Some garments should only be dry cleaned. While most dry cleaners do a fantastic job in removing stains, filth, and odours from our garments, trips to the dry cleaner can be expensive and unpleasant. Many sorts of clothing can be cleaned and refreshed at home for much less money.
When you take your clothes to the cleaners, they are placed in a machine with chemical solvents that clean the surface but do not penetrate the fibres like water does in a washer. Clothes are then steamed and pressed before being returned to you in that plastic bag. To accomplish similar effects at home, use a chemical stain remover, heat and steam from the dryer, and an iron or clothes steamer. Home dry cleaning solutions and kits are best utilised to refresh worn or lightly dirty items.
Before you begin dry cleaning
Always check the care label of the fabric. Different garments will require different cleaning methods. Carefully read any instructions before using the dry cleaning kit. You should also read the instructions of the kit to see if it is suitable for the particular fabric you are about to treat.
The keys to successful dry cleaning at home are gathering the correct supplies and equipment and knowing when to leave the task to the pros. Some fabrics and clothes should be kept from being washed or cleaned at home. They require skills and equipment that most of us do not have. To help you determine which items to dry clean at home and which to send to a professional, follow these guidelines:
Suitable garments for dry cleaning at home – jeans, unstructured jackets, sweaters, trousers, blouses, and unstructured skirts.
Garments that should be cleaned by a professional – structured or tailored jackets or suits, pleated skirts or shirts, beaded, sequined, or metallic garments, leather and natural fur coats, and heavily soiled items.
Dry cleaning clothing at home using a kit
- Inspect your clothes – Before using the dry cleaning kit on your garments, check them for any specific stains, holes, loose threads, etc.
- Pre-treat stains – Pretreat any obvious stains with the stain remover included in the kit. To handle difficult-to-remove stains, you can also purchase a dry cleaning solution separately. This procedure is especially critical for stains that are greasy, sticky, or painted. Dry cleaning solutions are flammable and can emit toxic fumes. Read the directions carefully and use the solvents with caution.
- Buttons and zippers – Make sure you button and zip everything. If the piece of clothing is not stained or visibly dirty but needs refreshing, turn it inside out.
- The dryer will do the work – If you’re using a kit with a dryer bag, fill it with similar fabrics (no heavy jeans with silk blouses), and don’t overstuff it. The fabrics require space to tumble freely. Put them in the dryer, if the kit does not have a bag. Don’t overstuff the dryer. The garments and the sheet require enough space to tumble around.
- Prevent wrinkles – Set a timer according to the kit’s instructions so you may remove the garments from the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished. Structured clothing should be hung on strong hangers. Place knitted goods on a horizontal drying rack. The items will be somewhat moist and must be air-dried to remove wrinkles.
- Steam and iron – If wrinkles remain, use a clothes steamer or an iron to eliminate them. The clothes steamer has the added benefit of assisting in the removal of strong odours. The steam blast will eliminate the microorganisms that generate them. Ironing is required to create crisp collars, cuffs, pleats, or lapels. To avoid burn marks, most fabrics should be treated with a pressing cloth on. Using an ironing board and a good steam iron will give you the best results.
Dry cleaning your clothes without a kit
These methods are suitable for some fabrics, however, you will proceed with them at your own risk. Make sure you do not attempt any of those with structured or pleated clothes.
- Steam clean in a dryer – If you do not have a steam cleaner, you can use your dryer. Put your garments inside along with a wet towel. Run a regular cycle on medium heat for about 30 minutes.
- Dry cleaning solutions – Dry cleaning fluid or solvent should only be used as a last option on oil-based stains on goods that should not be saturated. Commercial dry cleaners and carpet/upholstery cleaners utilise this sort of solvent, which is available at certain merchants and online. This sort of solvent is hazardous and should not be used in a washing machine or dryer. It must only be administered by hand with a white cotton cloth in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective gloves and a face mask to avoid inhaling the fumes. To use it safely, carefully read the packaging instructions.