Laundry Tips

Cut Your Dry-Cleaning Bills

Skip the chemical process and try these gentler, less expensive options.

By Tamara Frankfort

It's not your rigorous schedule that's turning your black suit a dull gray―it might be the dry cleaning.

  • If the label reads "Dry clean" (instead of "Dry clean only"), you can probably hand wash it with a mild soap, such as Woolite. (The Federal Trade Commission requires that a manufacturer specify at least one method of cleaning, so unstated alternatives will often work.) Run a test on a hidden seam first to see how the fabric reacts with the detergent.
  • Silk and rayon garments tend to hold up better when they're hand washed rather than dry-cleaned. Lay flat to dry, then, when the fabric is slightly damp, use a warm iron on the reverse side.
  • Most cashmere sweaters can be hand washed in cold water with a mild soap; lay flat to dry.
  • To remove odors or slight wrinkles―but not stains―try a dry-cleaning kit like Dryel.
Read More About:Laundry

Related Content

Organized kitchen cabinet

8 Smart Cleaning Techniques

Balance your cleaning efforts with these easy strategies to step up your game.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments

Quick Tip

Mythic Paint

Home stores and paint shops will often sell, for a fraction of the regular price, cans of paint that customers returned because the color was not quite right for them. Get more tips.