Cotton is a fabric that’s typically easy to care for. Although most cotton garments are machine washable, some require dry cleaning — making it important to check the care labels before you wash any garments at home.

For example, a men’s cotton suit will almost certainly require dry cleaning, while a cotton dress shirt may or may not. Beyond the care label, let’s take a look at best practices when cleaning and ironing cotton garments at home …

Always separate colors before washing, as many cottons may bleed.

Check the care label for special ironing instructions. Most easy-care cottons such as those labeled “wash and wear” and “little or no ironing” need only a cool iron. Save the “cotton” setting for untreated cottons, such as handkerchiefs or tablecloths.

Fold cotton garments right after the dryer cycle stops. In many cases, there will be no wrinkles while the garment is still warm, so you don’t have to worry about ironing at all. Speaking of the dryer, be careful not to over dry cotton because it can easily shrink when overheated. 

Most cottons should be ironed on the out-facing side. One exception is embossed or embroidered cottons, which should be ironed on the inside (face down), preferably on a padded cloth.

As with all garments, washing an item sooner, rather than later, is better for the fabric and for stain removal. The longer dirt, oils or food deposits remain on a garment the more set-in they become. 

If your care label recommends dry cleaning, or you’ve got a stubborn stain you need help getting out, Klinke Cleaners is happy to help! 

Just drop off your garments at any of our convenient locations. As always, bring in your shirts and dry cleaning before 10am (Monday through Saturday), and they’ll be ready by 4pm the same day.