How To Prepare Your Clothes For Dry Cleaning
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So you have decided that you have a number of clothing items that need dry cleaning, lets take a look at when you should have items dry cleaned and what you can do to prepare dirty items for the dry cleaning process.

First, read the clothing label. Items with tags that say "dry clean only" should always go to a professional dry cleaner. Machine or hand washing these items may damage the fabric, wash out the colour or fit of the item. A care label that says "dry clean" means that dry cleaning is recommended and you might be able to wash the item at home. Before you wash the item, check that the fabric is colorfast. Dab a little water on an inconspicuous spot. If any dye comes off, take it to be dry-cleaned; the color is likely to run and damage the item.

Clothing that is lined (such as jackets or coats), pleated skirts, and garments made of fabric that shrinks or is not colorfast should be professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning will help maintain the correct garment shape and fit. Cleaners have techniques suited to the varying requirements of lined and pleated garments and are capable of handling fabrics' special care needs.

Garments made of taffeta, silk, wool, velvet, acetate, and fabric blends that include rayon, silk, and wool should be professionally dry-cleaned unless the care label says differently. Garments made of suede or leather also should be dry-cleaned. Their special fibers, textures, and shaping do not fare well with at-home care.

Stained clothes should be taken to the dry cleaner as soon as possible to avoid setting stains and odors. A stain that's a couple of days old will have a better chance of being successfully removed than one that's more than a week old. Don't pretreat stains at home. The solvents used by dry cleaners are made to treat specific stains and may be better at tackling the problem.

Dry cleaning in moderation will help lengthen the life of garments. You can wear wool sweaters and skirts up to six times before having them cleaned. A wool suit should be cleaned once or twice a year.

Remove everything from the pockets of all of your clothing. Items such as gum and makeup can damage your clothing as well as other customers' clothing that is in the same load.

Make stains easy to find by putting pins or tape on or near the stain. Prepare a list of stain origins if you can. Such a list will eliminate guesswork when it comes to identifying a stain and deciding on a stain-removal process.

Dry-clean the separates of an outfit, such as a suit, at the same time. This will keep your pieces from fading at different rates.

Explain to the dry cleaner what specific services you want, and mention other concerns you may have, such as loose buttons or broken zippers.


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