Washing "Dry Clean Only" by hand?

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  1. Does anyone wash "dry clean only" clothes by hand? I have tried it with a few of my tops using woolite and they have turned out ok but I am concerned whether I am doing long-term damage to them. I tried washing a pair of Tory Burch pants in Woolite recently and the color bled. The pants also seemed to have become a lot looser. I don't know if they just stretched out from normal wear or if it was because I hand washed them. I just bought two pairs of Theory pants that say "dry clean only" and wonder if it would be okay to wash those by hand. I hate having to dry clean pants because I like to wash them each time I wear them. If you have had success with hand washing, please let me know what product you use. I want to prevent shrinking and color bleed. Thanks!
  2. I read somewhere that if the label says "Dry Clean" then it is ok to wash them by hand or on delicate though you may get better results if you dry clean and the garment may last longer with dry cleaning. If the label says "Dry Clean Only" then it should not be washed and the garment WILL be damaged if you do. This is baiscally the rule I follow although I break it for white shirts cause I'm not satisfied otherwise. In the past I have washed dry clean only stuff including pants and have ruined a few things. I've had couple of pairs of pants shrink a bit and get inches shorter, which I believe was caused by the dryer, air drying may be a good idea if you still continue to wash such garments.
  3. I wouldn't wash them by hand if it says dry clean only. some materials shouldn't get wet
  4. It depends on the materials I'd say. I've washed (sometimes even in the machine on a gentle cycle) wool or cashmere that was 'dry clean only' without problems. Silk can be tricky, but it depends on whether it's raw, treated etc. If the silk is colorfast and not too fragile like chiffon, I will handwash that as well.

    What I stay away from washing is viscose and rayon. These fabrics supposedly don't do well in water and will lose their structure if you wash them. It sounds like your trousers might have been made from something similar. If you don't want to keep going to the dry cleaners, I know people who swear by those dry clean at home kits you can get from the supermarket (i.e. it's a sheet treated with chemicals that you throw in the dryer with your clothes). I haven't tried them myself, but I might give them a go soon.
  5. All of my dry clean only items gets sent to the cleaners!
    I don't want to risk damaging them.
  6. Honestly, I would not risk hand washing. Especially trousers as they can be tricky to iron after.
  7. I handwash almost everything that says to dry clean only. The exception is anything that is lined. This is because materials, particularly natural and man-made, dry at different rates. It is the drying process where most of the irreparable problems occur.

    Oh, well, let's face it. When I say "handwash" I mean I put it in a mesh laundry bag and put it in the washing machine. Yep. I use Johnson's baby shampoo. Then I air dry the garments--make sure they are dried flat.

    If I am concerned about bleeding, I will handwash them in the sink. Use cold water. The caveat to this is that if the garments are bright colors there may be color run. If I had to clean such a garment, I would consult with an Hermes group to which I belong, because many women prefer to handwash their scarves, and they have a nearly fool-proof method for doing so.

    Blends of synthetic materials are the hardest, of course, and should probably be dry-cleaned. The fact that some material just shouldn't get wet is probably true, and reason for me not to buy the garment. Once, the perspiration from my body caused the garment to bleed right onto my torso (a velvet top from Lord & Taylor). If I suspect a garment is that fickle, I won't buy it in the first place.
  8. I tried handwashing a few pieces that says dry clean only and I regretted it. They were delicate and I ended up bringing them to the drycleaners afterwards. So instead of taking chances, I just have them dry cleaned and suck up the cost of having clean clothes.
  9. I havent done pants but I use the Laundress Wool and Cashmere shampoo on all my knits. I then lay flat to dry. Has worked out great and the cedar scent does double duty when storing my items.
  10. i hand wash all the dry clean stuff now....my dry cleaner lost my dress...and i find hand wash is fine. when you dry them...don't hang them..lay them flat so they won't loss the shape. chiffon....it's the same if you hand wash or dry clean...they all shrink a little and they all look different from brand new.
  11. The pants I want to try hand washing are a blend of viscose and elastane. Sounds like it would not be a good idea to hand wash? The other pants that I did wash were cotton and lycra, I believe so I totally thought they would be fine hand washed. Maybe I will try those dryer sheets. Anyone had problems with those? Thanks again!
  12. >> they all look different from brand new.

    That's true! New garments are actually coated with a preservative/chemicals to protect them during shipment. Sort of like saran wrap! I don't know whether dry cleaning really removes them, but then again, dry cleaning is more chemicals. Washing a garment with soap and water removes the chemicals, which is why they are softer. If the pants are cotton perhaps you could try ironing it with starch to stiffen them again.
  13. Depends on the material. Honestly I handwash all my dry clean only apparel.
  14. I work for a company that puts 'dry clean only' on ALL their garments to protect them from customer complaints. If I buy anything from the range I ask the designer about the reality of the status.

    I will handwash cashmere and wool 'dry clean only' but carefully. Then dry flat

    If a garment is very expensive and I love it I take it to the best dry cleaners I can afford otherwise it's just false economy. (Exception is Gucci cleaning Gucci at £125 for a coat/jacket etc :wtf:).

    I have twice had things gone missing from dry cleaners so I now remove the designer name labels to stop things getting 'lost'. I don't care what the dry cleaner's reputation is, their post code (zip code) or their average client. :true:

    Hermes scarves are too scary to wash by hand if they are colourful :sweatdrop: so I will take them back to Hermes as it's only about £10 each to launder .

    Some things are actually better off being washed than dry-cleaned - like lace etc as chemicals destroy the fibres. Wash gently with Eclover delicates in the bath with the shower-head.
    Ana_031 likes this.
  15. I completely agree with you. I hand wash all my silks, wools, and cashmeres. I actually do hand wash because my apartment building has old top loading washing machines that I don't trust for delicates. I only dry clean suiting now. I would also not get synthetic materials wet, but I no longer buy these clothes anymore.