expert tips to dry clean suits

Suit Cleaning 101: How to Clean Your Suit the Right Way

Posted on April 26, 2019 by Steven Toltz

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, especially when it comes to dry cleaning and caring for suits. And all that bad advice can cause some serious damage to your wardrobe.

That’s why we turned to Terry, the Dependable Cleaners District Manager with 34 years of dry-cleaning experience, to answer your suit cleaning questions and give the proper advice on how to care for your suit.

Your Suit Cleaning Questions, Answered

How often should I dry clean my suit?

According to Terry, you should really be dry cleaning your suit after every wear — especially if you live in Colorado.

“Cleaning is actually based on climate. Here in Colorado, the temperature can change drastically in just a few minutes. Which means sweat.”

Your body excretes ammonia in your sweat, which is bad news for your clothes because ammonia causes discoloration. And the longer you let your suit (or any of your clothes) sit covered in sweat, the more damage can occur.

“If you want your $600 suit to last, you need to take care of it the right way,” says Terry. The way to do that is to take your suits to get dry cleaned every time you wear them.

How should I care for my suit between trips to the dry cleaners?

If realistically you’re not going to take your suits to get dry cleaned after each wear, then you should focus on wrinkle and stain prevention, NOT at-home cleaning. That’s because there’s not much you can do to clean your suit or get rid of wrinkles at home without negatively affecting its lifespan.

Terry recommends:

  • Hanging your jacket and pants properly as soon as you take them off
  • Not wearing your sportscoat when driving; hang it in the back instead
  • Taking off your jacket when walking outside in warm weather or even leaving it at the office when you go to grab lunch

Can I throw my suit in the dryer to get wrinkles out?

That’s a hard no. According to Terry, you should never put your suit through the washer or the dryer. And dewrinkling your clothes by throwing them in the dryer for 10 minutes is just bad advice.

“Heat is your clothes’ worst enemy. It does all sorts of terrible things to them. All you’re doing when you put your suit through the dryer is setting stains and sweat into the fibers.”

According to Terry, you should never put your suit through the washer or the dryer. And dewrinkling your clothes by throwing them in the dryer for 10 minutes is just bad advice.

That’s why you should really take your suits to get dry cleaned and pressed; the solvent used in the dry-cleaning process isn’t hot and the drying temperature is relatively low.

Even if you’re in a pinch and need the suit right away, Dependable Cleaners can help. We offer quick, convenient same-day dry cleaning across Colorado, like VIP Express Service and 24-hour kiosks.

Can’t make it to the cleaners? We’ll even come pick it up. Learn more about our complimentary pick-up and delivery laundry service.

Should I iron my suits between wears?

No, you should not iron your suits at home. Heat is incredibly damaging to hair and fibers, and you should never apply high heat directly to your suit.

In fact, when your dry cleaner presses your suit, the iron never actually touches the fabric! There’s a special attachment on their iron that lets them get out wrinkles without touching the hot plate to the clothes.

What should I mention when I drop off my suits for cleaning?

When you drop off your suits — or any piece of clothing — for dry cleaning, make sure you point out anything that may need repair or extra attention, like stains and damage to garments. Terry recommends telling your dry cleaner about:

  • Loose strings
  • Missing buttons
  • Any seam openings or fraying hemlines
  • Stains (and anything you did to pre-treat them)

You should definitely tell the cleaners about any stains on your suit at drop-off so they can treat the stain properly. “The more we know, the better we are at getting the stain out right the first time… and most people don’t know this, but minor repairs can be free!”

Should I pre-treat stains before bringing my suit to the dry cleaners?

No; this one is another myth! You should not pre-treat stains, or even soak them in water, before dropping suits off for cleaning. This is for a few reasons:

  • Your cleaner may not know how their solvents will react with whatever you treat the stain with
  • It’s hard to mimic the effects of your at-home cleaning, like if you caused discoloration to the sleeve
  • Soaking in water can cause water lines and leave a brown ring on garments; then your cleaner must fix the water line AND the original stain

Despite your best intentions (and all the bad advice out there), it’s best to leave stain removal to the experts at Dependable Cleaners! Curious what stains can dry cleaning remove? Check out our blog.

Dry Cleaning Suits at Dependable Cleaners

With unparalleled experience, outstanding customer service and the highest-quality time-saving services, Dependable Cleaners should be your go-to choice for dry cleaning services in Colorado.

Save more time with our free Pickup & Delivery service.