7 ways to save money on dry cleaningYes, if the tag says "dry clean only," you should always take that item in to be cleaned, but frequent visits to the dry cleaner can get expensive! Rather than give up, follow these budget-friendly tips from Carolyn Forté, Director of the GHRI Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Department, to stretch (and sometimes avoid) your trips to the cleaners.
1. Down-filled items
As long as your washing machine doesn’t have an agitator, you can try washing down-filled comforters and pillows yourself.
More from MSN Living: Organize your linen closet
Be sure to wash these items in warm water on the gentle cycle with a high efficiency detergent and use an extra cold water rinse. If you have a newer machine, check to see if it has a bedding cycle. Dry on a low setting and toss a new tennis ball or a new canvas sneaker into the dryer to keep the down fluffy.
You don't need to lug your curtains to the cleaners just to get rid of pesky pet hairs. Put the curtains in the dryer on the air-only option for about 10 minutes and remove immediately afterwards. Shake them out and hang them up so they don't wrinkle. Don't forget to go back and clean out any stray hairs from your dryer's lint filter! If you're in a rush, wrap masking or duct tape around your hand with the sticky side out and pat the curtain to remove stray hairs. A damp sponge or lint roller also works.
Get a few extra wears out of your sweaters before your next trip to the cleaners with a home dry-cleaning kit. They freshen, eliminate some odors and remove light stains, although Forté advises that you should leave heavily stained or soiled clothing to the professionals. To improve the results at home, button and zip all garments before placing them in the dryer bag. Remove items from the dryer right away, shake them out, and hang up to avoid moisture retention and wrinkling. If you are packing away the sweaters for the season, Forté recommends taking them to the cleaners for a thorough cleaning.
4. Wool and cashmere items
Don't assume that your wool blanket will be costly to clean. Check the label first, says Forté, since not all wool and cashmere items are "dry clean only." If the tag gives you the green light, follow it carefully, which usually means washing wool in cold water on a delicate cycle with low spin and tumble dry on low. For cashmere, it’s best to hand wash and air dry it.
Ask your dry cleaner about the store’s policy on cotton shirts, suggests Forté. Many can be laundered, not dry cleaned, which will save you money. In addition, some silk shirts may say "dry clean," not "dry clean only." Try hand washing them in cool water.
While it’s best to dry clean both pieces in a suit together, advises Forté, you can save money by bringing in the jacket every second or third time, especially if it isn’t stained or just lightly worn—the bottom half generally needs a cleaning more than the top.
7. Pressing clothes
If your main reason for taking an item to the cleaners is to get it pressed, consider buying a garment steamer and de–wrinkling it yourself, says Forté. Make sure to hold the garment taut and go over it lightly, allowing the steam to penetrate the fabric.
cleaning & organizing: bring order to your home
We know you're busy, which makes keeping the house spotless a bit overwhelming. Instead of spending hours and hours scrubbing, here are smart cleaning hacks that will save you precious time.
There's nothing more annoying than having your summertime fun ruined by the buzzing and biting of the season's peskiest foes—mosquitoes. Before they breed, congregate, bite, and drive you indoors, consider some natural ways to keep them at bay. Start by eliminating standing water wherever you discover it—from gutter spouts to birdbaths—and consider herbs like rosemary and thyme that are known for their insect-repellant scents. What about installing a bat house? We've included that and more in our 10 natural ways to keep you bug-free this summer
Busy lives call for easy tricks to organizing the craziness around us. To help make your life a little bit easier, we found 10 stylish ways to keep your home neat and tidy.
Designers share their best advice for claiming space when the kids start getting older and moving out.
A new mattress is a dreamy thing, but don’t let the stress of buying a new one keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. To make sure you continue to catch some z’s, here are eight secrets you need to know before you set foot in the store.
Who has the time to deep clean on a daily basis? Between your job and being a good partner, those 24 hours in a day are precious. We’re here to help! Here are eight easy tricks to cleaning up in the time it takes to polish off a glass of wine.
Whole class of nouveau riche suddenly need help getting dressed.
Disease-causing bacteria are lurking in your home.
San Francisco-based cleaning startup Homejoy has pulled its advertising campaign from social media.
Here are 11 ways you can free up more usable space in your home, from the attic all the way down to the basement.
A wise man once said, "Buy land. They aren't making any more of the stuff." You can launder, scrub and polish every inch of your home in the name of spring-cleaning--but no amount of washing (or wishing) is going to make your walls magically expand. The trick to making the most of your space is to get organized. These easy DIY organizing ideas will help you regain control of every room. Here are 20 tricks to creating--or recreating--a dwelling that's neat, zen and revitalized.
It's that time of year again to purge your home of junk. To help you get started, here are 20 things to get rid of now.