Ever wondered if you actually need to dry clean “dry clean only” clothing? Well, you should know that those tags are actually more of a suggestion than a rule (phew!). And let’s be real…who even has the time to take their clothes to the dry cleaners when we can’t even wash our makeup brushes on a consistent basis? 

So how exactly should you approach all the clothes sitting in the “dry clean” pile? Ahead, you’ll find a few tips that might help you save a few trips (and some money) from the dry cleaners.

What stays home and what should be taken in? Rule of thumb: delicate fabrics like leather, velvet, fur, and suede should be treated by the pros. Wool, cotton, linen, polyester, silk, and cashmere garments are game for a DIY treatment. When treating these types of clothing, play it safe and try a “spot test” first. Drop some water and a tiny bit of detergent onto a hidden area of your garment. Rub the area with a cotton swab. If the cotton swab picks up any dye, you should take it in to be dry cleaned!

Can I machine wash? You’ll want to give your “dry clean only” garments a bit more TLC than the pieces you just toss in the wash, but it’s still pretty simple. Machine wash your garments inside out and on the coldest setting. Put them in their own load or with other delicates, and don’t use the dryer!

How do I hand wash clothes? This method takes a bit more time, but it’s recommended for fabrics like silk and cashmere as they’re more delicate. Fill up a clean sink with cold water and add a teaspoon of mild detergent. Mix the water with your hand until you see suds (if you need more detergent, add one teaspoon at a time). Put your garment in the soapy water and gently rub, focusing on soiled spots. Strain out the sink and fill it with clean water. Move your garment in and out of the water to get rid of the suds. Don’t wring your garment! Roll it up in a towel and lightly squeeze. You can do this a few times by moving the garment to dry areas of the towel until the fabric is no longer drenched. Finally, place your garment on a hanger to dry.

xx, The FabFitFun Team