Dry Cleaning

There’s not much to getting your clothes dry cleaned. You just drop them off… and pick them up later. As long as you don’t forget your own telephone number, you really cannot go wrong. Here are a few tips, though, on getting the best results.

  • Take everything off hangers before drop-off
  • Remove all collar-stays (I see way too many black dress shirts with faded collar-stay imprints… and way too many black dress shirts in general–wear sparingly)
  • Go easy on the starch… even a wrinkle-free shirt can get crinkly-elbow syndrome when there’s excess starch present
  • If possible, see if they’ll starch only certain things… just the collar, cuffs, and button placket–worth a shot
  • Hard-to-remove stains like tomato sauce or wine on a shirt should be tended to immediately. At the very least, put some water and stain remover on the area when you get home and then get that shirt to the dry cleaner as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you get through your 2-week shirt rotation to take it with the rest. After a stain sets and dries it may be impossible to remove, especially if it’s on a non-white shirt that can’t be bleached.
  • Suits should be dry cleaned very rarely. Honestly, do all you can to avoid this as most experts will recommend dry cleaning a suit only but once or twice a year, depending upon who you ask.
  • Ties can be dry cleaned if stained, usually with positive results. If, however, your tie is simply wrinkled and “out of shape” (perhaps from traveling, etc.) try ironing on a low setting, maybe a bit of steaming, and rolling the tie carefully. (A well-made silk tie that is on the wrinkly side can usually be fixed simply by rolling it and leaving it for a few days… roll the tie starting with the skinny end around your index finger, ending with a nice even, circular wrap… and remember from there on to keep your ties from getting crushed during travel and immediately roll them back up after daily wear.)

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