Could I dry-clean this?
December 15, 2014 5:46 PM   Subscribe

I have two sweaters, and while the label on both says hand wash in cold and line dry, could I dry clean them?

One is 40% rayon, 21% wool, 17% cotton, 16% nylon, and 6% rabbit hair. The other is 53% cotton, 28% wool, 19% acrylic.

I've heard of people hand washing things that say "dry clean only," so I initially assumed the converse was true. But I just would like to double check. The care tags on both sweaters don't say anything about dry cleaning-- there is not a "don't dry clean symbol." I know better than to machine wash it. I'm open to hand washing, but kind of as a last resort, since wash basin space in my apartment is kind of limited.

I've been told that I should talk to the dry cleaner about this, but I'm kind of a noob at that and so don't really know how to ask or if my neighborhood places will do it.

I am in NYC, so if anyone here on the off chance knows of any place here that will take sweaters like that, please let me know.

Thank you!
posted by bookwibble to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes of course you can. Fear not; you can dry clean anything!
posted by DarlingBri at 5:53 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dry cleaners will dry clean anything, but I hate the way dry cleaned clothes smell.

You have a bathtub and a kitchen sink. Do them in there.

Here are some instructions. The trick is not to twist the garment put to press out as much water as possible, then to blot up water with towels. Lay the towels on the floor near the radiator (on towels) flat.

You will be so happy you did this!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:01 PM on December 15, 2014

You probably can but the result might be worse than hand washing. Unless your cleaner is very good, the rabbit hair in sweater #1 might change texture or shed. With sweater #2, I would risk the cold delicates cycle in a machine and dry flat (no dryer) if it wasn't expensive or impossible to replace
posted by slow graffiti at 6:05 PM on December 15, 2014

If you have access to a top loading washer you can control, just fill it up, stop it before the wash cycle, and use it as your wash basin. (If you're using coin laundry where the machines are more of the automatic sort or side loading, obviously this doesn't work so well.)

For drying, lay the wet sweater flat on a (clean, dry, duh) towel. Roll the towel up like a jelly roll, not too tight but not way loose, and give it some gentle squeezes. That'll get the water out gently and evenly. Then lay it flat over something...before I got a purpose built drying rack I liked to use the backs of two chairs pushed near each other. Move the sweater around a bit to shift its orientation as it dries so it doesn't develop any stress nipples.
posted by phunniemee at 6:52 PM on December 15, 2014

I worked for a dry-cleaners for ten years. If neither of the sweaters have decoration (some plastic buttons, sequins, metallic thread) that could be damaged by solvent, both should dry clean fine. Care tags aren't required to list all cleaning options, just one, so care tags are sometime geared toward consumer expectations. Dry cleaning may be recommended for some items when it isn't necessary or left off the label when it is possible.

Personally, I would hand wash the sweaters at home or ask your cleaners to hand wash them. Dry cleaning is throwing your clothes along with a bunch of strangers' clothes in some nasty, nasty chemicals. The solvent is often reused for multiple loads without being distilled. Ick.
posted by Agatha at 6:58 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

« Older How can I translate a Japanese PDF?   |   A good dip for raw veggies? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.