How to get good dry cleaning

Garment labels tell you whether your clothing must be dry cleaned; most woolens, silks, acetates, and many rayons require it. A garment made of washable fabric may need dry cleaning to hold its shape or if it’s lined with another fabric. A professional dry cleaning may remove stubborn spots or stains from washable garments.

Take clothing and household items to the cleaner before they become heavily soiled, immediately if they are spotted or stained. Clean all parts of a suit or ensemble together, or colors may fade differently. Point out stains and the location of any sugar-based spills, such as juice, wine, or ginger ale. If you tried to remove a stain at home, tell the cleaner what you used. Bulk, or coin-operated, cleaning You can usually save money with a bulk cleaner, who will charge you by the pound. Follow these procedures: turn out pockets, turn down cuffs, and brush off accumulated dirt and lint. Fasten all openings so that garments will retain their shape. Turn knit garments and anything made of napped or piled fabric inside out. Do not clean heavily soiled garments with less dirty ones, or dark or heavy clothing with your light and delicate things. To minimize wrinkling, hang garments, as soon as they come out of the machine, on metal or wooden hangers (the chemicals can soften plastic ones). Air all items thoroughly before wearing or storing them.

A disadvantage of bulk cleaning is that the operator may not know whether his chemicals are safe for your fabrics; many delicate materials, ones with metallic threads, and fluffy or bulky knits can be harmed by certain cleaning chemicals. Nor do most bulk cleaners use special stain-removal techniques or press garments. To be safe, do not bulk clean tailored suits and coats or any clothing that is marked “professional dry clean only. “