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Dry Clean Only Stain Guide

Your Stain Guide Solution

Getting a stain on a special garment can be a drag! However, no matter which water temperature, laundry product, or wash cycle you select to wash your clothes, certain fabrics simply cannot be washed at home. These include leather, suede, fur, and other items tagged "dry clean only" or "do not wash".We don't typically encourage dry cleaning when washing is possible, however, for a handful of fabrics the only option for safe cleaning is taking your item to the professionals. Read on to learn more about which items fall within the percentage of garments that simply should be taken to the professionals.

Most leather is non-washable, which is why we do not typically provide leather care advice. If a leather item is labeled "not washable" or "dry clean only" don't attempt to wash or spot treat it at home, as this may worsen the stain or change the garment's finish. Instead, take it to a leather care professional.We have successfully washed many faux-leather items labeled "washable" as well as non-leather items with leather trim: patches, collars, zip pulls, and binding. If this is the case with your garment, water test the washable-tagged leather item before you proceed with stain treatment. Look for discoloration, spots, or other changes once the area has dried. Most leather trim is made from "garment washed" leather. This type of leather has already been washed during the production stage, which means it should now be washable as part of the garment.

If it's tagged as suede, stop! Suede is typically made from leather and should not be washed. If your stained suede garment is labeled “not washable” or “dry clean only” do not attempt to spot treat or wash it at home! This may worsen the stain or warp the finish of the fabric. Certain finishes on suede will allow it to be safely washed however, but only if tagged as such (generally only faux suede is washable). When in doubt, take suede items to a leather professional for cleaning.

While most fur isn't typically stain-prone, you may find yourself in need of treating stains on a garment made of fur, or with fur trim. Generally, these garments should be taken to a fur professional for care, though items specifically tagged as washable (typically faux fur) can be washed at home according to our guide.

  • Fur with skin cannot be washed: We don't recommend washing fur that has skin on the underside. The skin can shrink or dry out with wet washing.
  • Fur without skin may be able to be washed: Fur that is specifically tagged as washable is typically knitted and/or lacks an attached skin. Always use a gentle, enzyme-free wash for natural fiber items like these, such as Wool & Cashmere Shampoo.
  • Vintage fur should never be washed: Older fur is often brittle and frail and may disintegrate during washing.

Take Note: Our recommended stain treatment methods are based on textile science, and solely intended for use with The Laundress products. We cannot guarantee the success of products from other brands. Always test delicates and items tagged "dry clean" for color bleeding and water reactions before laundering. Kindly note that not all garments may perform and react as science would predict.

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