It’s a question we’ve all asked at one time or another – “what items are deemed dry clean only?”
Maybe you just bought a new outfit, or you’re wearing a dress you only pull out on special occasions. Or perhaps you’re not sure if your winter knits are safe in the washing machine.
Whether it’s delicate material, or a precious article of clothing like your wedding dress or a family heirloom that you want to look after, it can be tricky to know which washing method is best for your clothes.
So how do you know whether you really need to dry clean only? We’ve got you covered!
Take time to read the manufacturing label, and follow its advice
Reading the label on your clothes is the first step.
In Australia, manufacturers are required to attach care instructions to all articles of clothing. These labels must be written in English and be appropriate for the care of that specific item. In other words, labels never lie!
Ignoring these care instructions can be disastrous for your clothes, with incorrect washing practices weakening the material and shortening their lifespan.
So, if the label on your t-shirt clearly states: “hand wash in cold water” and “do not bleach”, it probably means it. And when it says “dry clean only”, you’re best to leave it to the professionals.
You don’t want to ruin your new clothes simply because you forgot to read the directions. So, when in doubt, follow the care label.
Understanding clothing care labels
Unfortunately, clothing labels provide a tiny space for sharing information. Therefore, they won’t always answer your question directly. Rather than clearly stating “yes you have to dry clean this” or “no you can wash it at home”, they often feature symbols instead.
Among the many examples of common clothing care labels are ‘do not iron’, ‘dry clean only’ and ‘must be hand-washed’. If you’re unfamiliar with these symbols, it can be tricky to understand, and figuring out if you have to dry clean an item, or if it’s best to wash it at home, may still be a mystery.
Thankfully, the Drycleaning Institute of Australia has guidelines explaining what each dry cleaning symbol means.
What if there is no dry clean only label?
On older pieces of clothes, or items you’ve picked up second-hand, the text may have rubbed off the tag.
This can happen after several cycles through a washing machine. It may also be a consequence of the tag sitting somewhere the body that moves around a lot.
So, what do you do when trying to decide whether to dry clean an item of clothing, and the label is either unreadable or missing entirely?
Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world if there’s no care label!
You can simply come me into Pride Dry Cleaning and talk to one of our staff for guidance.
So, next time you’re getting ready to wash your dirty laundry, consider the care label – it’s there to help!
You may even realise you’ve been washing a loved item incorrectly – which is where we can also come in.
Following the care label will ensure you're caring for the clothes, keeping them in great shape for seasons to come.
When it comes to those special event outfits, or delicate fabrics, it’s always best to be on the safe side. Let us take care of your valuable and sentimental items, showing them the care they deserve.
Still not sure? Contact our team to discuss your particular item, and we’ll have it looking brand new!