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Can I machine wash “Dry Clean Only” clothes?

Pat Asked:
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?

We Found:
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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Posted by on 02/10 at 11:58 AM
No comments for you.

I washed my bedroom curtains without reading the directions. When I hung them back up, they were a lot shorter than before. When I read the instructions it said DRY CLEAN ONLY. It was a very
costly mistake—-one I won’t make again.

Posted by JAC0909  on  02/10  at  02:39 PM

depends on the item. sweaters can usually be washed in cold water on a very short delicate cycle. then place flat on a towel to dry. you need to stretch it back out to size while wet and periodically while drying.
the curtains - probably rayon and shrank in the dryer. synthetics will do that.
all the fuzz work - wash in cold, really you just soak for 15 mins. - press out the wash, don’t wring, soak again to rinse, press out excess water and dry flat on a towel.
the scary things are suit coats. due to how they’re cut, you’re taking a huge risk. dry clean them. suit pants - follow sweater directions.

Posted by bh  on  02/12  at  07:51 AM
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