the myth of ‘dry clean’ only


Although I have a fantastic dry cleaner who got chocolate out of ivory silk and blueberry out of a silk/wool throw, unless I have a major stain on one of my ‘dry clean only’ wool and cashmere sweaters, and silk tops, I hand wash them at home in my large ss kitchen sink (that I give a good scrubbing beforehand).

I was going to make an instructional video but the brilliant ladies at The Laundress already have a great one on their YouTube channel. The Laundress has a number of wonderful cleaning products, but I use Ecover Delicate Wash. I soak two or three pieces at a time for about 10 minutes in cool water. Gently place the piece flat in the water and slowly push it down into the water without agitating or shaking it. I use their towel rolling technique for water removal instead of ringing for cashmere and wools, then air dry.
Do you hand wash your ‘dry clean only’ pieces?

9 responses

  1. absolutely!I am a thrifter, and I prefer old used cashmere to new anything, and I have been washing cashmere with hair shampoo for yearsGiovanna

  2. Yes, I do. Smaller pieces at least. I sometimes feel as if (some) manufacturers simply say 'dry clean only' to get rid of whatever-kind of responsibility or guarantee.

  3. For a long time I was spending a lot on drycleaning, as I was wearing wool pants to work a lot. But then I started buying pants that I can just throw in the wash (and that wouldn't shrink so much that I would never wear them again).Recently I have been starting to actually hand wash my bras, which I never used to do, and I'm definitely seeing how they will last longer because of it.

  4. Yes. Most (but not quite all) items have come out just fine. I hand wash items on a fairly regular basis and I have a dedicated plastic tub for handwashing/soaking items and a drying rack. I have had so many items messed up at various dry cleaners that I won't use their services anymore.

  5. I hand wash cashmere and some lightweight wool items. Living in a tiny space in NYC, I can only wash 1 or 2 at a time.For silk items (which I only have a few of because of the maintenance required) I use the dry cleaners.

  6. most people are afraid to hand wash their silks and i was one of them until a fashion designer who works mainly in silks told me she hand washes her things.:O)

  7. I wash everything in my Miele washing machine, even pullovers, shirts and scarfs made out of cashmere or lambswool. I chose the special hand washing programme. No spinning of course. Otherwise it will loose its softness. I think that dry cleaning is good for suits and dresses but clothes I wear near to my skin shall be cleaned in water with a mild liquid wool detergent. It's important to keep the lanolin in.Iris