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At Home Dry Cleaing Kits. Money Saver or Money Waster?

At Home Dry Cleaning Kits

In this economy, many people are looking for ways to save money. A newer product on store shelves promises to do just that. The “at home dry cleaning” kits that you will find in the laundry section of your local grocers will range in price from $9.99 to $49.99. They promise to save you time and money by allowing the dry cleaning process to take place at your home, in your dryer. The question is, do they really save you time and money?

How Does It Work?

The “at home dry cleaning kits” vary widely but most come with dryer sheets and some include a bottle of stain solution. They advise that you use the stain solution (if it is included) to “remove the stain completely” before placing the garment into the dryer with their special dryer sheets. Here is the problem. If your garment is a dry clean only garment, how do you remove the stain completely by simply applying their stain solution, but without ever washing the garment? The answer is that you can’t. An independent analysis by the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute International (DLI) found that “In some cases, these products caused the stain to spread, which created a bigger stain. None of the products removed ground-in soils, which consumers typically see as “ring around the collar” or dirty cuffs.”  DLI also concluded that “When using a home dry cleaning kit, consumers should beware of the following types of damage they could induce when using the stain removal solutions: rings, chafing, broken fibers on a loose weave, local shrinkage on crepe or water-sensitive fabrics.”

Once you have used the included bottle of stain solution, you are instructed to place your garment into the dryer with the included dry cleaning dryer sheets. The trouble with these dryer sheets is that they do nothing to clean your garment. The dryer sheets serve the same purpose that a typical dryer sheet would – to remove wrinkles and give the garments a fresh smell.

Is It A Money Saver?

The answer is.. No. Because these products do not effectively clean your garments, they are a waste of money. When your garments are sent to a professional dry cleaner, they are cleaned, spots and stains will be removed (if possible) and the garment is returned to you pressed and ready to wear. If you considered using an “at home dry cleaning kit” for a men’s dress shirt, for example; when the garment was removed from the dryer it would smell fresh but not be clean and would still need to be pressed. All in all, the concept is a good one, however it has proven NOT to save consumers time or money.

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