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Can you wash "Dry Clean Only" items?


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Apr 27, 2009, 7:21pm   #1
telicious's Avatar
Thread Starter
Member
I have several shirts and dresses that have the "Dry Clean Only" tag.
One dress is 100% silk, the other is a mix of synthetic materials.

I've heard that some items that are "Dry Clean Only" can be safely washed while others have ruined their clothing by washing them. Some have also said dry cleaning is harsh and that it's not a good idea to dry clean.

Any advice?
Apr 27, 2009, 9:19pm   #2
stephc005's Avatar
Member
i do this all the time. with silk, i wouldn't though. i have cotton shirts and dresses that say dry clean only on their tags, but honestly i've never really had an issue. the only time i've had a problem was when my free people cotton dress somehow shrunk in length even though i didn't put it in the dryer. so now it's more of a top instead of a dress!
Apr 27, 2009, 9:42pm   #3
D
Member
I would handwash silk, either in the sink with gentle shampoo or detergent or Woolite, or in your machine if it has "handwash' cycle. Most synthetics I would just machine wash, especially heavier fabrics. Use only cold water to prevent shrinkage.
Apr 27, 2009, 10:10pm   #4
tehkatt's Avatar
Member
It depends on the material and the construction. A lot of plain shirts and tops say Dry Clean Only but you can get them wet and wash them with Woolite. Just use COLD COLD WATER (I learned this the hard way and ruined a great ADAM top during my lesson ), very little detergent, and don't scrub too hard or keep it in the water for too long. You might lose some of the color if the garment is heavily dyed, but most wouldn't have a problem overall. Just make sure you have a steamer handy since the garment will probably be very wrinkled!

I have this one BCBG Runway dress that's made up of synthetics but has all this crazy detail that if I tried to wash it, it'd go to hell. So just use common sense, if it looks like the shape isn't that big of a deal or won't be incredibly altered with washing, it probably won't.

But if you REALLY like the garment, then don't even run the risk and get it dry cleaned.
Apr 27, 2009, 10:44pm   #5
ColdSteel's Avatar
Gimme.
I've washed some silks before - vintage and new scarves and at my most daring, an ivory silk j.crew dress. Don't twist or wring silk because it's very weak when wet and roll up in a towel, squeeze gently, and unroll to dry. reshape the garment. Everything I've washed has come out fine. I did some spot cleaning on the dress (I bought it at a thrift store for $2!) with a lemon and it looked shiny and new. I would never think of throwing anything into my washer even if it had a handwash cycle.
Apr 28, 2009, 1:58am   #6
a
Member
I wash silk all the time in the washer on a gentle cycle with cold water. And silk is so easy to iron.
Apr 28, 2009, 8:17am   #7
f
Member
Yep, I wash silk all the time too. Just put it in the gentle cycle or delicates. Alot of times I even tumble dry my silk blouses or camis, but my dryer also has a delicate setting, so its really a low, low heat. The silks come out unwrinkled and still soft and silky, no shrinkage.
Apr 28, 2009, 9:42am   #8
plumaplomb's Avatar
Member
Great advice here. I always hesitate in buying more silk blouses because of the dry clean factor.
Apr 28, 2009, 9:43am   #9
p
Member
It may just mean it's delicate. I wouldn't put silk through the wash, but if you try the synthetics maybe use a laundry net and a gentle cycle. I've only washed dry clean only cotton . . . I really see no reason it should be dry clean only unless it's poorly made (and I have some things that are).
Apr 28, 2009, 9:45am   #10
Jahpson's Avatar
Member
really great advice. I have some clothes that I have yet to send to the dry cleaners. I have a jersey sweater that is dry clean only. Should I risk and wash in delicates? because the last time I washed a cotton blend(?) trousers and that baby shrank on me. Had to give it away
Apr 28, 2009, 9:51am   #11
bellafleur's Avatar
Member
I wash silk too, and I actually think it's better than dry cleaning, especially if it has a stain. A drop of water will leave a water spot on a silk blouse, and the only way to get rid of it is to soak the whole blouse in water. I've dry cleaned silk blouses with water spots before, and they come back from the cleaners still there!
Apr 28, 2009, 10:21am   #12
~Fabulousity~'s Avatar
Member
yes I use Woolite or Tide total care.
Apr 28, 2009, 10:31am   #13
ampeefyed's Avatar
Member
it's 'cheating' but i do it too! mostly with silk. but there's a reason for having a 'dry clean only' label and sometimes you find out too late.

i washed a silk top only to have the dye bleed out. the color was so strong the water looked like coca cola. and it darkened the lighter parts of the top.

i now have a darker version of the top.

oh! and for items that shrink (some silks), an iron or steam should bring it back to its original shape & size.
Apr 28, 2009, 10:34am   #14
roussel's Avatar
In Strassland...
I wash silk all the time in the washer using the delicate or handwash cycle. I only use Woolite and hang them to dry. No problems so far.
Apr 28, 2009, 11:39am   #15
n
Member
I handwash silk once in a while with baby shampoo and it works great.
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