Save A Buck Or Two On Your Laundry By Dry-Cleaning At Home

For many of us, sending our clothes to the dry cleaners is an easy and convenient way to clean our garments without the hassle of having to do it ourselves. Maybe you don't have the tools to be able to do it yourself, or perhaps you're unsure of how to tackle certain materials. This is where the service comes in handy. Each time, even the most challenging clothes are often returned spotless and in good condition. However, the costs of outsourcing this surprisingly easy household chore can quickly add up, costing you a pretty penny.


The solution? Do your dry-cleaning from home. Not only will this save you a considerable amount of money in the long run, but you will also be able to save on fuel costs. In addition, dry-cleaning at home is kinder on the planet, as you'll be taking fewer trips in your car to the dry cleaner. What's more, doing this household task is incredibly easy once you know how. Below, we'll show you how to save money by dry-cleaning at home.

Purchase a dry-cleaning kit to save money

One easy way to save money on dry-cleaning at home is to purchase your very own dry-cleaning kit. A dry-cleaning kit usually consists of a dryer bag, stain remover, scent, and a towel that has been pre-treated with a solution. This kit has everything you need to get started and is fairly straightforward to use. First, you should remove any stains with the tools provided before placing your items in the dryer bag provided. This step is incredibly important, as putting your clothes through the dry cleaner when they are stained could potentially lead to permanent marks — something nobody wants to deal with.


According to New York Magazine, using a dry-cleaning kit can reduce your cost per garment all the way down to between $0.31 and $1.12, which is considerably cheaper than taking your clothes to a dry cleaner. It's also faster. If you want your dry-cleaning to be even more cost-effective, make sure you choose a good kit where you get the best value for your money.

Categorize your clothes when dry-cleaning

To save both time and money, try and wait until you can dry-clean several items made from the same fabric together, rather than individually. If you can, try to place similar fabrics together. For example, dry-clean all your shirts together or all your towels together. Fabric experts Jennifer Ahoni and Lindsay Boyd from the manufacturing company Procter & Gamble reinforce this idea. The pair recommends keeping denim away from delicate fabrics, while towels, cotton, and linen should be kept away from "down bedding" (via Furthermore, to keep summer linens in perfect condition, wash them in their own way, too. There will be a slight learning curve, but it will be worth it.


Be careful not to overload your dry cleaner, as it may make your clothes more difficult to clean. If you have a dry-cleaning kit, you can usually find how many garments you can use at once via the guidelines. Categorizing your clothes like this will help you to get better value for money and will help prevent different fabrics from interfering with each other. While this isn't a hard rule that you have to follow, it is definitely recommended. This will help you get the best quality and lifespan out of your clothes.

Don't mix opposing colors

It may be tempting to toss all of your clothes into the dry cleaner without a second thought, however, you should always think twice before doing this. You don't want to ruin your clothes. To be on the safe side, you should not mix opposing colors, such as white and black when dry-cleaning. Mixing them could lead to the colors of the clothes bleeding. This may result in any lighter colors in the dryer being stained by the darker colors, which, of course, nobody wants. Not only will this ruin your clothes, but you'll also likely end up shelling out more money to replace the affected garment. So, if you want to save both your time and money, it's always better to err on the side of caution.


To ensure you get the best results from dry cleaning, you should make sure that you have fully closed the bag that was provided in your kit. This will allow the pre-treated sheet inside the bag to work its magic to its full potential.

Protect your current clothes

One great way to save money on dry cleaning is to protect both your current clothes and new clothes. This tip is particularly applicable to white clothes that tend to stain more easily. This can occur through sweat marks that build up over time, or stains from food, drink, or outdoor activities. However, clothes of all colors should be protected in order to get the best longevity out of them, and of course, avoid the dry cleaner.


To protect your clothes, you should invest in a sweat-proof undershirt. These are great for preventing odor buildup and stains from sweat, which can sometimes be incredibly tedious to remove. Another more obvious tip is to not overdo it with the layers. Sometimes, too many layers can cause us to sweat more, due to warmth getting trapped more easily under the clothes, especially during moments of vigorous exercise. Investing in these sweat-preventative measures will help you to cut down on those dry-cleaning costs. 

Check your lint filter is clean

A lint filter is essential for catching shedding fibers from any items in your dry cleaner, helping to prevent the clogging of the vent inside. Ensuring that the filter is clean is a vital part of the dry-cleaning process, as it will help you to keep energy costs down in the long term. It will also help to ensure that your garments are thoroughly cleaned and dried, with any excess fibers being removed as necessary.


To clean your lint filter, simply open your dry cleaner and remove the lint screen. To remove the excess fibers, you can use either a vacuum or your hand, before hand washing it and letting it dry. Once dry, you can place the filter back inside your dry cleaner. Make sure that it fits securely. While it may feel tedious, it's definitely a good habit to get into to save yourself money in the long term.

Learn dry-cleaner-friendly items

Dry-cleaning at home is fairly straightforward, both with and without a dry-cleaning kit. While it may not seem important, drying your clothes is just as important as the actual washing, and doing it correctly may help to uphold their quality. However, it turns out that some clothes are actually better air dried vs. being placed in the dry cleaner.


Some of the clothes that you should air dry include delicate fabrics such as silk, denim, cashmere, wool, synthetics, and underwear. However, other items and fabrics prefer to be dry-cleaned. Some clothes that prefer the dry cleaner include vests, jackets, skirts, dresses, suits, formal wear, bedsheets, and any down-filled garments. This will help to maintain the quality of your clothes. If in doubt, check the tag on the item for instructions. 

One important tip to keep in mind is to always check the label for cleaning and drying instructions. If an item says "dry-clean only," then the item should only ever be dry-cleaned. Items such as wool, cashmere, and cotton, should always be washed in cooler temperatures (80 degrees Fahrenheit or below) or be washed by hand. For instance, this is a great way to keep your favorite cashmere sweaters in perfect condition. After your clothes have finished drying, you may find that they still smell, or perhaps they are wrinkling in areas. To solve this issue, you can invest in a clothes steamer, recommends Jessica Ek from the American Cleaning Institute (via Byrdie). This should help to remove any wrinkles or odors that are lingering on your garments.