't appeal to you or you're worried about your specific item getting damaged, you may want to invest in a kit that gives your clothing the dry-cleaning experience at home. For instance, you could buy the highly-rated Dryel at-Home Dry Cleaner Starter Kit that can clean four loads of laundry for just over $25 at Walmart. Appropriate for outerwear, dresses, pants, tops, skirts, denim, and lingerie, many reviewers are happy with the kit, noting that it works well and is convenient. However, keep in mind that this kit cannot be used on silk, leather, suede, velvet, fur, or rayon items.

Believe it or not, the kit isn't complicated and involves your dryer. All you have to do is put your clothing in the bag that comes in the kit, put the wipe from the kit in the bag with your clothing, zip up the bag with everything in it, and put the full bag in your dryer for 15 to 30 minutes. You also may want to use the included booster spray to treat stains before putting the clothes into the bag. Of course, if you need your most luxurious piece of clothing to look 100% perfect for a crucial event, you might still want to visit a traditional dry cleaner. However, these alternative options are ideal for anyone who's tired of frequently paying for professional dry cleaning services.