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Laundry and dry cleaning can eat up quite a chunk of your budget if you let it. Dry cleaning is especially expensive - try these tips to reduce the expense of maintaining your clothes and save enough for a new outfit!

Avoid expensive dry cleaning
Try to buy clothes that are machine washable. If you do have items that say 'Dry clean' it does not necessarily mean you have to take them to the cleaners. The alternatives are:

  • Buying do-it-yourself at home in-the-dryer dry cleaning products. I have had good luck with Dry Cleaner's Secret, which you put into the dryer with the clothes to be cleaned like a dryer sheet and run for 20 minutes. They are inexpensive compared to professional dry cleaning; at about 80 cents per sheet (you can clean 1 – 4 items with one sheet).

  • Washing the garment in the sink with cold water and a little bit of shampoo. I use this method for sheer silk blouses and lightweight sweaters. After soaking them and swishing them around a little bit, I rinse them out and wrap them in a towel to get the bulk of the water out before I hang them over a towel on a towel bar to dry. Never twist or wring this type of garment – be very gentle with it when it is wet.

  • If the item seems less delicate to me (some cotton pants, wool sweaters, etc.) I will simply wash it in the washing machine (in cold water!) on the delicate cycle and hang it up to dry. This is a risk, I know, but I have learned to have a pretty good feel for what can be washed and what can't. If you don't trust yourself to make these decisions, then it may be a better choice for you to take your delicate items to a professional cleaner and not take unnecessary chances on ruining your expensive clothing.

For more money-saving tips go to:


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 17, 2009
    • Thank you.  I always wonder if the home dry clean works.  Now I know.

      One thing to watch for which I learned from mistake, some material cannot be wash with water.  It will shrink the garment.  I forgot what - it seems to be acetate?  So be careful.

      I also use a steamer which can take away odor.  

      BTW, if you put [Link Removed] in front of your www, the site will auto link that up for viewers.

      Chinadoll, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Holly Beck wrote Mar 17, 2009
    • Thank you, Chinadoll - I have never used a steam cleaner - are they expensive?

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