This guide was first published on Jan 22, 2014. It was last
updated on Jan 22, 2014.
This page (Dry Clean) was last updated on May 18, 2019.
If your garment's tag says "dry clean only," you don't necessarily have to oblige. Typically I only take things to the dry cleaner if I absolutely know getting the thing wet will ruin it, like my wool coat and silk blouses. Sometimes fancy things say "dry clean only" because the buttons might tear off in the washer-- hand washing would be fine, then!
Dry cleaning is not a more delicate process than hand-washing! It still agitates the garment and can use some pretty harsh chemicals. Only use this option if you have no other choice.
The TV-B-Gone jacket came back from the dry cleaner squeaky clean! The agitation can cause wire junctions to break, as seen in the above picture. Actually, the jacket's wires broke before I got it cleaned! If something on your project needs repair, it's a perfect time to clean it. That way if something else breaks, you can make all the repairs at once.