Like most people, you probably don’t think much about dry cleaning your clothes. But if you have any expensive or delicate garments, it’s essential to know how to care for them properly. Here are some tips from the professionals:

1. Know When to Dry Clean

Dry cleaning of most garments should be done regularly. The biggest reason for this is that when you wear a garment, it will absorb body oils and sweat, and may come into contact with foreign substances such as hair care products, body lotions and creams, and food and beverage spills.  If left untreated, these foreign substances can oxidize and turn a yellow/brown color over time.  This is not a stain, rather it is an actual color change. Once oxidation has occurred, the fabric is damaged and that yellowing cannot be removed.

2. Use a Garment Bag

A garment bag is a must for preventing your clothes from wrinkling and getting damaged while in transit. Plus, it’s an easy way to keep your dry cleaning all in one place. Garment bags made of breathable materials such as muslin or canvas are ideal.

3. Inspect Your Clothes Before Dry Cleaning

Before dropping your clothes off at the dry cleaning services, check for spots and stains, missing buttons, and potential problems. This way, you can point out any areas that need special attention.

4. Know What Not to Dry Clean

Dry cleaning is a hassle-free way to clean clothes, but not all of them. For example, delicate fabrics like silk and wool almost always need dry cleaning. Other fabrics like nylon and polyester may be able to be laundered at home instead. If you’re not sure whether an item can be dry cleaned, check the care label or ask a professional.

5. Be Careful With Deodorants and Perfumes

Deodorants and perfumes can leave behind stains, so it’s best to apply them before putting your clothes on. Let them dry first before wearing your clothes.

6. Remove Your Belts and Other Accessories

You should remove belts, jewelry, and other accessories before dry cleaning. These items can damage the fabric of your clothing during the cleaning process. You might lose or misplace them if you don’t take them off beforehand.

7. Empty Your Pockets

Make sure to empty your pockets before dry cleaning. Remove items like lint, tissues, and loose change. Not only can these items damage your clothes, but they can also end up ruining other garments.

8. Follow the Care Instructions

When in doubt, always follow the care instructions on your clothing labels. These guidelines are there for a reason, and they’ll help ensure proper care for your clothes.

9. Spot-Clean When Possible

In some cases, you may be able to get away with spot-cleaning instead of dry cleaning. Using a damp cloth and unflavored club soda, you may be able to remove the stain. However, it’s always best to err on caution and dry clean when in doubt.

10. Use a Lint Roller

After picking up your dry cleaning, go over each item with a lint roller. This will remove any dirt or dust the cleaners missed.

11. Remove Any Loose Threads

Before dry cleaning, take a look for any loose threads or fabric snippets. If the machine snags them during the dry cleaning process, it may damage your clothes. So, it’s best to remove them before taking your garments to the cleaners.

12. Be Careful With Hangers

When hanging up your dry cleaned clothes, be careful not to use wire hangers. These can damage the fabric and leave ‘puckers’ in the shoulders. Instead, when you receive your dry cleaning order back, transfer your garments to wooden hangers or padded hangers, and recycle your wire hangers back to your dry cleaner.

13. Let Your Clothes Breathe

Once you dry clean your clothes, it’s essential to let them air out. This will help remove any lingering chemicals or odors. Just keep them away from direct sunlight, as this can damage the fabric.

Bonus Tips: When Getting a Professional Dry Cleaning Service

1. Use a Reliable Dry Cleaner

When it comes to dry cleaning, you get what you pay for. So, it’s worth splurging on a quality dry cleaner that you can trust. Do some research and read reviews to find a reputable place in your area.

2. Be Careful With Delicate Fabrics

If you’re dry cleaning a delicate item, tell the professional beforehand. They’ll take special care of your clothing and use gentle chemicals to clean it. Additionally, they may hand-wash the garment instead of using a machine.

3. Prepare for the Cost

Dry cleaning can be pretty pricey, so prepare to shell out some cash. The cost will vary depending on the type of clothing, the length of the garment, and other factors.

4. Ask About Rush Services

If you need your clothes back ASAP, most dry cleaners offer rush services for an additional fee. This is usually a flat rate. So, if you’re in a bind, be sure to ask about rush services.

5. Take Advantage of Special Offers

Many dry cleaners offer discounts and specials, so be sure to take advantage of them. For example, some places offer “buy one get one free” deals on dry cleaning. Others may give you a discount if you bring in multiple items. Either way, it’s worth asking about any specials or deals available.

6. Store Your Clothes Properly

Once you’ve picked up your dry cleaning, it’s time to store it properly. Keep your clothes in a cool, dark place, and ensure they’re well-ventilated. This will help prevent molds, mildews, and other moisture problems.

7. Sign Up for Services Online

Most dry cleaners offer online services that can save you time and money. For example, some companies offer free pickup and delivery. Others may provide special offers for signing up for their membership program. Be sure to shop around and see what’s available in your area.

Following these tips, you can keep your dry cleaned clothes looking their best for longer. Additionally, you can avoid common mistakes that can damage your garments. So, keep these tips in mind the next time you need to dry clean your clothing.