"Dry Clean Only," but I washed it. Help!

This is not my item of clothing and there will be a serious row if there’s nothing to be done. To my credit, the item was washed on delicate in the coldest possible temp and never put in the dryer; I’ve got I on a hanger. It’s some kind of very light, flimsy sweater kind of material. Am I screwed or will it dry ok? Can a dry cleaner remedy the situation? Seriously, if not, I may be fired. So, at least act hopeful…

If it didn’t shrink when you washed it, it won’t shrink when you (air) dry it.

Lay it out on a towel, though – it will probably stretch and sag if you dry it on a hanger.

Yeah, find a flat surface where you can shape it while it dries.

Some things say “dry clean” that can be hand or even machine washed. But there are some fibers that just can’t handle water, like acetate. Rayon in my experience shrinks like a sonofabitch no matter how it’s cleaned. Linen will get softer if you wash it and stay crisper if you dry clean.

I would send it to the dry cleaners and it will probably come out perfectly. They know how to dry and shape these things. I’m sure that you didn’t do anything to ruin it. Once I washed a pair of wool pants by accident and they responded to a very thorough pressing but a “very light, flimsy sweater kind of material” will need a little TLC.

Thanks all; feeling a bit better, even though it will be hanging out of my jurisdiction overnight. It’s so light that I don’t think it will stretch out on a hanger. Didn’t look like it had shrunk, either, just a bit wrinkly around the edges. To the dry cleaner it goes.

I have washed tons of dry “clean only” things over the years. The only ones to stuff up have been some silk ties (others survive perfectly well) but I was ready for it to happen. I just dry them flat on a towel. Silk shirts are fine if you iron them on a low heat through paper.

I’ve washed “dry clean only” clothes for years - and they come out fine as long as it’s gentle cycle, there is no dryer involved, they hang dry or are laid out flat to dry.

If I’m guessing, and I am, the wrinkles around the edges are probably evidence that it did shrink a bit, and unevenly. But the dry cleaning can’t hurt!

To me, “dry clean only” means that it will either survive careful machine washing, or else it is a one time use item.

Can we get some backstory here? Inquiring/prying minds want to know!

Didja ever see a sheep using an umbrella in the rain? It’s not the water that hurts, it’s the drying. Like other people have said, dry it flat and cool, and Robert’s your mother’s brother.

I just got a front-load washing machine, and it has a wool cycle. Does this mean I can wash any wool stuff now? Wool tends to say hand-wash only, or dry clean, I don’t recall which. I’ve always avoided wool because I don’t want to hand-wash anything.

I’ve washed wool (and other “hand wash” items) using the hand wash cycle on our front loading washing machine. No problems. You just have to be careful to dry it carefully so it keeps its shape (as discussed above). The main problem in my experience is finding a place in the house to lay it out to dry where the cat won’t jump on it or something. This limits us to having only a few garments in process at a time.

Me too. I’ll wash carefully and dry flat, but I don’t fiddle much beyond that.