Before you drop your clothes into the wash, do you ask yourself, “should I have that dry cleaned?” Clothing is expensive and you probably don’t want to risk ruining something you spent a lot of money on. So, before you go dropping it into the washing machine, here are some tips on how to know if you should be taking your clothes to the dry cleaner or not.
Look at the Label
The first place you should be looking for answers is the label. Most quality clothing will have explicit instructions on how to wash the article in question so that you don’t damage it in the process of trying to get it clean. Some clothing will state outright “dry clean only.” That obviously makes it easy to know where you should be taking that piece of clothing.
Others articles may not be as clear. Odds are, if there is a long or complicated list of things that you need to do to get the garment clean, or if it lists hand wash only, you may want to bring it to a dry cleaner instead of risking disaster on your own. It is always better to be safe than sorry, even if your clothing manufacturer is just being overly cautious.
What is it Made Out Of?
Knowing what types of materials will hold up well to a typical washing cycle, and which ones won’t, can help you to figure out if you should drop it in the wash or take it to West Boulevard Cleaners to have it cleaned. Typically, natural fibers like wool and silk are very susceptible to shrinking in the heat and agitation of a home washing machine. Some cottons and cotton blends can also shrink very quickly in the wash. Velvet is another material you want to avoid putting in the washing machine, unless you are talking about your Dad’s crushed velvet suit. Crushed velvet does just fine in the washing machine. Polyester, nylon and linen are usually machine-safe as well.
Trappings and Trim
Even if you think that the clothing is made up of a material that can stand up to the washing machine, that might not mean you should drop it in for a turn on the spin cycle. Some things, regardless of the cloth that they are made out of, should go to the dry cleaners because of what is adorning them. Clothing with complicated beading or sequins should never be put into the washing machine. The agitation from the wash cycle can easily tear this kind of detailing off.
Suits coats and pants should also not be placed into the wash. Typically anything with shoulder padding or lining can be damaged by the washing machine and will come out looking much worse than when they went in. This goes for most high-end dresses as well. Finally any clothing with complicated lace or embroidery should avoid the washing machine as well.
Have your clothing cleaned at your Kerrisdale dry cleaning experts: West Boulevard Cleaners!