Friday, December 22, 2006

Home Dry-Cleaning Kits...Do They Really Work?

I have a home-dry cleaning kit sitting in the bottom of my linen closet. And yes, it works fine for some laundry tasks: freshening up skirts and some suits.

But I've had mixed success with other clean-up tasks and some stains. Often, clothes laundered through my DIY efforts still need to be pressed when coming out of the dryer. In fact, I have a friend who really saves on her dry cleaning bill by either using the kits or hand-washing some items and then sending those clothes to the dry cleaner for a professional ironing. Iron-only service is far cheaper than a total professional dry cleaning bill.

Of course, I could skip the dry-cleaning bill (and chemicals) altogether by only wearing machine washable clothes and I know people who do this.

But meanwhile, this chart and fact sheet from the International Fabric Institute (IFI) has great tips about how to get the most from your money when using dry cleaning kits.

Here's a sample:

What can you expect [from DIY Kits]?

"In general, most of the products work well on freshening or removing odors such as smoke. Therefore, these products can be successfully used to freshen garments; for example, removing odors from sweaters after winter storage.

In terms of stain removal, IFI found that most of the products work well on water-based stains such as cola. Stains that are oil-based (ketchup, lipstick) presented more of a challenge for the home dry cleaning kits. In some cases, these products caused the stain to spread, which created a bigger stain. None of the products removed ground-in soils, which consumers typically see as "ring around the collar" or dirty cuffs." -- source: IFI



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