Buying clothes becomes a difficult affair at times because some of the garments strictly require dry cleaning. Some buyers are not comfortable with the idea to send clothes for dry cleaning outside due to several reasons. One of the main reasons amongst these is the high cost involved in dry cleaning at the stores. But you need not worry because this article will familiarise you with simple DIYs to dry cleaning at home.
Though the term “dry clean” means a professional service, a few helpful tips and tricks can allow you to easily handle the task within your own premises without involving much cost and effort.
What is dry cleaning?
Dry cleaning is the process of cleaning the garment without using water. A chemical solvent is used in professional stores to dry clean the garment and remove dirt or stains on the cloth. The chemical solvent involved in the process is tetrachloroethylene or perchloroethylene which makes professional dry cleaning an expensive affair.
But the fact of the story is that delicate fabrics like wool, silk, lace require fragile handling and hand washing is highly recommended for the same. Not only does it save your garment but also the high cost involved for dry cleaning from the outside store.
How can you achieve similar results of dry cleaning at home?
The dry cleaning stores put the garments in a machine that has chemical solvent to clean the surface of the cloth. But the machine in the dry cleaning stores does not soak the garment like washers we have at home do in the water. Post washing with a solvent, the professional checks the fabric, steams it and irons the same before packing it in the plastic bag for delivery.
At home, the process can be a similar one too. You can use a chemical cleaner, heat and get the cloth steam pressed to get the best results.
Follow the simple tricks listed below to dry clean at home:
- Read the product label for washing instruction
The garments have a label that lists the wash care symbols. The clothes of wool, silk, or lace may have tags saying “dry clean only”, then sent to the professional dry cleaning store. But if the garments have tags saying” dry clean”, then these are safe for cleaning at home. Even linens and cotton having intricate embroideries are good candidates for home dry cleaning. Dry cleaning the garments increases their longevity.
A word of caution: Clothes made with fur, suede, and leather are not safe for home washing or home dry cleaning. These will require professional service and it is not advisable to try home remedies or DIYs for the same.
- Look for the condition of the cloth
Before indulging in the process of dry cleaning at home, look for the stains and condition of the garment in question. Home dry cleaning is effective on clothes that are less soiled because heavily stained clothes may fail to acquire professional results of dry cleaning at home.
- Stain remover to remove stains
Now, since you have identified the cloth and the stain, your next step is to get hold of the stain remover. You can find dry cleaning kits that can be purchased. These have specially designed bottles of stain remover that can be used for the purpose. Use the stain remover oil/solvent in a discreet place of the cloth for testing before using it in the desired spot. These solvents are flammable and hence should be used after properly reading the instructions.
- Place the cloth in the dry cleaning bag/mesh bag
The kit will have a dry cleaning bag or a mesh bag that needs to be used now. Place the garment in it. Don’t overcrowd the bag and do not put different coloured clothing together. Colour may bleed.
- Follow the instructions in the dry cleaning kit
Unfold the dry cleaning sheet in the kit and place it in the bag. The sheet contains little water, an emulsifier, and perfume to keep the garment fresh and fragrant. As the dryer will heat the steam, the sheet will do the job it is required to perform. Use the timed setting as per the kit and do not allow the garment to be in the dryer for a longer duration as it can damage the fabric.
- Remove the clothes from the bag
Now, remove the cloth from the bag and hand it in a hanger. Let’s get some fresh air and straighten out. If you are satisfied with the results, you can place them back inside the wardrobe.
- Iron your clothes
If you want to get the professional touch at home, iron it and then store it back in the wardrobe. The heating of the iron should be at the desired level to get the required results.
So, you are aware of the tips to dry clean at home. There is no need to rush to the dry cleaner for this purpose. But if the garments do require dry cleaning only, then dry cleaning at home is not a good idea. Moreover, leather and suede should never be dry cleaned at home.