Dry cleaning can cost a pretty penny (and a lot of time too with all the drops offs and pick ups) especially if you have a ton of "dry clean only clothes" that you are always sending to the cleaners.
Here are few tips on how you can reduce your dry cleaner visits or skip them all together (yes it's possible) and save yourself some serious cash. Plus think about what you could be doing with all the money you save! From bulking up your emergency fund to putting more money towards saving for a goal to pay more to your debt, the list goes on!
Tips to reduce your dry cleaning costs
1. Try a home dry cleaning kit
Getting a home dry cleaning kit costs a fraction of what it costs to take your clothes into the dry cleaner - around 85% - so if your clothes are only slightly dirty or just need a refresher, try out a home and save yourself some money. Dryel and Woolite both make really well reviewed at home dry cleaning kits.
2. Distinguish between "dry clean" and "dry clean only"
Did you know that "dry clean" and "dry clean only" are two different things? When a piece of clothing just says "dry clean", it means that it's just a recommendation but not a must to get it dry cleaned. This item of clothing can be put in the washing or hand washed. "Dry clean only" on the other hand means it should be dry cleaned due to the nature of the fabric. Know the difference, sort your clothes accordingly and save some cash!
3. Know your fabrics and how to care for them
If you have a good idea of the fabrics your clothes are made out of, then you'll be better equipped to take good care of your clothing. Fabrics like wool, cashmere, and silk need special care but that does not mean the only way to care for them is by dry cleaning.
Depending on the fabric, gentle and washing with mild detergent and air drying can keep them in tip top condition, so before you head over to the cleaners next time spend some time on Google to see how you can care for your delicates at home and skip the cleaners.
4. Use a wrinkle release product or a steamer
Sometimes putting an iron to delicate fabrics can ruin them and so dry cleaning is how many avoid potential disasters. An alternative to care for your clothes would be to use a wrinkle release product when you wash it at home and a good quality steamer to get rid of those wrinkles. Both options are less abrasive/damaging than an iron and steamers can make your clothes look fresh off the clothing store rack.
5. Spot clean stains ASAP
Some stains can only be taken out by the dry cleaners however if you spot clean stains on your clothes as soon as they happen, you can get rid of the stains on your own and prolong the wear time of your clothing before you have to take them to the cleaners. Tip: Keep a spot cleaning pen in your purse.
6. Wear your "dry clean only" clothes more than once between cleanings
Yup, you can do this! Spray your clothes lightly with some none staining delicate fabric freshener and run your steamer over them and voila - your clothing is fresh and crisp again! Not only will wearing your clothes more than once help you save money but you'll also be getting the most cost per wear.
7. Find a cheaper dry cleaner
If all else fails and you just have to dry clean your clothing or you can't give up dry cleaning entirely, why not shop around for a cheaper dry cleaner? Many dry cleaners will offer discounts on certain days of the week or based on your frequency so shop around to see what's out there.
Are you guilty of dry cleaning everything you own? Tried any of the above tips? How else do you save money on your dry cleaning costs?