Blog Post | 02/24/2023

Common Dry Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Dry cleaning is essential if you want your clothing and other fabric items to last as long as possible. Not every item needs to be dry cleaned, but there are many pieces of clothing, and even accessories like bags and purses, that should only be cleaned through the dry cleaning

While dry cleaning is essential, there are also many mistakes that are commonly made by people who aren't well versed in the ins and outs of dry cleaning. The following are some common dry cleaning mistakes you should avoid.

Mistake #1: Not reading your care labels

Many people simply throw items into the washer and dryer, without taking the time to read the care labels attached to their clothing. Yes, reading these labels can be tedious, but they are essential if you want to keep your clothing in the best shape possible.

These labels will often tell you important instructions, such as the temperature the clothing should be washed in, whether or not it should be put in the dryer–and whether or not it is considered “dry clean only.”

If something is labeled dry clean only, that means it should always be brought to the dry cleaners, and not put through a standard home washer and dryer. always take the time to read the labels, especially for new items. you don't want to accidentally damage something beyond repair because you didn't feel like reading the tag.

Mistake #2: Bringing jeans to the dry cleaner

You might think that you should bring jeans to the dry cleaner for the same reason that you should bring the leather to the dry cleaner: it is a specialized fabric, therefore it should be treated in a specialized way.

However, jeans should always be washed according to the care instructions, which will typically recommend a standard washer and dryer on a certain setting. Taking your jeans to the dry cleaners can actually cause them to shrink and deform, shortening their lifespan. This is because the dry cleaning process is not really designed for denim material.

Mistake #3: Not telling your dry cleaner if you didn't check the pockets

If you have ever tossed your clothing into the washer or dryer with a pen in them, then you know the importance of checking your pockets before you clean. This age old wisdom applies to taking clothing to the dry cleaners as well. always check the pockets, creases or any other compartments of clothing you bring to the dry cleaner.

If for some reason you haven't done so, make sure you tell the dry cleaner beforehand. Yes, a professional company will always check these items before they begin the process, but mistakes do happen. If you specifically let them know that you didn't check, they will take the time to be extra careful and make sure nothing is inside before they begin the process.

Mistake #4: Taking your clothes to be dry cleaned too much

You might think that you should take your items to the dry cleaners as often as possible. after all, if you want items to be cleaned, you should take them to a professional every time they get a bit dirty.

However, taking your clothes to the dry cleaners too much can actually damage them in the long run. The dry cleaning process is fairly intense, and it is designed to keep items clean for long stretches of time. you should really only take them to the dry cleaner as necessary depending on the extent of dirt, debris, stains or other issues with the clothing.

If you aren't sure exactly how often to bring them in, talk with the dry cleaner about the appropriate time to wait in between cleanings.

Mistake #5: Having too high expectations

One of the most common mistakes that people make in regards to the dry cleaners is having too high expectations. Many people assume that dry cleaners should be able to clean anything, remove any stain, and fix any problem simply because they specialize in dry cleaning.

But there are some things that simply cannot be fixed. A stain may be too far set to be removed, or it could be made from something which can't be removed completely from certain types of materials; damage to the lining of a jacket may be irreversible because the interior was compromised; and so on.

Dry cleaners can do some pretty amazing things, but they aren't magicians. always talk with your dry cleaner about your expectations so that they can let you know what is realistic and regards to your items.

Mistake #6: Not understanding the dry cleaning process

One common mistake people make is not understanding the dry cleaning process on even a basic level.

Many people think that a dry cleaner simply cleans clothing without using water. But the dry cleaning process is a specific process which uses certain types of chemicals and temperature settings in order to clean clothing. it is not entirely free from liquids, as the chemicals involved will be made from liquids, but it does not involve water.

Likewise, dry cleaners are not simply launderers. Most launderers will use water and other traditional methods of cleaning, which dry cleaners do not use.Yet many people use “dry cleaners” and “laundrerers” interchangeably, not understanding that these are two different services.

The reason why understanding this particular mistake is important is because not knowing what the dry cleaning process means can lead people to taking items to the dry cleaners when they should be taken to a launderer–and vice versa. If an item should be dry cleaned, you must take it to a dry cleaners, and not a launderer; a launderer may use methods that could damage the item.

Final Thoughts

There are many common mistakes that people make when it comes to dry cleaning. Now that you know all about the most common mistakes, you can do your best to avoid them in the future, so that all of your dry clean only items are taken care of properly.