Home Drycleaning Kits for Clothing

Have you ever tried the new home drycleaning kits on your clothing? Do you know what you will get in these kits? Will the home drycleaning kits replace going to the professional dry cleaner? We will explain the answers to these questions. First of all, the home drycleaning kits can be bought at a grocery store, drug store, hardware store, and a variety store. The kits vary in price. The main idea with the kits is to help remove odors and most stains on dry clean only garments.

The kit helps you treat the stains on the dry clean only garment, then you put a number of garments in a dryer safe bag that comes with the kit, along with a special treated pad that is activated by the dryer's heat. Put the filled dryer safe bag in your home dryer for about thirty minutes. Once done, you shake out each garment and hang them up. Some clothes may need to be pressed with an iron.

The kits contain a stain removal mixture that is usually in a plastic bottle or already on a cloth in a sealed package. Consumers need to follow the kit's directions as written in or outside the box.

The stain removal mixture in the plastic bottle or the pre-moistened stain removal cloth is placed right on the stain while a clean pad is placed under the stained fabric. You are to use the mixture until the stain is gone or no more stain is removed. If the stain did not come out, take the garment to the dry cleaners. Heat from a dryer will set the stain and it may never come out.

The pre-moistened stain removal cloth in some kits is the same cloth that is put in a bag with four garments and is activated by the heat of the dryer to remove odors like smoke and sweat. In kits with the bottle of stain removal mixture, there are other wet pads you put in the dryer safe bag with the garments before you place it in the dryer. The dryer safe bag is reusable in the dryer for only so many times, such as four times.

The kits work well in removing odors and removing some stains. Not all types of stains are removed with the stain removal mixture or pre-moistened stain removal pads. Research has shown that most of the kits do not work well on oil-based stains like lipstick, ketchup, grease, butter or margarine, and so on. Plus, they do not remove all ground-in soil found on collars and sleeve cuffs.

The kits were never meant to replace a professional dry cleaner. You will still need to take soiled dry clean only garments to a professional dry cleaner one or more times a year for a more thorough cleaning. However, the kits will help reduce the number of times you take a garment to the dry cleaner and you may save money in the long run.

Many consumers are happy with these home drycleaning kits.

Source: International Fabricare Institute

Prepared by: Katherine Reuter, Extension Educator Consumer and Family Economics University of Illinois Extension Countryside Extension Center.

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