Many suit owners assume the only way to clean an outfit properly is to take it to the dry cleaners. Not all suits require a dry clean service though. In some cases, frequent dry cleaning can become a disservice to your suit. Here are some considerations for keeping your suit clean without going to the dry cleaners.
Pay Close Attention to the Labels on Your Clothing
Even if the label on your clothes says “dry clean only,” there’s a chance you don’t have to strictly adhere to that recommendation. You may even find out you’re not supposed to dry clean the garments at all.
The symbols on the label can tell you a lot of information about the clothes. For example, if you see a circle with an “X” through it, then you’re not supposed to dry clean the garment.
In some other cases, the label may indicate you can handwash the garments or put them into a washing machine if you adhere to the machine instructions. The label can also show you what kinds of solvents recommended to clean the garments, along with how much or how little of that solvent you should consider.
Try Testing an Innocuous Part of Your Suit
Performing a spot test on your clothing can help you figure out what kind of cleaning it needs. Wet the end of a cotton swab or the edge of a clean white towel and gently rub the inside of a seam and see if the towel or cotton swab picks up any dye. Make sure not to rub aggressively, vigorously, or for more than a few seconds. If you even imagine you see some dye on the cotton swab or towel, stop rubbing immediately.
This is basically a colorfastness test. If you see dye, then you shouldn’t attempt to wash the garment, even if the tag says it’s okay. This outfit should go to a professional cleaner.
If you pick up no dye, then the garment is typically okay for hand washing or a regular washing machine.
Handwash Garments with Dedicated Products
If handwashing your garments, you will typically need to dip the article into cold water with only a small amount of the mildest detergent. Dip the garment in and out of the water multiple times rather than continually holding it under water.
Make sure not to scrub or brush the garment too much either. Instead of detergent, you should consider a cleaning product dedicated to the specific fabric your clothes consist of. Remember to check the tags to find out which products are recommended!
Machine Wash Carefully
Machine washing is almost never recommended for a suit, but if you find it’s a viable option, go about the process carefully. You should:
1. Use mesh garment bags for each individual article of clothing
2. Turn garments inside out when possible
3. Only wash the suit and nothing else with it
4. Use the delicate wash cycle
5. Use cold water
You should not place your garments in a dryer to dry either. You should air dry the suit but avoid improper hanging. You don’t want your garments to stretch, and you don’t want them in direct sunlight. Instead, make use of luxury suit hangers to properly dry items while maintaining their proper shape.
Use Steam and Hand Tool Methods
For lightly-used suits, you can forego washing altogether. Steaming garments can remove light stains and wrinkles. The steam can also remove light odors as well.
You can also invest in a suit brush. With the brush, you can remove most foreign objects before they set deeply into the fabric of your suit. Simply hanging your suit up with luxury suit hangers can keep the suit clean when you’re not wearing it.
In the end, you can always bring your suit to the dry cleaners. However, if you can wash the garment at home, you can save yourself both precious time and money.
In every case, luxury suit hangers from Butlerluxury.com’s high quality inventory should always represent the final step in your suit’s care.