My husband, as a general rule, does NOT like jeans. We differ greatly in that way. He just can't ever find a pair that fits, or feels, as good as a pair of khakis.
He owns- one pair of jeans. Yes, one. In high school he took a trip with some friends and in a boutique he found a pair of jeans. For those of you have not seen, heard or felt a pair of these jeans I can sum them up for you in one single word:
So my husband paid an INORDINATE amount for his one and only pair of perfect jeans. (Really though- who wouldn't?) When we first started dating we would often do our laundry together and I remember in my naive state being appalled that he took these coveted jeans to the dry cleaners.
At that point in my life I don't think I had ever dry cleaned anything. I avoided the "dry clean only" tag like the plague. As I know many people do. But my husband was adamant. His PDCs would NEVER meet with a washing machine and store bought detergent. I asked the same question that many, many people have asked me since they heard about this blog:
"Why do I need to dry clean my clothes?"
Great question. And what's lucky for you is that while I was confused back in the day, I now hold the coveted answer.
Why dry clean? Because not all fabrics are created equal.
That means, though you can toss your cotton shirt into the washing machine and have no issues, you MAY not want to try that with say... silk. Or linen. Or satin. Or a pair of PDCs.
Believe it or not, but water can actually damage a lot of fabrics out there. Those clothes that you buy that say dry clean only on them? That is why they say it. The fabric that that garment is made out of is not meant for water or modern detergents.
It's not just a conspiracy between the textile industries and the dry cleaners I promise.
The great thing about dry cleaning, is that while it not only takes care of those products that can be ruined by water, it can also prevent water damage on clothes that should be able to withstand the washing machine.
Water, as I am sure everyone has experienced, can fade, shrink, and even change the feeling of a fabric. By dry cleaning an item you retain all of what you would have lost in your washing machine.
Have an item that has already been ruined by your washer? No problem. Bring it to the dry cleaners. It is not guaranteed, but often your cleaners will be able to even return some of the original feel, and shape of the garment.
Are there more reasons to dry clean your clothes? Certainly.
Do you have any items that say hand wash only? Those are suppose to be done that way because the make, and sometimes the fabric of the garment, cannot withstand the tumble and high pressure wash that a washing machine, or a dryer, would give it.
The great thing is that dry cleaning can treat that item with the same delicacy your hands can. Don't worry- I know the tag says hand wash only. You just have to read between the lines. When something says hand wash only it really means, "Hand wash only OR if that is too laborious for you, take it to the dry cleaners. Just please don't throw this in your dirty clothes bin with your gym socks."
Dry cleaning is also a GREAT means of clothing preservation. Ever had beads on your shirt that all got undone in the wash? Sequins that melted in the dryer? A sweater that pilled? Embroidery that came loose? Though these items can technically all be done in your machine, a lot can go wrong when you mix them in with your non expensive jeans and well... your gym socks.
If there is anything you are unsure about, whether it be the magical quality of your clothes, or the embellishments on your sweater, be safe. Take it to the dry cleaners. We are always here! Willing to take the work load from your hands, and save your clothing paranoia.