The shocking truth about clothes that say "dry clean only"

Clothing label How many full dry cleaning bags do you fill in one year? What if I tell you that you don't need to have many of those clothes sent to the cleaner, would you believe me?

Get ready for good news because, from today on, you will save on your family budget with what you are about to find out... Check it out: not all clothes that say "dry clean" need that type of treatment... They have us fooled for a long time.


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Although the garment says dry cleaning, it's not always necessary, because the manufacturer only includes the method they consider most appropriate for each item, not the only one you can do.

Moreover, the United States Federal Trade Commission requires manufacturers to include only one safe method for garment care and they almost always choose the more conservative one... you guessed it! The dry cleaning method.

Sure you want to know what clothes you should or should not send to the cleaners, especially those that tell you to do so. Real Simple magazine, specializing in home and family care, suggests that woolen, velvet or acetate garments be sent to the cleaners. But if you have an item that's polyester, cotton or even cashmere, then wash it at home, either by hand or using the delicate cycle on your washing machine.

You really have to use common sense; there are even cotton items that need to be dry cleaned so they don't shrink and there are polyester items that fresh out of the dryer become a static magnet. Just be alert and experiment.

Oh! and to give your clothes a longer life span, Martha Stewart recommends applying your perfume, deodorant and hair spray before you get dressed, that way you won't soak the fabric with any chemical. As soon as you see a spot clean it immediately and if you can, give your garments enough breathing space in your closet. 

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: tips  saving money