Dryclean Only?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

To @MsGinkgo:  In all honesty, Rayon is one of the most unpredictable / hardest fabrics to care for… because it can “break down / change” if it is a more delicate composition for this synthetic

Technically if it says “Dry Clean Only” then that is what you should do.

If you are brave, and didn’t spend a lot on the item, then you can take the risk…

That being that the garment will most notably shrink, or change / break down

If you choose to risk it…

Cold Water – Hand Wash or LOW Agitation – No Spin – and Hang to Dry

Hope this helps (somewhat)


Post # 4
7292 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@MsGinkgo:  I would handwash them in the sink/bathtub. My curtains are dryclean only and I had one pair drycleaned after a guest spilt something on them and it pretty much ruined them. Now I just wash them in the bathtub on a very hot day and hang them to dry on the line outside. I woudl also not use too much soap/powder, maybe try something specifically designed for more delicate fabrics (wool/silk/linen)

Post # 5
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would not.  I’d personally only dryclean them.  But I’m paranoid like that.  My SIL swears its okay to wash dryclean only items on the gentle cycle, but I never would. I wouldn’t even handwash them. I feel like any water can change their size/shape and it just isn’t worth the risk. SIL lives with us and washed my nice interview suit pants in the washer and I FLIPPED out… turns out they were okay, so maybe I’m overly paranoid, but I’m still not changing my ways 🙂  Drycleaning isn’t that expensive for one item; I just wouldn’t risk it.

Post # 6
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

My grandmother worked at a dry cleaners after she retired… she said it was one of the biggest rackets of all time.

She said nothing actually needed to be dry cleaned, but you have to know how to clean them at home.  She said most things can just be run through the washer on the delicate cycle with mile soap like Woolite (spelling?).  Then there were some things you should just hand wash, or needed other special care but could be done at home.  Personally I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention because if I can’t at least throw it in the washer I’m not buying/wearing it.  But she quit dry cleaning her clothes and just cleaned them at home… she wore a lot of fancy “dry clean only” items.

I’d say do some serious Googling if you don’t want to bother dry cleaning them.  On the other hand having them dry cleaned could save you time at the expense of money… it’s all what matters to you!  Grandmother was very frugal and would spend three hours of her time to save five dollars even if money wasn’t an issue and she was making over twice that an hour at work.

Post # 8
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

To @MsGinkgo:  Ya, Rayon – Silk – Pure Wool / Cashmere (vs Washable Wool) are the 3 Fabrics I usually use the most caution with… and have to make a “judgement call” on… “How bad would it be / money lost… if I ruin this” before I skip out on the Drycleaners and launder them on my own.

If I’ve picked up say a pretty Rayon Blouse on sale for very little money then I’m willing to take the risk.  BUT if it is a Cashmere Sweater, or something Silk, and cost a lot, then not so much… those things usually end up at the Drycleaners.

Call it live & learn I guess… when I was first starting out as a Married Woman & with my Career, I made a good deal of “costly” mistakes when it came to clothing care.  (ie some silk cannot handle water at all).  Now I make a point of reading labels BEFORE I buy anything and making the “judgement call” BEFORE I lay out the money upfront for the purchase… “How will I clean this item ?  If Dryclean Only, is it worth it … the cost over the lifetime of the item etc”


@loving_life:  & @MrsTangerine: – As I said here above, most Drycleanables are actually handwashable…  Rayon is the most unpredictable of the lot tho I find (some comes out fine in the wash, while others end up ruined).

In the end, it all comes down to the risk you are willing to take.  And reading labels is key

I agree with Gramma, a lot of money can be saved if you know what you are doing. 

I still tho weigh the cost of drycleaning against ruining the item too, and if the item is super expensive to begin with, then I just bite the bullet and dryclean it every time.  For peace of mind.

The only stuff I send out for professional cleaning now is Rayon, Silk & Wool… and of course Suede, Leather & Fur if they require it.  NONE of which my wardrobe has a ton of BTW.  Just a few well loved pieces.

Lol, but like I said, I now read labels BEFORE I buy, so more often than not if an item requires a lot of fussy maintenance I’m not going to buy it.


Post # 9
11626 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Read the tag and follow the directions – that’s your best bet!

Post # 10
4513 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

There is some product you can buy where you basically dry clean your own clothes. I can’t remember the name of it, but its basically the same stuff the drycleaner uses and I’ve heard great things from a couple of my friends that have used it. I think Bounce makes a version of it…

Personally I either follow the instructions and dryclean the item or I just take my chances and hand wash it with some woolite.

Post # 12
1349 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@MsGinkgo:  I usually gently wash my dry clean only stuff!!

Post # 13
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Reminds me of that great Mitch Hedberg joke:  “This shirt is dry-clean only – which means it’s dirty.”


Post # 14
2209 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MsGinkgo:   Rayon is very delicate when wet, which is probably why it says dry clean only.  The care label says that so they can cover their asses; not because you really can’t clean them at home.

I have two degrees in fashion design, which included a textile sciences class, and if they were my pants, I would wash them at home.  No hestitation.  Especially since they are a rayon blend and not 100% rayon.  That being said, I would never take something 100% rayon to the dry cleaner, either.  Just not my thing.

If you want to be really safe, handwash cold to lukewarm and then lay flat to dry (roll up in a towel to get excess water out, don’t wring), or you can be wild and crazy and gentle machine wash them (cold) and then lay flat to dry.  If you decide to machine wash and want a bit more insurance, pop them in one of those mesh lingerie bags.

The common denominator:  lay them flat to dry.  Wet rayon can easily get distorted by gravity, so hang drying them isn’t a good idea.

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