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Dry Cleaning Dilemma: What to Toss In and What to Keep Out

What You Should Dry Clean - care label

Choosing to dry clean or not might occasionally feel like traversing a maze of fabric tags and care instructions regarding washing and clothing care.

Learning to distinguish between clothes that should only be dry cleaned and those that can be machine washed, is a skill that can preserve your priceless clothes and valuable time.

Read along as we examine the subtleties of fabric care, crack the code of dry cleaning etiquette, and reveal the strategies for keeping a wardrobe that looks good for years.

What You Should Dry Clean

Dry cleaning is a way of cleaning clothes and fabrics by using a special chemical cleaner instead of water. I'ts suitable for items that may be damaged by water or the agitation of washing machines. Here's a general guideline on what should and should not be dry cleaned:

1. Delicate fabrics

When dealing with delicate fabrics, checking the care instructions on the garment's label is essential.

The label should provide specific recommendations on cleaning and care for the item, including whether dry cleaning is recommended.

Following these instructions helps ensure that delicate fabrics stays in good condition. Examples of these delicate fabrics include:


Taffeta is a delicate fabric crafted from silk, polyester, or a combination of both. Due to its sensitivity to water, especially when not pre-treated or exposed to high water temperatures, dry cleaning is a preferable option for maintaining its integrity.


Rayon tends to absorb water readily, and excessive moisture can weaken the fibres and affect the fabric's strength. Dry cleaning helps avoid the potential for damage caused by water absorption.

2. Structured garments

Dry cleaning can be a good option for items that may lose their structure or shrink if washed in water.


Suits are usually structured garments with multiple layers, including linings. Dry cleaning helps preserve the tailored structure and avoids any potential shrinkage or distortion that can occur with water washing.


Blazers, like suits, are typically made from fine fabrics that water can damage. So, you must go for a gentler option for cleaning these garments, preventing issues like colour bleeding or fabric damage.

Dresses with structured lining

Many dresses, especially formal or structured ones, are made of delicate fabrics like silk or satin. However, fry cleaning helps preserve the original look and feel of these fabrics.

3. Specialised fabrics

These fabrics may be more delicate or susceptible to damage if exposed to water or subjected to a washing machine's mechanical action. Here are some specialised fabrics that are commonly dry cleaned:


Fancy wool clothes like well-fitted suits and coats have a special feel and shape. To keep them looking sharp and avoid any shrinking mishaps, it's best to get them dry cleaned.


Super soft and smooth, cashmere fabric is like a cosy dream. Dry cleaning is the way to go if you want to make sure it stays just as soft and keeps its high-quality feel.


Mohair, made from Angora goat hair, feels glossy and tough. To steer clear of any damage and keep its beauty intact, it's often a good idea to opt for dry cleaning.


Silk has that fancy and delicate touch. To keep its shiny and smooth texture, it's usually better to go with dry cleaning.


Velvet feels rich and luxurious with its plush texture. Regular cleaning methods can be a bit tricky, so to avoid any harm to the fabric, dry cleaning is the recommended method.

4. Embellished or Detailed Clothing

Dry cleaning is usually a good choice for delicate fabrics with embellishments. This method is gentle on fabrics and is less likely to cause damage compared to regular washing methods.

Items with beads or sequins

Beads and sequins usually have a shiny or metallic coating that might fade or lose color with frequent exposure to water and detergents.

Clothes with intricate embroidery

Delicate embroidery often features detailed patterns and designs. Therefore, You must toss them to Dry cleaners as it helps preserve these intricate details without the potential risk of distortion.

Items that Should Not be Dry-cleaned:

Although many items are suitable for dry cleaning, certain ones can be washed at home. It's generally advisable to exercise caution or avoid dry cleaning for the following examples:

  • Cotton T-Shirts

  • Jeans

  • Cotton Underwear and Socks

  • Casual Dresses

  • Athletic Wear

  • Cotton Pyjamas

  • Casual Sweaters

  • Casual Jackets

  • Activewear

  • Items labelled "Do Not Dry Clean"

The Bottomline

At Quality DryCleaning, we know the importance of discerning what can and cannot be dry cleaned. Our professionals pay meticulous attention to delicate fabrics, intricate detailing, and challenging items like leather jackets and suede skirts. Trust us to recognise items that require alternative care, ensuring your wardrobe receives the tailored attention it deserves.

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