Can You Iron Dry Clean Only Clothes at Home?

man ironing dry clean only shirt

You’ve got that fabulous outfit that’s been collecting dust in your closet, but it’s desperately begging for a wrinkle-free revival. But wait! Can you iron dry clean only clothes? The answer is ‘YES.’

However, to iron them, there are a few things that you must understand to keep your clothes in good shape. Read the care label on clothes and consider using a steamer on a low setting or ironing them with a cloth between clothes and iron to remove wrinkles from these garments at home.

Ironing Overview

Working Time:  15 minutes
Total Time:  20 minutes
Skills Required:  Beginner
Estimated Cost:  USD 0

Before You Begin

It’s always beneficial to keep tabs on certain things before you begin. Here is a list of a few things to check before you iron your clothes.

1. Check for Dust, Dirt, or Stains

Checking for dust, dirt, or stains is mandatory. Ironing “dry clean only clothes” with dust, dirt, or stains may result in a permanent mark on the garment. Therefore, ensure the garment is free of dust, dirt, or stains before ironing.

2. Take Care of Adornments & Exceptional Elements

A garment may be rich with adornments such as beads, spangles, etc., or have embroidery. It’s best to avoid these areas while ironing. Place a light cotton cloth on these garments before you iron them.  

If you can remove the adornments, it’s advisable to remove them before you iron these garments.

What Will You Need


  1. Distilled water
  2. Pressing cloth or white cotton fabric piece


  1. Clothes steamer or steam iron
  2. Ironing board or sturdy table
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Strong hanger

How to Iron Dry Clean Only Clothes

Ironing dry-clean only clothes requires a disciplined approach. Here are the appropriate steps you can follow to have safe and secure ironing.

1. Read the Care Label

Before ironing, it’s crucial to identify the fabric type of your garment. You can readily identify it by reading the care label. Iron the garment by setting the correct temperature as mentioned on the care label.

The overly hot temperature may ruin the garment, while the lowest temperature won’t remove the wrinkles. It’s tricky for garments with lines, as you have to deal with both; the outer and lining fabrics. You might have to iron at different temperatures suitable for each fabric type.

wash as care label suggest

2. Set Up the Ironing Table

A sturdy, padded ironing board works well for ironing. Alternatively, you can use a sturdy table by padding it up. If you don’t have an ironing board or table, you can even iron on the floor by padding it with the required materials.

Ensure the baseplate of your steam iron is clean.

Keep a pressing cloth ready. It is a piece of fabric that you put in between the garment and the iron to prevent any unwanted harm to the garment and to keep it safe altogether.

ironing board hanged on wall

3. Turn Clothes Inside Out

The safest way to iron clothes is by turning them inside out. It helps you keep the outer side clean. Ironing clothes by turning them inside out is mandatory for garments with dark colors and made from fabrics such as acetate, linen, rayon, and silk. 

Whereas for corduroy, velvet, and other textured fabrics, ironing on the inside helps prevent the fibers from damaging. 

You can iron the inside for final touches once you finish ironing the outside.

women turning clothes inside out

4. Iron

Ensure you have set the iron to the appropriate temperature. Move the steam iron in various directions on the pressing cloth to cover all areas of the garment. Ironing must resume once you place the pressing cloth between the iron and the garment. 

You may need to spray the garment with distilled water. It helps you less your efforts to erase wrinkles.

Related: Iron temperature settings.

women ironing clothes

5. Hang the Clothes

The final step involves hanging your newly ironed garments onto a strong hanger and allowing them to air dry in a well-ventilated area if it is damp. Do not fold or hang dampened garments in a wardrobe or closet after ironing.

A garment knitted with stretchy fabrics must be laid flat on a bed or ventilated drying rack to dry completely. Hanging these garments may stretch the fibers, deforming them eventually.

Related: Can you iron wet clothes?

white t-shirt hanging on hanger

Use a Clothes Steamer to Remove Wrinkles

Clothes steam is an ideal tool for erasing wrinkles from dry-clean-only garments. The steam from this tool eliminates wrinkles with less effort. Go for a clothes steamer if you want sharp, crisp creases on your garments.

It’s essential to follow the usage directions, regardless of the size of the clothes steamer. Use the steamer by moving it from the top of the garment to the bottom. Ensure to keep the nozzle away from the garment to prevent overheating. 

Let the garment dry before you wear it, or stack it in your wardrobe.


Excessive steam can dampen the fabric and leave water stains or cause stretching. Ensure Steam iron is clean and doesn’t emit any mineral deposits that could stain the garment.

women using clothes steamer

Alternative For Removing Wrinkles From Dry-Clean-Only Clothes

Ironing is a common method for removing wrinkles from clothes, but it may not suit all fabrics. Here are some alternative methods for removing wrinkles from such garments:

a. Hanging Clothes in a Steamy Bathroom

Hanging the wrinkled garment in a bathroom while taking a hot shower. The steam created in the bathroom will help to release the wrinkles. Be sure to hang the garment away from direct water contact.

b. Wrinkle-Release Sprays

Wrinkle-release sprays are products designed to relax fabric fibers and reduce wrinkles. Spray the product onto the garment, tug gently to smooth out the fabric, and let it hang until the wrinkles dissipate. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results.

c. Professional Steam Cleaning

Consider taking your dry-clean-only clothes to a professional cleaner for steam cleaning. They have specialized equipment to remove wrinkles effectively and safely.

How to Store Dry Clean Only Clothes

Proper storage of dry-clean-only clothes can help minimize wrinkles and preserve their condition.

  1. Clean Clothes Before Storing Them: Ensure the garments are clean before storing. Stains or dirt left on the fabric for an extended period can become more difficult to remove later.
  2. Use Protective Garment Bags: Hang dry-clean-only clothes in breathable garment bags to protect them from dust, moisture, and potential damage. Avoid plastic bags, as they trap moisture and promote mildew growth. Opt for fabric garment bags that allow the fabric to breathe.
  3. Hang Clothes Properly: Hang the garments on sturdy, padded hangers to maintain shape and prevent wrinkles. Use hangers that match the size and weight of the garment. Avoid hanging heavy garments on thin wire hangers that may cause stretching or distortion.
  4. Adequate Spacing: Allow sufficient spacing between garments to prevent them from being overcrowded. Provide enough room for the fabric to breathe and hang freely. Overcrowding can lead to wrinkling and creasing.
  5. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Store dry-clean-only clothes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade colors and damage fabrics over time.
  6. Folding Delicate Items: For delicate or knitted garments, consider folding them instead of hanging them to avoid stretching or distortion.

Remember to periodically check on stored garments to ensure they remain in good condition. If you detect any signs of damage or pest infestation, take appropriate measures to address the issue promptly.

Related: How to get rid of bugs that eat clothes?

  • How do you get wrinkles out of dry clean only?

    You can remove wrinkles by ironing the clothes. Always remember to check the care label to understand the temperature tolerance.

  • Can you steam clothes that are dry clean only?

    Yes, you can steam clothes that are dry clean only.

  • Can steam ironing replace dry cleaning?

    No, steam can only help you remove wrinkles. Dry cleaning cleans your garments and removes any dirt and stains on the clothes.


The instruction “Dry Clean Only” on the care label of any garment may make many hesitate about ironing the garment. However, experts believe there’s nothing wrong with ironing “Dry clean only clothes.”

Dry cleaning ideally cleans the clothes but fails to remove wrinkles. And you can erase these wrinkles only by ironing the garment. 

You must follow all the instructions on the care label of any garment. Especially to understand the nature of fibers and to iron at what temperatures are crucial.

Related: Does dry cleaning shrink clothes?