Dry cleaning can cost a pretty penny and a lot of time too, with all the drop-offs and pickups. More so if you have a ton of "dry clean only" clothes that you are always sending to the cleaners. However, it's one of those expenses that are easy to forget.
Here are few tips to reduce your dry cleaner visits or skip them altogether (yes, it's possible) and save yourself some serious cash. Plus, think about what you could be doing with all the money you save on dry cleaning costs! From bulking up your emergency fund to putting more money towards saving for a goal to paying more to your debt, the list goes on!
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% less. So if your clothes are only slightly dirty or just need a refresher, try out a home dry cleaning kit and save yourself some money. Dryel and Woolite are both 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 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 machine 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 on dry cleaning costs!
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, 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 ironing and steamers can make your clothes look like they're 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. This can prolong the wear time of your clothing before you have to take them to the cleaners. By tackling stains quickly, you can reduce dry cleaning costs and prevent further damage to your clothing.
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 on dry cleaning costs, but you'll also be getting the most cost per wear. Embrace this tip because even celebrities skip washing items like their jeans to maintain the quality.
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.
8. Practice minimalist fashion
Another option to reduce dry cleaning costs is to create a capsule wardrobe and practice minimalist fashion. You may replace or reduce the items you have that are dry clean only with more budget-friendly clothing. Adding classic pieces to your wardrobe that never go out of style will simplify your closet and cut clothing expenses. Don't fret; you can still be fashionable on a budget!
Cut costs and save money
Cutting expenses wherever possible and living a frugal lifestyle can help you save money faster. Sometimes it may not seem like much money, but it really adds up over time. Let's say you save $50 a month on dry cleaning costs; that equals $600 in a year! That's money you could be saving towards a luxury item you've always wanted or needed vacation.
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