To Dry Clean or Not to Dry Clean: 8 Factors to Consider

dry cleaning

Dry cleaning is a process of cleaning clothes without using water. Instead, a chemical solvent is used to dissolve the dirt and stains. This method is often preferred when it comes to delicate or expensive fabrics that cannot withstand traditional washing methods. However, not all clothes need to be dry cleaned. In this blog section, we will discuss eight factors that can help you determine whether your clothes require dry cleaning or not.

1. Fabric Composition

The fabric composition is the most crucial factor to consider when deciding whether your clothes need dry cleaning. Some materials, like silk, wool, and cashmere, are more delicate and can be easily damaged by water-based cleaning methods. On the other hand, sturdy fabrics like cotton, polyester, and nylon can generally be washed in a regular washing machine.

2. Care Label Instructions

The care label on your clothes is the best source of information when determining whether they need dry cleaning. Manufacturers provide care instructions based on the fabric composition and construction of the garment. If the label says “dry clean only,” it’s advisable to follow the instructions to avoid damaging the clothing.

3. Stains and Spills

Certain stains, like oil or grease-based spills, are more difficult to remove using regular washing methods. In such cases, dry cleaning can more effectively remove these stubborn stains without damaging the fabric.

4. Construction and Detailing

Clothing with intricate detailing, such as beading, embroidery, or delicate lace, may require dry cleaning, as regular washing can damage these embellishments. Similarly, garments with structured components, like tailored suits and blazers, can lose shape or damage when washed in a machine.

5. Colour Bleeding

If a garment is prone to colour bleeding, it’s best to avoid washing it at home. You can perform a colourfastness test by rubbing a cotton swab dampened with water on the hem or an inside seam. If the colour transfers to the swab, it indicates that the garment should not be washed at home. Dry cleaners use special chemicals to ensure the preservation of colours, so it’s a safer choice for such garments.

6. Value of the Garment

If a garment holds special value to you, it’s wise to minimize the risk of damage by opting for dry cleaning. Laundry mishaps can happen even with the utmost care, and it can be especially disheartening when precious garments are ruined. Dry cleaning provides extra protection for valuable clothes, but the choice ultimately depends on your comfort level.

7. Frequency of Use

Wearing clothes infrequently or meant for special occasions may benefit from dry cleaning. This method can help extend the life of these garments by preventing damage that can occur during regular washing. Also, dry cleaning can help preserve these items’ original shape and appearance, ensuring they look their best when needed.

8. Leather Elements

Clothes that feature leather trim or elements, such as denim jackets with leather patches, should not be washed at home. Leather is a natural fibre that binds to water molecules, and regular washing can cause it to become stiff and brittle. Dry cleaning is recommended to preserve the leather and maintain the garment’s original charm.


Several factors can help you decide whether your clothes need dry cleaning or not. By considering the factors mentioned above, you can make an informed decision about the best cleaning method for your garments. When in doubt, always consult the care label or seek advice from a professional dry cleaner to ensure your clothes are properly cared for and maintain their quality and appearance.

Experience the difference of professional dry cleaning at Goodfellow Cleaners. Whether it’s your everyday clothing or special occasion attire, trust our team with over 25 years of experience to handle even your most valued garments. From wedding gowns to expensive suits, we’ve got you covered. Book now!

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