Do home dry cleaning kits work?
Dry Cleaning Kits
My Story: Dry Clean Only
Dry Cleaning Kits
Dry Cleaning Alternatives
Do Home Dry Cleaning Kits Work?
Has anyone tried the in home dry cleaner kits? Just recently I have noticed 3 or 4 on the market at around $10.00 per box and wonder if they work and are worth the money. Do you have any good tips on "dry cleaning". I hate to spend $4.00 per silk blouse but the idea of ruining them does not appeal to me either.
I have been using the Custom Cleaner - Home Dry Cleaning Kit for about the last two years. I find that I can use the dry cleaning kit about 3 times on a garment, then I'll have it professionally cleaned the 4th time. The kit I use claims to refresh, remove spots and eliminate odors. I believe it is good to its word.
However, by the 4th time, I want to be sure the garment is completely cleaned and pressed. Of course, I have avoided dry clean only clothes as much as possible and I am angry so many business clothes have to be maintained this way. If a manufacturer can make good looking casual wear in a washable fabric, why not a business suit or dress? It's a racket that makes me mad because I figure I'm paying for my clothing over and over again if it has to be dry cleaned. So, for those outfits I just had to have that were dry clean only, I'm happy the home kits are available.
Kits Not a Replacement
I tried one of the home dry cleaning kits and found it to be useful but not a replacement for going to the cleaners. It does not seem to damage items--although I have not tried silk, and I don't think I would since you are using heat from the dryer--but it also does not provide you with a crisp, pressed item.
Even the TV ads now focus on using it to "freshen" up your clothes that have been in storage; that it how it is best used.
Keep in mind that you can only do 4 items per load (it takes 30 minutes in the dryer). You really could store your clothes with moth balls all winter, and in the spring freshen them with this kit, and no wasted water as you would if you had to wash them again.
I also found the stain kit that comes with it to be effective in eliminating any stains. Otherwise, the item comes out slightly wrinkled and needing to be ironed/pressed. Who likes to do that? If it is a suit, or an outfit that really needs to have a crisp line to it, then the dry cleaners are still the best way!
Saves Me a Ton on Dry Cleaning
I use the Home Dry Cleaning kit. The kit, with the cleaner bag cleans 12 garments and the refill cleans 20. Additionally there are usually coupons in the box for your next purchase and more in the paper, especially as competition increases.
I think they are great and save a ton of money in dry cleaning bills. I think people need to understand that the home kits do not replace the need to dry clean your clothes, they simply reduce the frequency you need to do it. I will generally use the home kit for winter clothes more frequently than summer between professional visits, but always professionally clean my work wardrobe 1-2 times per season. The kit is also good for small stains, sauce splashes etc - but larger spills and grittier stains are still best left to the professionals.
Negative on Dry Cleaning Kits
Take a look in Consumer Reports website consumerreports.com/ and search for Dryel. They state that the kits don't remove most stains well, leave a circle around the stain, and merely freshen the garment.
Why Dry Clean?
Why are you dry cleaning silk? All you need to do is warm hand wash the blouse with some mild woolwash (normal detergents are the wrong pH for animal fibers like wool and silk). Then dry until it is just damp, roll it tightly and place in a sealed plastic bag then place that in the freezer. Then when it is frozen take it out and iron it. I was told these silk care tips when I spend some time on a silk farm in Thailand - and they work.
Try Crystal Wash. 1000 loads of laundry - no detergents, no dyes, no chemicals, no perfumes
Satisfied With Kits
I personally have tried the Dryel Cleaning Kit and have been extremely satisfied with the results. The kit comes with a bottle of stain remover (for pre-spotting stains) and 4 clean pads to use it with, 4 dry-cleaning towelettes (each one can be used to clean one load of up to 4 items), and a large heavy-duty plastic dryer-safe bag w/velcro closure.
The kit is very easy to use. You just put 1 towelette and 4 items (blouse, skirt, pants, jacket-each counts as one item) into the large bag, close the velcro strip, and place in your dryer on low/medium heat for 30 minutes, remove quickly and smooth out any wrinkles with your hands and that's it! The clothes smell clean and refreshed with no spots or bad chemical smell, and I found the kit easy to use and well worth the price, as it comes in a very nice recloseable box for storage.
Take the Next Step
- Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
- Visit our "Handy Household Tips" board today!
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- 15 mistakes to avoid when selling your home
- 9 ways to buy furniture for less
- Need a bigger home? How to maximize the space you already have
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Should I borrow from my home equity?
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?