What You Should and Should Not Dry Clean

The number one rule you can always count on is to read the label. All items will come with a label that minimally will tell you what material the product is made with. However, most products also give you care instructions right on the tag. In fact, in many countries, such as the United States, the government regulates that the tag needs to have washing instructions.

Here is a good indication of what the tag means:

Dry-Clean Only: This means that extra care is needed to ensure you do not ruin the garment. If the label says “dry-clean only,” it may be able to be washed at home, however, only if you know what you are doing and what the material requires so as not to ruin it. If you are not 100% sure it’s best not to risk it.

Dry-Clean. The key here is the word ONLY has been removed. This means that the manufacturer suggest dry cleaning the product. While it is not required, it is suggested due to the fabric used in the garment. If you have knowledge on how to launder the specific fabric, you may want to skip the dry cleaner and wash at home.

What Items You Should Take to the Cleaners:

  • Items with a lining or inner layer
  • Suits, especially wool suits
  • Items that have beading, sequins, and faux jewels
  • Items with intricate designs or stitching
  • Heavily soiled or stained items
  • Any skirts, dresses, and pants with pleating
  • Dedicates like rayon or silk
  • Fabric blends

What You Can Wash at Home (with extra care):

  • Cashmere and wool can last longer when washed by hand.
  • Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon – you can wash by hand or in cold water.
  • Cotton and linen items that don’t have any of the criteria above; no lining, no details, etc.


  • Leather. You may try to wash at home carefully but leather, especially if it has metal details, you should take to the cleaners if you don’t want to take the risk.
  • Silk. Light-colored silk may be washed at home in the sink, using cold water. Test the material first to see if it will bleed. You can test by getting a small patch wet, then blotting it dry with a white paper towel. If the paper towel shows stains on the paper towel, bring it to the cleaners. You can test other fabrics this way too.

When in Doubt Dry cleaning is Best

If you’re not sure if something can be washed by hand, you may want to avoid the risk of ruining it. Bring it by Dry Clean Super Center of Flower Mound!