7 Expert Laundry Tips That Keep Clothes Looking Like New

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - collage: using fabric garment bag, zipping jeans before washing, treating a stain

When it comes to all things laundry, it’s hard to think of anyone with more experience or expertise than professional dry cleaners. From stain removal to cleaning the most delicate fabrics, dry cleaning professionals certainly know their stuff!

While I have a few of my own tried-and-true laundry tips I’ve shared here on my blog, I’m always on the lookout for new ones, especially ones that come from the pros themselves! I’ve been scouring the web for dry cleaners’ best laundry tips, and here are 7 you won’t want to miss.

7 Brilliant Laundry Tips From Professional Dry Cleaners

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - dresses on wooden hangers

1. Know The “Magic Number” For Formal Wear

If you’ve ever wondered how often to wash your formal attire or have it cleaned, it turns out that 3 is the magic number. Cleaning suits, dresses, and other formal wear every 3 wearings will keep them looking and feeling clean without overworking the material.

Stains would be an obvious exception to this rule, but generally speaking, you should be able to wear those special outfits on at least 3 occasions before you have to worry about cleaning them.

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - measuring detergent into washing machine

2. Don’t Go Overboard On Detergent

Not only do professionals prefer to go easy on detergent, but many admit to using less detergent than the smallest load size indicated by the measuring cup. Most modern, high-efficiency machines don’t require very much detergent to clean clothes properly, and going overboard can leave behind residue that ends up attracting more dirt in the long run.

And if you’re dealing with stains, pre-treat them with a stain remover instead of adding more detergent to the load. Learn more about avoiding a detergent “overdose”.

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - zipping zipper up before washing jeans

3. Zip Your Zippers

Before you wash anything that has a zipper on it, make sure the zipper is closed. Zippers are responsible for a surprising amount of laundry-related destruction, and keeping them closed is an easy way to ensure they don’t tug, snag, or tear other items in the load.

The same goes for velcro—prevent velcro straps from snagging other items by making sure it’s closed before washing. You might even want to wash items with velcro separately for added insurance.

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - treating a stain

4. Blot, Don’t Rub

When you’re treating a stain, it’s important to blot by pressing down and pulling up, rather than scrub in circular motions. Scrubbing at a stain can work the stain further into the fabric instead of lifting it out.

Instead, gently blot the soiled area with a stain remover, and work from the outside of the stain towards the center to avoid spreading the mess. Learn about other stain removal sins (and how to avoid them).

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - bottles of perfume

5. Think Before You Spritz

Many of us get dressed and then proceed directly to other steps like doing our hair or putting on perfume. But we may not be doing our clothes any favors, because hair products and perfumes contain alcohol and other ingredients that can fade, discolor, or even stains certain fabrics.

One way to avoid doing damage to your clothes is to simply apply perfume, hair products, and other sprays before you get dressed. Another option is to use a towel or salon cape to protect your clothes when you use sprays. Either one will help prevent damage to your clothes!

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - using a fabric garment bag

6. Remove The Plastic Bag

When you pick up garments from the dry cleaner, they’re usually covered in a plastic bag to keep them protected from the elements until you get home. Dry cleaners want you to know that those bags aren’t meant for long term storage!

When you put away your freshly dry cleaned items, hang them uncovered in your closet or transfer them to fabric garment bags so they can breathe.

Related: Simple Tips For Storing Winter Clothing

Laundry Tips from Dry Cleaners - turning clothing inside out before washing

7. Wash Clothes Inside Out

The best way to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your clothes when they’re in the wash is to turn them inside out before loading them into your washer. That way, the inside of your clothing gets the brunt of the friction from the wash drum and your other clothes while the outside is more protected. It help protect embellishments like buttons and sequins, keep printed graphics intact, and more.

Related: Prevent Color Fading In The Wash

What’s your best laundry tip or trick?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Another thought for saving clothing…
    I found out the hard way, many of my every day tops started to develop tiny holes at my tummy height, at first I thought it was moths, but we don’t have any, after some thought I realised it was the spray cleaner I use on my kitchen surfaces, (I use Dettol Surface Cleanser Spray on my units in the kitchen because we both have compromised immunity) and realised my tops were sweeping the edge of the units as I wiped the back of the units.
    When cleaning, don’t let your clothing come into contact with chemicals!
    I’m not sure if Dettol Surface Cleanser is available in the USA as I’m in the British Isles.

  • Keep zippers closed on most things unless it’s a coat…I have found it pulls them apart…and then I have a bigger problem :)

    • When I wash anything with velcro, I put the item(s) in a mesh laundry bag. If the velcro sticks, it sticks to the bag not other clothing…………..

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