How to Remove Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes

Written by perri sams
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How to Remove Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes
Some stains can be spot cleaned, even on dry clean--only clothes. (sexy man in suit and tie image by NorthShoreSurfPhotos from

Many common stains can be removed from dry clean--only clothes without the expensive trip to the dry cleaners. The process of spot cleaning clothes is called sponging. Obviously, some stains cannot be removed, even with this technique or by professional dry cleaners. Stains made by permanent markers, dye and some paints are almost always permanent, especially once they have dried on the clothing. Dry clean--only clothes should be treated as soon as possible after staining.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cleaning cloths
  • Dry cleaning solution

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  1. 1

    Fold a cloth until it is several layers thick. Place the stained clothing face down on the cloth. The stained part should rest directly on the cleaning cloth.

    How to Remove Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes
    Use cleaning cloths to absorb stains and excess cleaning solution. (brown and red plaid dish towels image by DSL from
  2. 2

    Apply dry cleaning solution to a cloth. Use the cloth to apply solution to the back of the stain. Work from the outside of the stain to the inside so that the stain is not enlarged.

    How to Remove Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes
    Dry cleaning solution can be found in most grocery stores. (brown bottle image by Jim Mills from
  3. 3

    Check the cloth below the stain. If it is becoming soiled, refold the cloth so that the part of the cloth touching the stain is clean.

    How to Remove Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes
    As the cloth becomes soiled, refold it or change it. (Old duster image by Scott Latham from
  4. 4

    Repeat steps 1 through 3 until the stain is gone.

Tips and warnings

  • Read the instructions on the dry cleaning solution. Note what fabrics it may or may not be used on. Follow package directions when using the solution.
  • If the stain seems to be spreading or not budging, take the garment to the dry cleaners right away. Point out the stain and explain what the stain is made of.
  • Smooth fabric works better than terry cloth as a cleaning cloth when treating clothing. Terry cloth balls up and sometimes leaves lint on darker fabrics.

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