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Which Fabrics Should Be Dry Cleaned?

Posted on October 10, 2022 by Steven Toltz

At Dependable Cleaners, we care about helping you keep your fabrics looking as fresh and clean as possible. We know how important your clothes are for your life and for your sense of personal style, and we’re here to make sure you know which fabrics in your closet should always be dry cleaned, and which of your clothing should be handled by a professional even when wet washing. As always, when in doubt, you should check the laundry care tag on the inside of your clothing for more specific instructions.

Related: Care Symbols: What Do Laundry Tags Mean?

Here’s our quick guide to which fabrics should be dry cleaned. 

Fabrics You Should Always Dry Clean 

These fabrics almost always require special care, and they benefit from being professionally dry cleaned. If you own anything made from the following materials, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking it to a trusted, professional dry cleaner. 

Dry Cleaning Silk

Because of its delicate nature, silk is one of the materials you should always dry clean. Traditional washing can damage or tear the silk, and it’s just not worth it to attempt. Need more information on how to care for silk?

Read more: How to Care for Silk

Dry Cleaning Velvet

Velvet differs from other delicate fabrics in that it can be made from a variety of materials. There’s silk velvet, which should always be dry cleaned because of its extremely fragile nature. Then there’s velveteen, which shares the same look and feel as silk velvet but is made from cotton, polyester, or rayon blends. When in doubt, dry cleaning all velvet is the way to go. 

Dry Cleaning Wool

Wool is a thick natural fiber, it’s true, but because it is all natural, it has quirks of its own. When cleaning wool in water, it can warp or shrink, damaging the shape, look, and feel of your clothing. Dry cleaning wool is the best option because you avoid this trickiness altogether. Want more info on how to wash wool? 

Read more: How to Wash Wool Clothes

Dry Cleaning Acetate

Because acetate clothing has a high plastic content, your regular home wash and dry cycle might melt the plastic in the fabric, essentially destroying your acetate clothing! Obviously, that’s not something you want to happen. Acetate is used in a lot of modern clothing, so be sure to check the tags of your blouses, pants, and other standard every day wear. When in doubt, dry cleaning is the way to go. Nobody wants to have a meltdown. 

Dry Cleaning Taffeta

Although you most likely don’t have a ton of taffeta in your closet—unless you’re a fabulous socialite or a fashion designer—odds are good that you own at least one or two fancy outfits made from the luxurious fabric. A lot of formal gowns and evening suits are made from the material, and much like velvet, there are several different grades of taffeta. The highest grade taffeta is made from silk, which should always be dry cleaned. And while you can wash synthetic taffeta, it’s often better not to risk it. Just take your evening gowns to a dry cleaner. 

When in Doubt, Let the Professionals Handle Your Clothing

Although you can technically wash and dry most other fabrics—like cotton, linen, and polyester—on your own, odds are good that you are too busy to handle even these items with the appropriate level of pre- and post-wash care. At Dependable Cleaners, we pride ourselves on our expert washes, which include our signature 7-Point Inspection. With easy options like wash and fold, there’s no reason not to take your laundry to Dependable Cleaners. 


Find a Dependable Cleaners location near you, and experience the Dependable Cleaners difference today!