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How to wash a suit

Want to know how to dry clean a suit at home? Follow these handy tips!


how to wash a suit

When it comes to suit cleaning everyone’s first instinct is to head to the dry cleaners. Whilst this is a tried and tested method of getting your suits freshened up, it can be expensive and sometimes a little harsh on the material as dry cleaners tend to use strong chemicals.

So, why not learn how to dry clean a suit at home as a way to save money and prolong the life of your suits? Just follows these tips to learn how to clean a suit yourself.

Read the label before trying suit cleaning at home to find out what your suit is made of and to check it can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. Be gentle with your washing and drying technique and you’ll get great results!

Suit cleaning with steam

If your suit just needs freshening up then steam is your friend. If you’ve got access to a clothes steamer then that’s great but if not then a steam iron can be effective too. Just make sure you keep the steam a safe distance from your suit and test in an inconspicuous area first.


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How to clean a suit at home

If you’re not a fan of the steam method, then you can learn how to dry clean a suit at home without it. Some stores sell suit cleaning kits which provide special sheets and a bag to use in the tumble dryer but this is not always necessary. Try the method below to revive your suit without any specialist ingredients:

  1. Read the label: Check what material the suit is made of – silk, polyester, linen, cotton and wool can all be cleaned at home in most cases.
  2. Do a patch test: Dip a cotton bud in water and rub it on the inside of your suit (somewhere that won’t be noticeable). Check to see if any colour appears on the bud. If it does then your suit should go to the dry cleaners to avoid damaging the colour.
  3. Choose your washing method: More durable materials can be machine washed but delicates should be washed by hand.
  4. Machine wash: If your suit can be machine washed, turn your garments inside out and place in a mesh laundry bag. Wash on the gentlest setting you have with a cold temperature. Use a quality detergent like Active Wheel and always read the instructions before use.
  5. By hand: If your suit needs to be hand washed, fill a bowl or sink with a mild detergent and water and submerge your clothes. Gently rub at any marks or dirty areas and empty the sink when you’re happy. Refill with cold water only and rinse any remaining detergent away.
  6. Dry: Whether hand washing or machine washing, one of the biggest parts of knowing how to clean a suit is drying it the right way. A really good method is to wrap your garments in a towel and gently squeeze to remove water. Repeat the method as necessary and then lay everything flat to finish drying.

Once you’ve learned how to dry clean a suit at home you can save a lot of money and time.

Just consult our tips and remember to check the washing instructions on your suit labels first.   

  • Always read your suit’s label before attempting suit cleaning at home
  • Do a dab test to see if the suit really does need to go to a dry cleaners
  • Choose between washing in the machine or by hand for more delicate material
  • Use a towel to squeeze excess water after washing
  • Lay the suit out flat to dry so it maintains its shape
  • Originally published