Inside: Tired of paying to dry clean clothes? Learn simple tips for dry cleaning at home. You can easily wash dry clean clothing at home and save yourself some money.
Do you ever find that perfect sweater or pants on sale, only to realize it is dry clean only?
I used to pass on clothes that were dry clean only because I didn't want to spend the money having them cleaned at the dry cleaners. Not only is it expensive to dry clean, but it also takes time to take them to the dry cleaner and pick them back up.
But if you don't want to spend your time or money at the dry cleaners there is an easier way.
Plenty of fabrics that are marked as dry clean only can be cleaned at home in your washer. Dry cleaning at home is easy if you know a few tricks! Check out my tips below to wash your dry clean clothes at home.
How To Wash Dry Clean Clothes At Home
If your dry clean only items are cottons, polyesters, and linens they can usually be washed at home.
Obviously, items like leather, suede, and furs still need to be cleaned at the dry cleaners. All of my scarves are dry clean only, however, I just wash them at home.
I also wash wool pants at home too instead of paying for the dry cleaners.
Spot Treat Your Clothes
You need to start by spot treating the fabric. If you have any stains you will want to make sure you spot treat them before you wash the clothes.
Resolve is my favorite spot treatment to use. Just spray a little on the spot and gently rub until the spot is gone.
You can also easily make your own DIY Stain Remover.
Put Delicates In A Bag
If the item is very delicate or prone to snagging I recommend using a laundry wash bag. You can pick one up for just a couple of dollars.
They work really well for washing any delicate items or they are also great to wash bras.
The laundry bag will still let the garment get cleaned, but it will make sure it doesn't get snagged on something or caught on anything in your washing machine.
Washing the Dry Cleaning At Home
To wash the clothes I recommend you start the laundry cycle on delicate/gentle and choose the cold setting. If you use warm water you may cause shrinking with the clothes.
Add the correct amount of laundry detergent based on the load size.
I highly recommend using Woolite for Delicates detergent. It is specially made to help protect all of the fibers in the fabric to prevent stretching, regular laundry detergent doesn't do that.
If you don't use Woolite I would at least use a laundry detergent made especially for delicates. Just check at the store or on Amazon for a detergent that is made for delicates.
Once the washing machine is full of water and has started the cycle you can then add the laundry and let the load run as usual.
Tired of laundry stains?
Get the free laundry stain removal printable!
Drying Your Dry Clean Clothing at Home
When the cycle is completely finished remove the laundry and lay the clothes flat out to air dry.
You can lay it on a dry towel and make sure to shape it so it doesn't dry out of shape.
If the fabric feels a bit stiff after air drying you can put it in the dryer on delicate or air fluff for about 3-5 minutes.
Make sure you keep a close eye on the laundry so it doesn't get torn in the dryer. Drying it even on air fluff will help to relax the fabric. You can also dry your clothes in the laundry bag if you want to make sure they don't get snagged.
It is so much easier to do dry cleaning at home than it is to run the clothes to the dry cleaner. Plus, I am saving money by doing it myself.
Do you have all of your clothes dry cleaned or do you have a way to wash dry cleaning at home? I would love to hear. Want more laundry tips and tricks? Check out how to get blood stains out of sheets.
Lydia @ Thrifty Frugal Mom says
Interesting! I wonder how I'd do this in my top-loading washer that is like a front-loader? The lid locks as soon as I start the cycle meaning I can't open it once the load is started. I just typically avoid dry clean only items but it annoys me if I find something I really love!
Sharon Breese says
My top-loader also locks, but I can pause it to open and add items, then restart.
Now I know what to do with all the scarves in our house. I actually have one of those bags tucked away. Good tips! Stopping by from Small Victories Sunday linkup.
Thanks for stopping by!
April G says
Thanks. I have accidentally washed dry clean clothing because I have put it on the side and someone tossed it in trying to be "helpful". As you probably know, the results weren't so good. I now know what to do with them. Stopping by from Small Victories Sunday.
I have lost a couple of sweaters from the hubs trying to be helpful. 🙂 Hopefully you will have better luck this time!
Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says
Great tips. I never dry clean my clothes and usually buy them on accident. Thanks for sharing so I can actually use my dry clean only clothes. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup and hope you join us again this weekend! Pinning to our linkup board.
Great tips. I have washed some of my dry cleaner clothes before and they came out ok. I will be doing what you said in the future. I've pinned. Stopping by from Small Victories Sunday Linkup
Thanks for stopping by!
[email protected] My Overflowing Cup says
I just picked up a "dry clean only" dress at a thrift store, but heading to the cleaners isn't an option as I live in a very small town that doesn't even have one. I have a front loader so I can't add my clothes in later as you suggested. I'm going to try gently hand washing and letting it hang dry. Thanks so much for the tip, though. I love it when people think outside of the box in an effort to save both money and time!
My mom would often had wash dry clean clothing. Hopefully you will have good luck.
Thank you for the great information. I have a pair of linen pants that are dry clean only. I have washed a linen blouse in hot water and dried in hot dryer hoping it would shrink. It didn't shrink a bit, but sure if I hadn't wanted it to, I am sure it would have.
It always happens that way doesn't it?
I have a few silk shirts, will this method work for silk as well?
Thank you in advance
I have used it before on silk items without a problem. I would recommend testing it on one and seeing what you think. I hope that helps.
Louise Cook says
Im in the U.K and here we all have front loading machines so i wouldnt be able to stop the cycle to put the items in, could i put the items in then start a hand wash cycle , would it harm the clothes and scarves ?
I am not sure, I haven't tried it on a front loading machine. Maybe try it first on an item that you don't care as much if it gets ruined?