To Dry Clean or to Wash: What Works Best for Each Type of Fabric

washing machines

Washing and cleaning clothes may seem like an easy task. Just throw the clothes into the washing machine, and you can practically forget about them, right? While that does sound like a dream, this isn’t applicable to all situations. If you’re not careful, you may just ruin your favourite velvet sweater because you didn’t realize it was for dry-clean only!

As much of a bother as it might be, it is important to find out the nuances of washing and cleaning your clothing before tossing it into the machine. By knowing what to dry clean and what to toss in the laundry, you can keep your clothing in the best condition at all times.

Dry Clean Only

Here are the clothes that should only be dry cleaned. Accidentally throwing them in the washing machine may result in you ruining your clothes!

1 – Silk

Although silk clothing may be washed at home, silk items should only be dry cleaned because these tend to lose their lustre and quality if they are frequently washed at home. Keep in mind that silk items may last a whole lifetime if they are taken care of properly—which makes it a great investment to clean properly!

2 – Leather

You should never put your leather items to be washed along with other clothes. A dry cleaner will be able to get rid of tough stains without damaging the leather.

3 – Embellished or Sequined Items

Items that have sequins sewn on may be damaged if you use the washer at home to clean them. Costumes, holiday outfits, and some fashionable articles usually fall victim to this! The sequins and embellishments may fall off during their spin in the washer, so avoid it entirely.

4 – Suits

Dry cleaners take extra care to make sure your expensive suit retains its shape after it is cleaned. Your washing machine may not be able to promise the same outcome!

5 – Velvet

The soft texture of velvet garments is the reason why these items have to be dry cleaned. Washing them at home may let them lose their texture, rendering its wonderful material totally ruined.

Clothes You Can Wash at Home

Of course, there are clothes that you can wash at home. Here is a list of clothes you do not need to dry clean:

1 – Cashmere

You might have thought that cashmere would be a “dry clean only” item; however, not all luxury clothes need to be dry cleaned! It is safe to wash your cashmere items at home. Use cold water and laundry detergent, and it will be fine!

2 – Cotton

Cotton items should be washed using warm or cold water to avoid shrinkage and discolouration. However, items like cotton socks and undergarments should be washed in hot water to kill any bacteria that was left on these items!

3 – Wool

Woollen items should be hand-washed, not machine-washed! Clothes may get tangled in one another in a washing machine, and this could ruin the shape and fit of the clothes. 

4 – Denim

It is safe for you to put your denim jackets and jeans in the washer. Put them into the washer inside-out to avoid damaging the colour. If you prefer to dry your denim items in the sun, hang them out inside-out as well, so the sun will not make their colour fade.

5 – Synthetics

Synthetic items made of nylon, acrylic, and polyester should be hand-washed at home using cold water to avoid damaging them.


It is important to know which items you can wash at home and which ones need to be dry cleaned. By knowing these basic guidelines, you can keep all your clothes in good condition for longer! If you’re unsure as to how to approach having your clothes cleaned, then it’s best to consult with your local laundromat for advice.

When you need your everyday clothing or special occasion clothing professionally dry cleaned, bring it to Goodfellow Cleaners! We are a laundromat and dry cleaning service in Barrhaven that handles clothing, drapes, duvets, pillows, and more. Do you need your shoes repaired or a hem done to your new pants? We do that too! Give us a call today and let us help you out.

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