How to Dry Clean at Home - Tips & Tricks For Everyone


Our ultimate guide on how to dry clean at home will reveal the secrets to achieving professional-grade cleaning for your delicate garments without leaving your house!

The feeling of freshly dry-cleaned clothes is a wonderful one, but we all know the struggle of realizing your favorite blouse is dirty right before an important event. Consider home dry cleaning as an alternative. Lots of folks have been steering away from sending clothes to the dry cleaners recently, whether it be for financial or environmental reasons. Most dry cleaners use perchloroethylene and other chemicals (which can linger in our waterways). Additionally, there are always those pesky plastic bags your items get returned in! As a community focused on sustainable practices, we are more than happy to help you learn how to dry clean at home and offer extra help with laundering these items.

How to Dry Clean At Home

It’s important to care for your clothes according to the fabric care labels as often as possible to increase longevity, but in a pinch, we have some helpful tips on how to dry clean clothes at home.

Try a Spot Clean

Before you take the plunge to wash your “dry clean only” item, see if you can get away with a simple spot clean! A paste of baking soda and water is a great way to pre-treat stains on clothes before you wash it off. A spot clean is also a great way to test the fabric safely. Drip a small amount of water (and perhaps the detergent you plan to use) onto a small, unseen portion of your garment, then rub a cotton swab across the area. If the fabric's dye stains the cotton swab, it does indeed need to be dry-cleaned.

Check the Care Label

First and foremost, it’s crucial to note which fabrics should be hand washed and which can withstand the washing machine. Delicate and loose weave fabrics like silk, wool, and cashmere should always be washed by hand to avoid any stretching or pulling of the threads. Heavier fabrics like cotton, linen, and polyester are generally safe to machine wash—just make sure to use the gentlest cycle.

How to Dry Clean Clothes at Home: Machine Washing

To machine wash, select the cold cycle and add a mild detergent like our Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent Pods. Select the gentlest cycle available on your machine. Don’t wander too far off after starting the load, because you’ll want to grab those items from the machine as soon as the cycle ends, and lay them out flat to dry!

How to Dry Clean At Home: Hand Washing

To hand wash, toss into a clean sink or basin. Fill the tub with cold water and add a small amount of a mild detergent, mixing until suds appear. Gently dip your items in and out of the water, and rub any soiled areas softly with your fingers. Once it’s clean, empty and refill the basil with fresh water and rinse.


To dry, lay the garment on a towel and slowly roll it to squeeze out excess water. Unroll the towel and move the garment to a drier area of the towel. Repeat this process until the fabric is no longer dripping, which will probably be 3 to 5 times. Always avoid the dryer for any clothing labeled “dry clean only”, as heat can be dangerous for delicate fabrics. When you’re finished, lay the item out to air dry. Ideally, you should lay the garments flat on a drying rack or over a clean, dry towel so they maintain their shape and avoid any unwanted creases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more burning questions about how to dry clean at home? We’ve got answers to help you be the best home dry cleaner you can be.

Can you do dry clean only at home? How can I do dry cleaning at home?

Can you dry clean at home? Yes, at home dry cleaning is absolutely possible! Follow the instructions in our guide above to clean your dry-clean only clothes at home, either by hand or in the washing machine.

What happens if I wash dry clean only?

Washing your dry clean only clothing can be a disaster when done improperly–but with the right caution and tools, you should be able to clean those delicate articles of clothing at home.

Can dry clean only be hand washed?

Most dry clean only items can be hand washed! Be sure to use cold water and a mild detergent. We recommend dipping the item in and out of water rather than leaving it submerged for long periods of time.