Can I machine wash “Dry Clean Only” clothes?
If you have and item that says ‘Dry Clean Only,‘ what happens if you decide to put it in your washer instead? Will it hurt the item?
Sometimes if you machine wash dry clean only clothing, you won’t be able to wear it again due to damage in the fabric, stretching, or shrinking. It’s a risk, and you should be prepared to hazard the risk if you toss such clothing in the washing machine.
If you’re considering the attempt to machine wash dry clean only clothing, you might want to pay attention to what type of fabric you’ll be washing. Wool is notorious for shrinking, and you might look instead for garments that are washable wool, which are now available with greater frequency. Materials like rayon and linen may also recommend dry cleaning, but they may survive a cold-water wash on a gentle cycle.
You can look at the label too, for ideas as to whether something will wash well. If the care label says, “Dry cleaning suggested,” instead of “Dry clean only,” this usually means you can wash the garment. Use cold water, mild detergent or soap, and a gentle cycle, and do not dry such clothing in the dryer. Instead hang it up so it can air dry.
You should not machine wash dry clean only clothing of certain types. Fabrics with very delicate lace, beading, or special creases, stitching, or ruching probably won’t survive your washing machine.
What is Ruching?
Ruching is a sewing technique in which fabric or ribbon is gathered in a repeat pattern to form scallops or petals. It has been used for many years to decorate women’s clothing, accessories and quilts. Because of its uniformity, some historians believe that ancient seamstresses used an implement to evenly space the ruching, or gathering.
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