Shopping is one of the most common things we do in our day-to-day activities. Having designer clothes isn’t only prestigious but also a symbol of style and class.

Many shoppers wonder, is it mandatory to dry clean their designer clothes? Can you hand wash these types of clothes without damaging them?

Most wool and other delicate fabrics always have the dry clean only label. Even synthetic materials nowadays can undergo the dry cleaning process. The DCO tag is a constant reminder that dry cleaning clothes are the only option for designer clothes.

There’s no need to invest hard-earned money in a designer outfit and then spoil it by ignoring the wash instructions. So how do you go about washing dry clean only clothes?

Why Are Garments Labelled ‘Dry Clean Only’?

The clothes we buy are made from different fabrics, all with different properties. For example, there are materials that can’t be cleaned by the standard procedure of putting water and cleaning detergent in the washing machine.

Chemicals present in cleaning detergent can damage the fabric. Clothes washed in cold water can shrink. Any garments made from such materials will have the ‘dry clean only’ tag. The tag is supposed to be a daily reminder that you can ruin your clothing if you clean the garment in a washing machine.

Not all clothes labelled ‘DCO’ need to be taken to the dry cleaner, however. Some fabrics do well with hand washing compared to being cleaned at the dry cleaners. These clothes are likely labelled ‘dry clean only’ as some people only buy clothes with a ‘DCO’ care label. Still, we have garments made from fabrics that shouldn’t be placed in a washing machine but should be cleaned in other ways.

What Is Dry Cleaning?

Dry cleaning involves cleaning clothes by using an organic solvent. Water isn’t used in cleaning the fabric. The most popular organic solvent used in dry cleaning is tetrachloroethylene.

The dry cleaning process was first created in the 19th century. Ever since its creation, different organic solvents have been used to dry clean clothes. In the early 19th century, dry cleaning companies used organic solvents like gasoline and kerosene to clean clothes; however, these chemicals caused several explosions in dry cleaning establishments.

After World War I, dry cleaning companies started looking for much safer alternatives. In late 1930, tetrachloroethylene gained popularity as an ideal cleaning solvent. The organic solvent is nonflammable and gentle on most fabrics. As such, tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene (Perc), is a critical ingredient in all dry cleaning kits.

Designer clothes have the ‘DCO’ tag because they’re made from delicate fabrics. Fabrics like wool and silk are prevalent among designer clothes. Wool will shrink if you place it in a standard washing machine.

At the same time, the agitation of the washing machine can damage your silk clothes. To increase the durability of your expensive designer suits, jackets, and dresses, best follow the ‘DCO’ reminder.

My Butler is the go to mobile dry cleaning Sydney service. Get in touch with us today to book dry cleaning for your designer clothes.