What's in a label? When it comes to dry cleaning, there are a lot of myths -- like, did you know that the process isn't actually "dry," despite the misleading moniker? In reality, there are quite a few supposedly "dry clean only" products that can actually be laundered from the comfort of your home with a few common sense tips kept in mind. Sure, your suedes, velvets, leathers, and ultra-embellished pieces still need to be handled by professionals, but these common items can be taken care of by you right now!
Cashmere: A cool cashmere sweater might seem like the exact kind of fine fabric that needs to go on top of the cleaner pile, but nope! A gentle hand wash and hang-dry routine will suit these pieces just fine.
Wool: Same for wool. In fact, your wooly items will probably last longer if you give them a rinse right at home and let them air dry instead of carting them off to the cleaners to receive the chemical (mis-)treatment.
Polyester: Not only do you not have to dry clean your polyester prints, but you can throw them in with the rest of the normal wash and dry load without worry that they'll be hampered in the process.
Nylon: Fabrics such as nylon and spandex don't risk being shrunk in the cycle, so wash away!
Cotton: There is a risk of shrinking certain cotton-only items in the dryer, and if they're brand new and colorful, there's also a bleeding risk. The trick is to keep like colors together in the load and tumble dry to ensure the size will be the same, but otherwise, these are fair game for home laundering, too.Linen: Unless your linen items are lined with something that does need to be dry-cleaned -- say, some silk -- they are also totally safe for home laundering. A simple soak and rinse method is appropriate where the linens are more delicately woven, however, and tumble or air drying is best to avoid shredding the fabric.