Dry cleaning, at times a necessary evil if you wear business suits for a living, can be a very expensive bill. The good news is it can be whittled down substantially and save us hundreds of dollars per month.
When the clothes tags say "Dry Clean Only," it doesn't mean you can't clean it safely at home. Technically speaking, dry cleaning means a chemical cleaning process, not a 'dry' method.
You can use home laundering but you have to consider certain factors like fiber type, fabric construction, dyes, etc before doing so. It's important when caring for your clothes is to know when not to home launder and take your garment to a professional.
If you want to get started on home cleaning, don't put your new, expensive suits at risk. Try home washing with old clothes first.
And when I say home washing, it means a hand process as machine washing may be too rough. Use a gentle laundry cleanser and avoid bleaches, fabric softeners, or rinse additives.
Always wash with cold water which is an energy efficient method anyway. Do not twist or wring the garment as some items can be damaged in the process. When drying the garment, dry it without stretching the garment.
If necessary, lay the garment flat on towels which are changed when they absorb too much water. Do not dry the garment in the dryer as the heat and agitation can cause damage.
As you can see, home laundering involves a lot of hand process and takes up much of your time. If you are the lazy or busy type, then the best way, is to avoid dry cleaning and its associated cost as much as possible.
People often buy new clothes to follow the latest fashion but this approach is extremely wasteful. You hardly wear out the clothes before new styles come out and you need a new wardrobe again.
I usually go for styles that is not fashionable and easy to maintain. Smaller, local manufacturers also offer a better value on clothing instead of branded clothes.
I also visit local local thrift stores where the clothes are cheaper. Some of the bargains and special sales are unbelievable. In addition, thrift shops give you a cheap way to buy children's clothes since they often outgrow their clothes very quickly.
You can also consider using worksuits when doing any dirty work such as yard work, house work or cleaning. This will save you money from dry cleaning or even washing your clothes as frequently which save electricity and water.