Heading to a dry cleaner’s shop is a regular part of suit and dress pants maintenance. However, if you aren’t careful, you could visit a bad shop, dry clean your clothes too often, or fail to take your clothes to a dry cleaning service when they really need the visit. Let’s break down some top suit dry cleaning tips to assist you.
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Suit Dry Cleaning – An Overview
In a nutshell, dry cleaning involves using a particular type of solvent instead of water or detergents to clean expensive or valuable clothes. These days, most places use some kind of tetrachloroethylene or similar solvents for the job.
After receiving a suit jacket and/or pants, a dry cleaner will put the clothes in a large machine (very similar to a home washing machine), then soak the clothes in the solvent. The solvent does the work of dissolving stains, particles, dirt, and debris from the fabric. Then your suit is dried, pressed, and ironed.
When Should You Dry Clean a Suit?
Dry cleaning bills can quickly skyrocket if you take your suit to the dry cleaners every time you wear it. Knowing when to dry clean a suit is almost as important as knowing where to take it! Here are some tips for how often you should get your suit dry cleaned:
- If you only occasionally wear your suit, dry clean it at least once per season. Since it’s not unduly exposed to lots of contaminants and dirt, you can get away with this rare frequency.
- If you wear your suit a few times a week, dry clean your suit every other week. For regular office workers, a suit probably won’t become terribly dirty in a day. But after a week or two, the stains and dirt might start to pile up. Then it’s time to take it to the dry cleaners.
- If you wear your suit every day, we’d recommend considering dry cleaning your suit once per week if you can afford it.
- If you get a bad stain on your suit, such as a wine stain, get it dry cleaned ASAP. It’s the best way to preserve the original color of the fabric.
Of course, you can cut down on dry cleaning bills by using a suit brush and steaming/ironing your own pants and suit. This can go a long way toward ensuring that your suit lasts for a long time. Be sure to hang your suit up in a bright, well-lit environment and let the fabric breathe to prevent mold and bugs from infesting the fabric.
Buy Multiple Pants for Each Jacket
It’s a great idea to expand your wardrobe by buying at least two or three pairs of trousers for each suit jacket you own. This will allow you to look sharp no matter what while also varying your style, especially throughout the workweek.
You can then dry clean the pants with the jacket they’re “paired” with in a single load or trip, cutting down on gas costs or the time you spend going back and forth to the dry cleaners.
Dry Clean Before Storing a Suit
If you’re planning to store a suit for a season—for instance, maybe you have a summer jacket that won't work for your winter engagements—then be sure to dry clean it before storing it. Since heavier wools and similar fabrics usually go to the back of your closet, they can accidentally attract moths and other shade-loving pests if there are particles in the jacket's fibers.
Always Choose a Good Dry Cleaning Service
Choosing a great dry cleaning service is crucial, as a bad service can leave you with lost or ruined clothes. When selecting a dry cleaning service, consider the following:
- Check the dry cleaning service’s pricing. Make sure that prices are clearly written and easy to understand.
- Learn more about their lost garment or damaged clothing policy. An excellent dry cleaning shop will either replace or give you depreciated value for any clothes that are lost because of honest mistakes.
- Consider how long the service has been in business. Generally, more experienced businesses are more worth your patronage.
- See if the shop is environmentally friendly. Some dry cleaners will use chemical-free cleaning processes that are safer for their workers and the environment.
Upgrade Your Wardrobe Today
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