Often, we find fabulous items, but then discover that they are “dry clean only”. Blast. Well, I don’t follow laundry instructions religiously at all. In some cases I am overly cautious, and in others I take a chance.

On the cautious side, there are some things I avoid, even when the instructions say it is safe to do them. I never wash anything in hot water. It shrinks your clothes more often than not. And I seldom use the dryer. Your clothes never look quite as pristine as they first did after a few spins in the dryer.

But when it comes to the “dry clean only” label on knitwear, blouses and dresses, I often bend the rules by washing gently with mild detergent instead. I use the “hand wash delicates” option on our washing machine and once again, I use cold water. I do not physically wash the items by hand (that would be a deal breaker).

Items like lined jackets, coats, dress slacks, button down shirts and Greg’s shirts, jackets and suits still go to the cleaners because they actually do a better job at laundering the items than I do. I might be using home dry cleaning kits incorrectly, but so far I have not found them to yield satisfactory results.

Bending the dry cleaning rule does mean that you’ll need to press your items once they’re dry. As much as I loathe ironing my clothes, I’m prepared to do it as long as things don’t pile up.

Do you also bend the rules?