If you spend a small fortune taking your family’s finest clothes to the dry cleaner, stop the madness! Save a pretty penny, and look good doing it with these tips:

Know When Your Clothing Actually Needs Cleaning

Just because you wear something once doesn’t mean it needs to be professionally cleaned before being worn again. If the article of clothing is not stained, but perhaps a little stinky or wrinkled, you are perfectly capable of cleaning it yourself. Go ahead and spray it with Febreeze to kill any odor-causing bacteria. Rather than simply masking the smell, Febreeze will leave your clothes with a fresh scent If needed, gently iron wrinkles.

Use At-Home Dry Cleaning Kits

To save money and time, invest in a Dryel home dry cleaning kit. Dryel bags can hold up to four items at a time, and after 30 minutes in the dryer (on medium heat) your clothes will be fresh and ready to wear. Dryel cleans with steam, so it's  a great way to avoid the chemicals often used by dry cleaners. Visit dryel.com and submit your email and home address to receive 10 dollars in coupons. There is also a money back guarantee if you're not satisfied with the final product.

Read Labels Carefully

Does the tag say "dry clean" or "dry clean only"? If it says "dry clean," chances are you can get away with washing it yourself. This applies to many tops and sweaters. Let your clothes sit in the bathtub, sink or even washing machine filled with cold water and half a cup of laundry detergent. After an hour of soaking, rinse each article of clothing with warm water and promptly hang or lay flat to dry.

If the item is heavily stained or looks beyond your repair, go ahead and drop it off with the pros. If not, skip the trip to the cleaner, with their fees and chemicals, and wash the item at home.

This has been a guest post by Megan from San Francisco, CA
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Dry Cleaning Dos and Don'ts: Save Money by Doing It Yourself