5 Things You Should Always Dry Clean (And 5 Things You Can Wash at Home)

From that delicate silk blouse to your favourite pair of jeans—find out which items to take to the dry cleaners and what to wash at home.

1 / 10
woman blouse hangs on a hanger
ben bryant/Shutterstock

Should you wash or dry clean silk clothing?

Clothing made from 100% silk will last you a lifetime if cared for properly. While some silk can be hand washed, dry cleaning is the safer option to ensure your garment does not change colour or lose its lustre. Particular silks that should always be dry cleaned include dark or bright colours, printed silks or lined items.

Verdict: Dry clean only.

2 / 10
Sequin dress detail , Girl holding the hemline of her glamour sequin dress

Should you wash or dry clean sequined and embellished items?

That beautiful holiday dress covered in sequins most likely needs to be taken to a professional cleaner. Details like beading, sequins and other embellishments can easily come undone and fall off the garment if thrown in the washer at home. Keep your sparkles intact by paying for dry cleaning instead.

Verdict: Dry clean only.

Find out more dollar-stretching tips to make your stuff last longer.

3 / 10
Collection of leather jackets on hangers in the shop.

Should you wash or dry clean leather?

Keep your leather jacket looking sharp by taking it to the cleaners. Professional cleaning will get out the tough stains without cracking or shrinking the leather.

Verdict: Dry clean only.

These brilliant laundry hacks make washing your clothes less of a chore.

4 / 10
Business man cleaning his suit with adhesive lint roller on white background

Should you wash or dry clean suits?

Suits should always be taken to the dry cleaner. Professional dry cleaners have the right techniques to handle a suit’s special requirements and maintain the shape and fit. Take your suit to the cleaners about once a week to keep it crisp and extend its overall lifetime.

Verdict: Dry clean only.

Next, find out if it’s better to steam or iron your clothes.

5 / 10
Sleeve of blue velvet dress in female hand. Fashionable concept

Should you wash or dry clean velvet?

Velvet is soft, luxurious—and a little high-maintenance. The special fibres in velvet will likely be damaged with at-home washing. Bring velvet items to the dry cleaner to ensure the soft texture and shape of the garment is preserved.

Verdict: Dry clean only.

This trick can help whiten your laundry without bleach.

6 / 10
Beautiful, luxurious, knitted cardigan in pink, autumn, winter, warm.

Should you wash or dry clean cashmere?

Expensive cashmere seems like a fabric that would require dry cleaning, but in fact, the harsh chemicals used by professional cleaners can damage the natural fibres. Instead, hand-wash your cashmere clothing in cold water, and use a mild detergent or cashmere shampoo.

Verdict: Wash at home.

Find out the surprising ways you’re shortening the life of your washer and dryer.

7 / 10
blue striped button down shirt, macro shot

Should you wash or dry clean cotton clothing?

Luckily most clothing can be washed at home, including all of your cottons. First, spot treat stains, then wash in cold or warm water to avoid shrinkage and colour fading. However, cotton underwear, socks and bedding should be washed with hot water to help remove bacteria.

Verdict: Wash at home.

Use these easy solutions to get rid of sweat stains.

8 / 10
Pile of knitted winter clothes on wooden background, sweaters, knitwear
Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock

Should you wash or dry clean wool?

Most wool clothing can be hand-washed at home. Use cold water and a mild detergent, and don’t wring or twist while washing to avoid damaging the fit. Reshape and lay the garment to dry on a towel or a sweater drying rack.

Verdict: Wash at home.

Read more about how to boost your laundry detergent.

9 / 10
woman in fashionable ripped Jeans
sangkhom sangkakam/Shutterstock

Should you wash or dry clean denim?

Your denim jeans and jacket go in the washer. For best results, turn the denim inside out and wash in cold water. Do not put your denim in the dryer, which can cause damage to the fabric over time. Lay flat to dry to ensure your favorite jeans last as long as possible. When you’re ready to tuck them away in the closet, why not use this genius Marie Kondo folding technique.

Verdict: Wash at home.

Find out more things you never knew you could put in the washing machine.

10 / 10
synthetic fabric,fabric different
viktoriia borovska/Shutterstock

Should you wash or dry clean synthetics?

Clothing made from synthetic fabrics like acrylic, polyester and nylon can be washed at home. Hand-wash or use your washer’s delicate setting—just be sure to wash with cold water. Too much heat and agitation can damage or even melt synthetic fabrics.

Verdict: Wash at home.

Next, discover the clothing care tips dry cleaners don’t want you to know.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

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