I Tried This $10 Home Dry Cleaning Kit—Here's What Happened
Spoiler alert: It's the perfect solution to saving time and money on dry cleaning.
Dry cleaning is the one expense that I’ve always considered unavoidable. I’m just not typically willing to put my clothes at risk by trying to figure something out at home. That said, it’s expensive. I spend at least $30 a month if I’m taking my clothes as often as I should. I also find it so inconvenient—I’ve been ready for work with my perfect outfit in mind many times before realizing the blouse I want is at the cleaners. Don’t even get me started about what a time waster it is to drop it off and pick it up. I’ve honestly left my clothes sitting at the dry cleaners for a few extra days just to avoid the chore of carrying it all home, especially during the New York City winters!
So, when I ran across the $10 Dryel home dry cleaning kit, my curiosity was piqued.
While cutting corners when it comes to clothing (especially expensive clothing) still makes me nervous, I figured it was worth the potential money saved if the kit worked. To be safe, I started with some blouses and t-shirts that I was fairly confident couldn’t be messed up. Then, I did the unthinkable (for me, at least): I used the kit with a silk blouse and a dress that has a silk liner with a delicate overlay. The results? Even when washing different fabrics, this home dry cleaning kit worked like a charm.
Here’s how it works: You start with the included stain removing pen. Much like a Tide pen, it’s a squeeze dispenser that disperses a small amount of cleaning liquid. The packaging instructs you to use the pen’s rubber tip like an eraser on the stain. (I tried it on a cotton t-shirt that had a ketchup stain, as well as a polyester blouse that had a grease stain—and both came out of the dryer completely clean.)
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The next step in the kit is an odor and wrinkle release spray, which should be used to target areas where odors arise. The spray is in a smaller bottle, but I would estimate that there’s enough liquid for 10 to 15 washes. It smells light and fresh, but it’s not overwhelming.
After using the pen and the spray, you drop up to five pieces of clothing in a reusable bag, which is included in the kit. In addition to the clothes, the kit comes with four dryer sheets that look and feel like larger wet wipes. These sheets are meant to create steam inside the bag once it’s zipped shut and placed in the dryer, which the box instructs you to do for up to 30 minutes.
The results? By just looking at my clothes, you wouldn’t know that they weren’t professionally cleaned. They smelled, felt, and looked great. I left the first batch of clothes in the dryer for about 15 minutes and the next batch, which contained the dress and the silk blouse, in there for about 20 minutes. The kit instructs you to leave items in the dryer for 15 to 30 minutes. While they were a little wrinkled, they smelled fresh and clean and the stains were completely removed. I was still a little worried about shrinkage, especially in the cotton t-shirt, but it didn’t impact any of the items’ sizes at all.
My only critique is that the refill kits are $10 and come with the spray, the pen, and the dryer sheets, but I think you’d really only need more sheets. The pen and the spray bottle come with much more product than I could imagine using on just four loads of laundry. But if that’s the (much smaller!) price I have to pay to dodge the dry cleaners, so be it.
The kit is also very small and would be perfect for traveling. While I still wouldn’t trust super delicate or vintage pieces—more because of the roughness of the dryer than the quality of the kit—I will definitely be implementing this into my laundry routine.