General ramblings

Dry Clean Only?

January 9, 2015

Those of you have been following the blog for a while, may remember my delight at ‘transforming’ a coat I found in a charity shop, by simply changing the buttons. The coat served me very well last Winter, and has been pressed into service again this year. But it is, well, a little on the filthy dirty side.

I have no idea what this is-I suspect it may be bird poo….

I have no idea what this is-I suspect it may be bird poo….

And this might be guinea pig poo….

And this might be guinea pig poo….

I checked the label and was dismayed to see the instructions “Dry Clean Only”. Dry Clean only title pageBums. I really didn’t want to dry clean it because: a) I really hate all the horrible chemicals they use at the dry cleaners; and b) the cost of dry cleaning it would probably be more than I paid for the coat! So I decided to ask for advice from the lovely, knowledgable bunch in the Make Do and Mend-able Facebook group. We had a great thread going, and the vast majority of people seemed to think it would be fine in the machine, on a wool/handwash cycle, using a gentle detergent. I was also advised to put it in a pillowcase when I washed it. So I gave it a go….

Coat in a pillowcase (in case you were struggling to visualise it_

Coat in a pillowcase (in case you were struggling to visualise it)

My "I've just put my Dry Clean Only coat in the washing machine" selfie face

My “I’ve just put my Dry Clean Only coat in the washing machine” selfie face

And……. It worked! It was sopping wet when it came out of the machine, as it didn’t really spin it much, so I laid it out flat over the bath to dry: Edited 5 It took about 3 days to dry completely, but I am pleased to report it still fits, and both the outside and the lining seem to have survived. AND the suspected poo is gone!

Apologies for the crappy photo, but hopefully you can at least see that it still fits…!

Apologies for the crappy photo, but hopefully you can at least see that it still fits…!

Happy Days!

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  • Reply Step-Three to How to Automate your Life to Save Time & Money: Your Washing & Ironing | Growing Snowballs - New ways of Saving Money January 16, 2015 at 1:29 am

    […] Or if you are willing to take a chance like fellow blogger Jen from My Make Do And Mend Year, place your item of clothing inside a pillowcase before cleaning it yourself in the washing machine.  It’s a worthwhile exercise if you are in the habit of picking up Thrift Shop bargains which need a little TLC. As you gain more experience, you may even treat higher-value items this way.  Read about it here: https://mymakedoandmendyear.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/dry-clean-only/ […]

    • Reply Jen January 16, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply caterinacate January 12, 2015 at 8:29 am

    *UnfOrtunately* grrrr to iPad

  • Reply caterinacate January 12, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Unfirtunately I shall have to dry clean my winter coat because I have found moth holes (GRRRR!!!) and don’t want to risk more damages. But I normally hand wash or machine wash at the gentlest setting the few Dry Clean only garments I have and they have all survived so far. Dry cleaning is only for moth killing purposes, when the garment is too big, like my coat, or too impractical, because I need it soon, to put in the freezer for weeks (it kills moth eggs).

    • Reply Jen January 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Boooo to moths!

  • Reply Jen January 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Crikey, really? Was there a whole dry cleaning thing I missed?!

    • Reply Helen January 11, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Maybe it was just the clothes I was choosing to buy 😉

      • Reply Jen January 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm

        🙂

  • Reply Liz Carey January 10, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    I have heard many garments are safe for water wash, even when they say dry clean only. I do have a pair of fine linen pants with water stains on the cuff (they definitely will not do well in the wash), but does anyone have any advice for that?

    • Reply Jen January 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Oh gosh, sorry to hear that Liz. Not sure what you can do once the stains are there, short of dying the trousers a whole new colour to cover up the stains?

      • Reply Liz Carey January 14, 2015 at 4:26 pm

        Thanks Jen. It’s not noticeable, just a little bit of a shame.

  • Reply lizard100 January 9, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Well done. The washing instructions can often be less rigid than we are led to believe. Great button idea!

    • Reply Jen January 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Thankyou! I love it-everyone always comments on the buttons 🙂

  • Reply Green Girl January 9, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I also don’t dry clean. Even when I go to thrift stores, I look at tags to make it doesn’t say ‘dry clean only’. However, I can usually tell when a fabric will uphold to gentle cycle or hand washing.

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Always check the labels! Something I usually forget to do!

  • Reply angalmond January 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I ‘took the plunge’ and actually washed a suede jacket in my machine recently. Remarkably pleased with the result! I am so glad your lovely wool coat came clean x

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Oh wow, suede-that’s super brave!

  • Reply KathrynH January 9, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Funnily enough I was just looking at second-hand (and rather well worn) Christmas jumper made from merino wool and wondering if I should dry clean it. The pillowcase is a great tip – will try it!

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Be really careful with wool Kathryn! Do you have a hand wash cycle on your machine? That’s what I use for my woollies

  • Reply Handmade by Lorna January 9, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I am so glad to hear that your coat survived. Well done you. I too never dry clean anything.

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Hurray for the dry cleaning rebels!

  • Reply vickymyerscreations January 9, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Ahh… I have a very muddy long wool winter coat (too much jumping muddy puddles.. its a hard life). I may give this a go, think I will need to soak it first due to levels of mud though!

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Oh crikey-that must have been some walk!

  • Reply Nicola January 9, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I’m glad it worked for you. My beloved winter coat may also get the same treatment now. It’s been worn for 2 winters and is showing the signs of wear. I had thought this might be the last winter I could get away with before dry cleaning it but I’m so glad I’ve got an alternative now. Thanks Jen x

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Starting to feel some pressure now-don’t want to be responsible for everyone trashing their dry clean only clothes..!

  • Reply growing snowballs | Glenda Smith January 9, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Well done! As you may have read in my post last week I don’t dry clean anything [or iron either]. I think manufacturers are just covering themselves by putting a label on an item “Dry Clean Only” in case it shrinks. I have even seen this label on underwear.

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Can you imagine if underwear needed dry cleaning..!!

      • Reply growing snowballs | Glenda Smith January 10, 2015 at 12:14 am

        No I can’t that is why I found it so preposterous. Mind you I wouldn’t want them to shrink either.

        • Reply Jen January 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm

          Nothing worse than tight pants…!

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