Can I Hand Wash a Suit?

Question; I was wondering whether I should take my olive green cotton suit in for dry cleaning or I can wash it by myself by hand and how? Lining is half rayon, half polyester. Should I expect some shrinking?

Answer; The answer to your questions is yes, yes and yes.

Yes you should take it to a dry cleaner to have your suit cleaned. A suit is a prestigious garment and should be done professionally.

Yes you can hand wash a cotton suit with a rayon and polyester lining. A few things to keep in mind if your going to hand wash this suit, first; a cotton blazer and a cotton pant will be extremely difficult to iron at home with out professional equipment, second; if the color is a dark color be careful not to fade it, excess agitation, high alkaline soaps and heat will cause color loss, third; rayon is a wood pulp fiber and will turn stiff when wet so it will not with stand much agitation.

The last yes, there is always a chance of shrinkage when you introduce moisture, 3% shrinkage is acceptable in textile industry.

The Secret Procedure:

If you are determined to hand wash your suit then follow this process:

  1. suit than hand wash in cold water
  2. use a pH neutral soap like ECOS
  3. rinse multiple times to remove all soap residue
  4. roll garments in a bath towel to remove excess water, do not make excess wrinkles in garments
  5. hang to dry
  6. iron while damp.

Having said all this I would not recommend you washing your suit. If you are concerned about the solvents in dry cleaning than I would suggest you looking for a certified green dry cleaner that uses a water base “Wet Clean” cleaning system.

Good Luck

Karl Huie

Pacific Heights Cleaners in San Francisco and Sausalito

is your resource for cleaning tips and garment care information.

A Certified Bay Area Green Business

Other Articles of Interest:

Techniques Used For Stain Removal And Cleaning.

Stain Removal Products and Tips

What water temperature do I use for washing clothes? Hot-Cold or Warm?

Reducing Shrinkage

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