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We all have those “kings and queens of the closet”: the ‘dry clean only’ garments. We even get a bit philosophical when we put one on, pondering the garment’s future. Knowing full well the extra care, trip, and costs associated with these garments, we find ourselves thinking, “Is it time?”.


So when is it time to dry clean a garment? The short answer is, “only as often as needed”. There is nothing “dry” about dry cleaning. The process involves treating your garments with solvents instead of soap and water to deep clean. When combined with the friction of pressing, over time the fibers of a garment will naturally weaken. The process is not as hard on your clothes as machine washing, but still enough so that you do not want to dry clean garments any more than is necessary.


When planning your dry cleaning schedule, there are few factors to consider beyond simply how often a garment is worn. The closer a garment worn against the skin, particularly areas of perspiration, the more frequently it will need to be cleaned. Delicate fabrics like silk are going to absorb perspiration more readily than sturdier material, resulting in more frequent cleanings. And the reality is, some people naturally sweat more than others. Garments worn in warmer climates are more likely to need frequent cleaning than if you live in a mild region. So the following chart should be considered more of a guide than an edict.


Button-Down Shirts

3 to 4 wears

Silk Blouses

1-2 wears

Pants & Skirts

4-5 wears

Evening & Formal Wear

1-2 wears

Suits & Sportcoats

4-5 wears


Once per season


3-4 wears


It goes without saying that an unexpected stain demands a trip to the cleaners as soon as possible to avoid ruining the garment. Besides who wants to wear a sweater with a ketchup spot on it?


To prolong the life of your delicates, trust them to the professionals at The Best Dry Cleaners. Our staff will treat your garments like our own and keep them looking their best for years to come!