Caring for Spot Clean Only Garments

When purchasing a new piece of clothing, I never check the care label, but that’s because I know Shores can handle whatever I happen to place inside my dry cleaning bag.  Recently, I went shopping for a cocktail dress for an event my husband and I are attending in April, and I found a dress with the most delicate floral embroidery lace.  I absolutely loved it, but for some reason I deviated from my norm and checked the care label – SPOT CLEAN ONLY.

You will find spot clean only care labels on delicate or fragile fabrics; fabrics with special dyes; or garments with sequins, beading, embellishments, or delicate lace.   If a garment has a spot clean only care label, you cannot hand wash it, place it in the washing machine, wet clean it, or dry clean it.  The only way to clean the garment is to delicately address, by hand, visible spots or spills using specialized spotting agents on the impacted areas.  Unfortunately, there are flaws with this method.  For instance, spotting agents on certain fabrics can leave circles or rings where the area was spotted; the underarm area is particularly sensitive, usually leaving the same result.  In addition, with only visible spots being addressed, invisible stains could be left untreated causing them to caramelize and yellow over time.

Sadly, I passed on the dress, but just because I did, does not mean you should.  Just be sure to make informed decisions when purchasing.

  1. Check the care label before purchasing any new garment.  If the care label says spot clean only, then make your decision knowing what care is involved.
  2. Be cautious when wearing a spot clean only garment.  Get completely ready before dressing to avoid make up spills, and spraying hairspray and perfume before wearing.
  3. If you spill something on a spot-clean only garment, make note of it and share that information when you drop it off with a professional.

We share this information because we want you to be prepared should you fall in love with a spot-clean only garment.  Feel free to contact us  if you have any questions.