Being smart about laundering and dry-cleaning your clothes will go a long way toward making them last a long time. It will save you time and unnecessary expense, too.
How to avoid getting taken to the cleaners
Sometimes we pay someone else to clean our clothes. But take care: Just because you’re paying doesn’t mean that it will be done right. Before you head out to the cleaners with that pile of clothes, take these ideas into account.
- Look at the label. Clothes with labels that say “dry clean only” should go to the dry cleaners. But if the label just says “dry clean,” then test to see if you can hand-wash the item first. Dab a little water on an unseen part of the garment. If you see colours run, then off to the cleaners you go. If not, you can wash it by hand, saving money and the wear and tear on your garment caused by dry-cleaning chemicals.
- Keep sets of clothes together. Dry-clean both parts of a suit or both parts of a dress and matching jacket at the same time. If you don’t, your pieces will end up becoming different colours, as one will fade a bit and the other will stay closer to the original colour.
- Remove clothes from wire hangers. When you get your newly dry-cleaned garments home, take them off the wire hangers, which can rust and stain clothing. Replace them with plastic hangers. However, if your cleaner has stuffed the sleeves with paper, leave it there — it will keep the garment in shape until you wear it.
- Compare prices. Some dry cleaners will charge more to dry-clean women’s suits, pants, or jackets than to dry-clean the same articles of men’s clothing. Not all cleaners follow this rule though, so be sure to shop around.