I just started a new job and had to buy a bunch of nicer clothes. After I bought them, I realized that all the slacks say they are dry clean only. I don’t want to spend a fortune on a dry cleaners every week! Can I dry clean pants at home?
Bridget Watson, San Angelo TX
Don’t fret. You can actually wash most of your dry clean only clothes at home, though some, like expensive suits, you’ll want to bite the bullet and just take to the dry cleaners. We talk in detail about how dry cleaning works and how to care for your dry clean only clothes in this article: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-dry-clean-at-home/
Before washing any garment, always check to be sure that it doesn’t have any stains. For example, getting grease out of pants or your favorite shirt is important before washing and drying. The stain may set in if it is not removed. Apply some baby powder or cornstarch to the grease stain, let it sit, and brush away. Now you’re ready for washing.
You can use your washing machine for polyester, cotton, and linen clothing. Make sure to turn any dry clean only clothes inside out and put them in a delicates bag. Use the delicate cycle. If you have a front-loader, you are safe washing your dry clean only clothes. If you have an agitator in your machine, you’ll need to be more careful.
You can also make a detergent for hand washing clothes and carefully wash your clothing by hand. Use only mild detergent and mix the water well with the detergent before you add your clothes. You want to swish the fabric in the water and rub out any stains with your fingers. The key here is to always be gentle.
Whether you wash these clothes in the washing machine or by hand, you will want to lay them flat to dry. Use a towel to help soak up any excess water first and then just leave the garments alone while they dry.
If you don’t want to risk using water, you can buy DIY Cleaning Kits. They are usually less money than traditional dry cleaners, but you need to research the brands to ensure you choose a quality cleaner.
Good luck with your new job!