When you wear something formal, you want to look your best. Unfortunately, sometimes those outfits can be a little tricky to clean. If you don’t know how to clean formal wear properly, you could have a disaster on your hands.

The good news is that it’s not too difficult to learn how to do it properly. Your dry cleaning service can also assist you in cleaning your formal wear.

Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to get your clothes looking great in no time.

Check The Care Instructions

When it comes to dry cleaning, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, always check the care instructions on the garment. This will tell you whether the garment requires dry cleaning or hand washing.

Not all garments require dry cleaning, and there are fabrics that you cannot wash by hand. The labels will help ensure you bring the right clothes to the service.

Prep Formal Wear for Dry Cleaning

If the formal wear is suitable for dry cleaning, the next step is to prepare the clothes.

When you take your formal wear to the dry cleaner, it’s essential to prepare it properly. If you’re unsure how to do it, don’t worry – the dry cleaner will be happy to help. Here are the basic steps:


  • Remove metal objects, such as pins, belts, or zippers.
  • Check for stains or spots and treat them accordingly.
  • If there is any dirt or dust on the clothes, brush it off before taking them to the cleaners.
  • Wrap the clothes in a protective covering, such as a plastic bag or cloth sack.
  • Label the package with your name and contact information.
  • Drop it off at the dry cleaner’s office or store.


You can also ask if the service provides pick-up dry cleaning. This will remove the hassle of bringing the garments to the service yourself.

Spot-Clean Minor Stains

Before taking stains or spots to the dry cleaner, you can try removing them on your own. If the spot is small, try using a damp cloth to dab at it and see if that removes the stain. If the dabbing method doesn’t work, try using laundry detergent on a damp towel to clean the area. Be sure to test the detergent on an inconspicuous portion of the clothing first.

If you can’t remove the stain, take your dress to a dry cleaner as soon as possible. The dry cleaning service will have special solutions and techniques for removing stains from formal wear.

Bag Formal Wear for Drop-Off/Pick Up

Formal wear that needs dry cleaning must be bagged appropriately. Most dry cleaners offer pick up and drop-off dry cleaning services. You can also take these steps to ensure proper handling of your clothes.

For shirts, trousers, and skirts, use a garment bag. If the item doesn’t have a hanger, fold it in half so the front and back of the clothing are touching, then place it in the bag.

If you have a coat or jacket needing cleaning, remove the lining and place it in a separate plastic bag. This will help keep the coat’s shape.

For dresses and suits, use a box or suit carrier. This will help keep them from getting wrinkled.

Choose the Type of Cleaning

Dry cleaning services have different types of cleaning processes available. While all offer the conventional way of dry cleaning, there are alternative options that you may also want to try.

Conventional dry cleaning is the most frequent method. It involves using a solvent other than water to clean the garments. The most common form of dry cleaning, solvent cleaning, utilizes chemicals to remove soil and stains.

Green or organic dry cleaning is quickly becoming a mainstream option as well. This dry cleaning type uses less harsh solvents and more eco-friendly cleaning solutions.

Another option is the wet cleaning approach, which involves using a mild detergent and only a tiny amount of water. Wet cleaning is more efficient than the water used for hand-washing clothes. The wet washing process is safe to use on your best formal wear.

The Dry Cleaning Process

The following is the process the dry cleaning service will follow when they clean your formal wear:

  1. The dry cleaning staff will pick up your formal wear.
  2. The service will assign an identifying tag to the formal wear. It is easier for the dry cleaner to keep track of customers’ items when they have a tag.
  3. Once they receive the garments, the staff will visually inspect them to look for any noticeable stains, after which they will pre-treat them if necessary. The staff may use pretreatment chemicals. A special cloth covers the buttons and accessories to protect them from the chemicals.
  4. The staff places the formal wear in a dry cleaning machine. While the machine gently agitates the formal wear, they pump the solvent into it.
  5. Staff double-checks the formal wear for stains after dry cleaning. The seams, buttons, and trims are all examined as well.
  6. Depending on the fabric, the staff presses, steams, or irons the garments. As the last step, the service worker hangs the formal wear on the garment bag.
  7. On the return date, the service team will deliver the formal wear to your doorstep.

Store Formal Wear After Cleaning

After dry cleaning your formal wear, proper storage is key to keeping it looking its best:


  • Hang the garment on a sturdy hanger, such as a wooden hanger. Avoid using wire hangers, which can damage the fabric.
  • Make sure the garment is completely dry before storing it.
  • Store the garment in a cool, dark place, such as a closet or drawer.
  • If possible, avoid folding the garment; instead, hang it on a hanger.
  • If you must fold the garment, do so carefully, using gentle pressure and taking care not to crease the fabric.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, dry cleaning services are a great way to clean formal wear. The process is quick and easy, and the results are typically excellent. Also, don’t forget to sign up and avail of any membership offers to maximize each cleaning.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure your formal wear looks great every time you use it.