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How to Take Care of a Suit

Published on
May 23, 2023 6:31:15 AM PDT May 23, 2023 6:31:15 AM PDTrd, May 23, 2023 6:31:15 AM PDT

How to Take Care of a Suit

A classic well-fitted suit never goes out of style, which means if you clean a suit right, you can wear it with confidence for many years to come. Those who are meticulous about maintaining their suit extend its lifespan even beyond their own generation while also getting the maximum wear out of it.

You’ve invested a lot of money in your custom suit and if you want it to look as good as new even after a decade or more, keep reading because in this blog we’re talking about how to clean a suit, the cost to dry clean a suit, and how to clean a suit at home.

Dry Cleaning Your Suit

Dry cleaning is the easiest way to remove stubborn grease and oil stains from your suit without subjecting it to water which may cause the fibers to lose shape. In this method, your suit will be immersed in a solvent and then agitated to loosen up dirt and stains. The solvent will then be removed and the suit will be dried and pressed. This protects the suit’s shape and quality while removing stains and odors.

However, if you overdo dry cleaning, it could end up having the opposite effect of ruining your expensive made-for-you suit — repeatedly subjecting any garment to harsh chemicals and friction is never a good thing. This is not to say that you should clean your suit at home. Dry cleaning is still necessary. But before you clean a suit through this method, here’s everything you need to know.

What to Look For in a Dry Cleaner

1. Clear Pricing

Any reputable cleaner will always be transparent about the cost to dry clean a suit to let you know what’s included and what’s not. This helps avoid undue surprises when you get the final bill and allows you to easily compare prices between different cleaners in your area so you can find a good balance between quality and affordability.

2. Fair Policies for Damaged or Lost Items

Accidents aren’t uncommon when cleaners clean a suit. That’s why it’s important to choose one with fair policies in case of damage or loss of your garment so you can protect your investment. Fair policies also demonstrate that the cleaner is responsible and trustworthy.

3. Experience With Garments

Good cleaners always inspect a garment and ask you about the stains so they can treat it properly. They have the knowledge and experience on how to take care of a suit no matter the fabric.

4. Expectations About Results

Some fabrics are prone to shrinkage and damage during dry cleaning. A good cleaner will always be upfront about any issues that might crop up while they clean a suit.

5. Customer Service and Satisfaction

Before choosing a cleaner, research their reputation and read their online reviews. Find out about their service quality and customer satisfaction. Your cleaner should be knowledgeable and always ready to answer your questions.

What Clothes Need Cleaning and What Don’t?

Not all suits are made the same. Some can be dry cleaned safely while others might not take very well to this cleaning method. Before you clean a suit, you should always check the label for care instructions. This is the easiest way to find out whether your suit is ‘Dry Clean Only’, ‘Dry Clean’, or ‘Do Not Dry Clean’. 

Materials like wool, cotton, polyester, and linen are typically safe to dry clean. Cashmere suits can be dry cleaned as well but you should avoid doing so if possible because excessive dry cleaning can damage cashmere suits fast.

How Often Do You Need to Go to the Dry Cleaner?

Dry cleaning is a harsh process that can cause slow wear and tear of your suit, but it’s still necessary because you can’t clean a suit with stubborn stains by hand or put it in your washer. Trying to clean a suit at home is ineffective when it comes to removing stains and it can cause even more damage. You should instead aim to wash your suit only when it’s needed.

If you wear your wool suits frequently, dry clean the jacket after every 6 wears. Otherwise dry clean it only twice a year. Trousers should be dry cleaned after every 2-3 wears. Cotton suits should be dry cleaned no more than 1-2 times a year.

Cost to Dry Clean a Suit

The costs incurred while you clean a suit at the dryer cleaner can differ depending on your city, location, and any additional services you opt for like stain removal, alterations, and repairs. But on average it costs $30-$60 for the whole suit. Some cleaners charge extra for delicate fabrics. That’s why you should always compare prices and find a cleaner with quality service on top of affordable prices.

Tips So You Can Go to the Dry Cleaner Less

Dry cleaning is an essential step in keeping your suit in pristine condition, but if you wear suits often, the cost to dry clean a suit can quickly rack up. Here are some ways you can limit how frequently you dry clean a suit:

  • Wear easily washable undergarments like shirts that will create a protective barrier to protect your suit from sweat.
  • Spot clean at home before considering the dry cleaner.
  • Avoid colognes or heavy scents that can cause the suit to smell stale over time
  • Air out your suit before storing back in the closet
  • Use a clothing brush made of natural materials like horsehair to freshen up clothes.

Ways to Clean a Suit at Home

You’ll see many DIYs online on how to clean a suit at home. But following these at-home solutions is one of the most common mistakes those new to the suiting world make. You should never attempt to clean your suit yourself with household items like soap, vinegar, and lemon juice. Stubborn stain removal is best left to the professionals.

However, you can cut down on the cost to dry cleaning a suit by spot-cleaning it using a steamer. The steam helps loosen dirt and some types of stains in the fabric which can then be removed using blotting paper. We highly recommend investing in a good garment steamer for this purpose. 

Your Suit Experts

Knowing how to take care of a suit is critical to its lifespan. At Alton Lane, all of our custom clothing comes with proper care instructions for you to reference. With the right maintenance, storage, and cleaning, your favorite suit or custom tux will retain its elegance and fit for a long time. Feel free to reach out to our experts if you have any questions on how to clean a suit you ordered from us.