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Dry Clean Only?

Omnicron9999Omnicron9999 Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So I have a wool peacoat, not the nicest in the world (read: no expensive materials, even the wool isn't very fine).

Anyway, it says dry clean only on the label. The only materials listed are wool, nylon, and polyester. I have washed said materials before with no problems.

Basically, am I going to wreck my coat if I try to wash it normally? I have read a few things online that suggest there shouldn't be any problems provided I am not an idiot (bleach, etc), but I would like some other advice.

Omnicron9999 on

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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    the dry cleaning usually refers to the lining. I have a coat that says that, but I just take the lining out and throw the actual coat into the washer.

    FyreWulff on
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    Omnicron9999Omnicron9999 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    the dry cleaning usually refers to the lining. I have a coat that says that, but I just take the lining out and throw the actual coat into the washer.

    The lining doesn't come out of this coat, so thats not really an option. It does say on the tag that the lining is 100% polyester, no reason that can't be washed right?

    Omnicron9999 on
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited May 2021
    -

    Andrew_Jay on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The other issue would be the glues and such that hold everything together. It wouldn't be destroyed from washing it every now and again, but it would eventually take a toll.

    moniker on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Sometimes this refers to color fastness and tensle strength as well, so after a few washes it may bleed and or shred. I've gotten away with regular washes once or twice on dry clean items, but it always goes sour in the end - if they say it, there is a reason.

    Sarcastro on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    There are these bags you can buy that let you dry-clean in your own dryer. Have you thought about trying those?

    Thanatos on
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    blincolnblincoln Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Dry cleaning is only "dry" in the sense that it involves using a solvent other than water, so I've always regarded that type of product as being a scam along the lines of the magic plastic balls that are sold as a permanent replacement for detergent.

    Manufacturers don't put "dry clean only" on things because they think it's funny to make people take them to the cleaners. Especially with wool I would recommend doing things the right way or not at all.

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    Omnicron9999Omnicron9999 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Thanatos wrote: »
    There are these bags you can buy that let you dry-clean in your own dryer. Have you thought about trying those?

    Are they expensive? And do they work as a 100% alternative to dry cleaning?


    It sounds like I should just bring it to the cleaners though.

    I am home from school and I wanted to take advantage of the free washing available.

    Omnicron9999 on
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    Blue Is BeautifulBlue Is Beautiful Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The dryel bags don't really clean anything though, but they do remove smoke smell from things. they're supposed to be used for things that you might've worn to a party and gotten some type of scent on them (like perfume smoke) but it's not actually dirty and you don't want to have to pay to clean it just for the smell.

    if it's actually dirty because it's something you wear out often, you have to get it cleaned at a place.

    Blue Is Beautiful on
    no, you can't.
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    I know that wool suits are almost always dry clean only. Washable wool is still a fairly new development.

    I'd say that tag does refer to the jacket itself, and that you're running the risk of maybe seriously fucking it up if you wash it. Of course, drycleaning wears the material down too, so most people do that about once a season, before putting the jacket into storage for the summer.

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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    Sarcastro wrote: »
    if they say it, there is a reason.

    Actually, that's not always true. To advise on washing instructions requires that the gament in question be tested in various methods of washing. If it's a particularly expensive garment, perhaps made in limited quantities, it might not be financially sensible to wreck too many of them testing them in different washes, so they'll just stick a dry-clean only label on as default because it's the least damaging method and realy it just means they haven't bothered testing it in various washes. So it might be washing machine safe, but it's a hell of a gamble for a $2000 dress.

    However, as correctly pointed out, the most common reason for advising dry cleaning is due not to the materials used but the method by which they are held together - weaker stitching or glues that will quickly unravel in a washing machine. If you really don't want your coat to fall appart, dry clean it. If you're happy to take the gamble, go for it.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    crakecrake Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Just hand wash it in cold water and lay it out flat to dry on some kind of rack. It's important to lay it flat. If you just hung it up to let it dry, the weight of the wet wool would stretch the coat. You can use detergent if you like, but I just use dish soap. Gentle on the hands and gentle on the clothes (well that's my theory anyway - in any case, the soap works fine)

    You can hand wash most dry-cleanables. Just have to be gentle. Rub the soap in with your hands instead of a brush, that kind of thing. Takes more rinsing then you think to get the soap out, fyi. You can gently squeeze the water out after, but don't twist.

    crake on
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    CampionCampion Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    crake wrote: »
    Just hand wash it in cold water and lay it out flat to dry on some kind of rack. It's important to lay it flat. If you just hung it up to let it dry, the weight of the wet wool would stretch the coat. You can use detergent if you like, but I just use dish soap. Gentle on the hands and gentle on the clothes (well that's my theory anyway - in any case, the soap works fine)

    You can hand wash most dry-cleanables. Just have to be gentle. Rub the soap in with your hands instead of a brush, that kind of thing. Takes more rinsing then you think to get the soap out, fyi. You can gently squeeze the water out after, but don't twist.

    A wool coat is typically something thick, wouldn't water take a while to evaporate this way? Wouldn't that lead to things growing in it?

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    Rabid_LlamaRabid_Llama Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I work in a dry-cleaner, you should definately have it dry cleaned. I hate saying that because there is slight potential that you live near me and might bring your clothes to my store, and me saying this might actually cause me to have to work a little more tomorrow.

    Rabid_Llama on
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    Omnicron9999Omnicron9999 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Thanks so much for all of the advice everyone.


    After much consideration, talking to grandmothers (they know EVERYTHING), and soul searching. I decided to take it upon myself,

    I washed it!


    Cold water, woolite, gentle cycle.

    Air dry, laid down, a turn over every hour or two.


    The coat is perfect!
    Probably not the best way to clean it every time, but I have had this coat for 2 years and this is the first time I have washed it. So its not like this is an everyday occurance.

    Just so everyone knows, the coat was a Hagar, not exactly Armani, but not exactly cheap either.

    Omnicron9999 on
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