On Friday I spilled some food all down the front of my winter coat as I was leaving work. I bought the coat brand new this past fall so I was not happy about having to clean it. When I got home I checked the label and sure enough the care instructions said to dry clean. Looking at the label it said the coat was polyester and rayon, so I felt comfortable in throwing my coat in the washing machine. A couple hours later my coat came out of the dryer as good as new.
It has been years since I’ve taken anything to the dry cleaner. Usually it’s because I’m too cheap to pay for dry cleaning. I’ve been known to wash silk blouses by hand to avoid the fee. I don’t like it when clothes are labeled Dry Clean Only but they don’t really require it. I think it’s a cop out when the clothes manufacturer’s label clothes made out of ordinary material, like cotton or polyester, to require special handling. I usually check the labels when I buy clothes and steer clear of those that require special care.
I also know that dry cleaning has not always been healthy for the environment given the typical chemicals used. It’s only been recently that I’ve heard of cleaners using other options which aren’t as harmful.
I realize some people take items to the cleaners to save the trouble of ironing them. I own an iron but very rarely use it. My husband, who does the laundry in our house, is the master of taking things out of the dryer in a timely manner so clothes need minimal pressing.
I figure I’ve saved hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by avoiding the dry cleaners. At this point I don’t see any reason to change my behavior.