Knowing what to dry clean (and not to) can be stressful. Sometimes you can toss your clothes in the washing machine, sometimes you need to hand wash your clothes or bring them into professional cleaners. Different fabrics will need different care requirements.

Professional Cleaning

If you’ve chosen to invest in premium clothing such as a vintage leather jacket, a nice silk top, or anything velvet or wool, you should also be investing in its cleaning methods. By simply tossing these in the washing machine, you’ll do a lot more harm than good. Water can damage the materials and any products you use may be too aggressive. Save yourself a quality piece and bring fragile fabrics into a professional dry cleaner.

For any article of clothing that you are unsure about or have embellishments, it is best to take these items into a professional cleaner as well to ensure nothing falls off or breaks while washing them. This includes embellished dresses, jeans, or suits.

Washable at Home

Any item made out of cotton or knits are study enough to wash at home, including synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon. The one thing to watch out for is just because these fabrics can be washed at home does not mean you should toss them all together in hot water in the washing machine. Your favorite sweaters may start to fade if washed in hot water, so always ensure to use warm or cool water. In addition, it can be easy to permanently wrinkle these items so make sure to dry them promptly.

More luxurious fabrics can be washed at home, but ensure you’re washing them by hand in cold water with gentle detergent. Ensure you’re being gentle with the fabrics and dry the fabric right away as well.

The important thing is when in doubt, stop by a knowledgeable dry cleaner so they can help guide you.