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Wash & Care for Your Suit: Avoid Damage & Retain Shape

If you’re like most people, your suit is one of your most cherished wardrobe pieces. It’s not just a garment; it’s an investment. So, when washing your suit, you want to be sure you’re doing it right.

You might be tempted to drop it off at the dry cleaners, but did you know you can clean your suit at home? Not only does it save you time and money, but it’s also better for the environment. Plus, it’s easier than you think.

Stay tuned, and we’ll guide you through washing a suit at home without damaging it. By the end of this article, you’ll be a pro at keeping your suit looking sharp and clean.

Selecting the Right Detergent

After understanding why you should wash your suit at home, let’s move on to the crucial step—selecting the suitable detergent. It’s no secret that the correct detergent plays a pivotal role in maintaining your suit’s life and appearance. But don’t worry—choosing the right one isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Mild laundry detergents are generally the best choice when selecting a detergent. These detergents are designed to tackle dirt and grime while being gentle on your suit’s fabric. In addition, they typically have fewer harsh chemicals and additives, thus minimizing potential harm to your suits. Brands like Woolite or The Laundress offer products that can treat your suits with the gentleness they deserve.

A good practice is to avoid strong detergents or bleach. These cleaning agents promise fantastic results but can be too aggressive for your delicate suits. Continual use might result in color fading or fabric damage. It’s always in your best interest to choose a mild, fabric-friendly detergent that respects the quality of your suit.

Now, when it comes to the quantity of detergent, less is more. Too much detergent can stiffen your suit and make rinsing more difficult during the wash. So, you want to stick to an amount that’s just enough to create a light lather in the water.

In summary, take your time choosing the right detergent. Opt for one that is gentle on fabrics, has fewer harsh chemicals, avoids strong detergents or bleach, and remember that less is more when it comes to quantity.

Preparing the Suit for Washing

After understanding the need for gentle detergent, let’s consider the steps for preparing your suit for washing. This process isn’t all about tossing your suit into the washer randomly; it involves a cautious approach to ensure further preservation of the fabric’s quality.

Empty Your Pockets: Before all else, empty all pockets. Forgotten items such as pens, coins, or chapsticks can cause considerable damage during a wash cycle.

Check for Loose Buttons or Tears: Your suit’s integrity is imperative. Conduct a swift yet thorough check for loose buttons or potential rips in the fabric. Make minor repairs before moving to the next step if you find any. You’d appreciate a suit free of noticeable unraveled threads or lost buttons.

Spot Clean Stains: Stains are a common issue with suits, be it a drop of coffee or a spot of lunch. Pre-treat any visible stains with a gentle stain-removing product, according to SUNY Oneonta’s Quick and Easy Stain Removal Tips. This spot cleaning ensures the stain gets extra attention and will be effectively removed in the wash cycle.

Turn the Suit Inside Out: This action may seem trivial, but it’s crucial in preserving your suit’s color and reducing the risk of snags. By turning your suit inside out, you’re affording protection to the visible parts of your suit during the wash.

Separate Your Suit Pieces: Most two—or three-piece suits have slightly different materials for pants and jackets. Separate your items to avoid uneven washing. Doing so amplifies the chance of an efficient wash without jeopardizing any part of your suit ensemble.

There you go; you now have the preparatory steps at your fingertips; convening these steps into your suit-washing routine could make a difference. Rest assured, once these steps become second nature. Your suit’s longevity is bound to soar. Remember, it’s not just about washing; it’s about caring for your suit. Crane an observant eye over your suit before washing, treat it with the respect it deserves, and you’d be rewarded with a suit that consistently exhibits a look of exquisite taste. Now, to the next step – the actual washing of your suit.

Hand-Washing the Suit

It’s time to take the plunge once you’ve prepared your suit for washing. Hand-washing your suit isn’t complicated, but it requires careful technique. Let’s break down the process.

Step 1: Fill the Basin

Choose a clean basin or bathtub large enough to accommodate your suit. Fill it with cold water. Contrary to popular belief, cold water is gentler on the suit’s fabric and helps maintain its original color.

Step 2: Add a Mild Detergent

Suits require a special touch. Solid and harsh detergents can damage the delicate fabric. Instead, you’ll need a mild detergent or baby shampoo. Mix the soap into the water until it’s fully dissolved.

Step 3: Submerge the Suit

Next, you’ll submerge your suit in the soapy solution, making sure every inch of it is wet. Leave it to soak for about 15 minutes.

Step 4: Do the Gentle Rub

Clean your suit by gently rubbing it with your fingers or a soft cloth. Pay more attention to the stained areas, but do not scrub, as this can damage the suit’s fibers.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

In the final step, drain the soapy water and rinse the suit with fresh, cold water until all the soap has been washed out. Avoid wringing the suit because it may cause it to lose its shape.

Instead, lay it flat on a clean, dry towel and roll the towel up to absorb excess water. Then, unroll the towel and reshape your suit. Lay it on a new dry towel and let it air dry.

While these steps might seem daunting, they’re fairly straightforward once you understand them. Remember to keep this routine consistent to ensure your suit’s longevity.

All it takes is a bit of time and effort, but keeping your suit looking sharp and sophisticated is worthwhile, maintaining its quality and elegance.

Machine-Washing the Suit

Machine washing your suit can be a little trickier but still manageable if you’re short on time or want to give it a deep clean. Keep in mind that this method should not be your default, as it can be tough on the fabric. Good suits deserve extra attention. Use it as an occasional quick fix, preferably for less expensive or everyday suits.

Before you begin:

  1. Check the care label.
  2. If machine washing is strictly advised against, heed the warning and opt for hand washing or professional cleaning.
  3. If it gives the green light, proceed with precaution only.

When ready to machine wash, turn the suit inside out to protect the outer visible layer. This helps prevent lint buildup and reduces the chances of color fading. It’s also beneficial for retaining the suit’s shape and fit.

Select the delicate cycle on your washing machine (usually the one with the shortest spin cycle and lowest speed) and ensure the water temperature is set to cold. Cold water protects the color of your suit and prevents shrinkage. Hot water can fade the color and cause your suit to lose its original size.

Use mild, fabric-friendly detergent. Avoid bleach or harsh cleaners, as they might be too strong for your suit’s fabric. A small amount of detergent will suffice.

Don’t overload the washing machine. Overcrowding can cause wrinkles and alter the suit’s shape. If other clothes are in the machine, ensure they are light and color-safe to prevent color transfer.

Following these steps will allow you to machine-wash your suit safely, minimizing the potential for damage. Remember, this method is more convenient yet less recommended than hand washing. Yet granting your suit a professional dry cleaning occasionally can improve its lifespan and preserve its top-notch quality. The key is balance and proper care.

Drying and Ironing the Suit

You’ve gotten past the washing stage–congratulations! Now comes an equally crucial aspect of suit care: drying and ironing. Treat this process with the same level of care and attention you exert on washing if you want your suit to last longer and look sharper.

First off, keep your suit in the dryer. The high heat levels and vigorous tumbling action can destroy the delicate fabric fibers, ruin the suit’s structure, and lead to irreversible shrinkage. Air drying is the best solution for drying your suit. Hang the suit up in a well-ventilated, cool, and dry place. The perfect spot is a place where it is shielded from direct sunlight yet has a gentle flow of air.

A drying rack or a hanger with enough shoulder support will do the trick. Avoid using wire hangers, which can cause the suit to lose shape. Using a clamp hanger is advisable to keep the trousers in their natural shape and crease. Hand the trousers by the hem, with the waistband at the top.

Next comes ironing. It’s worth noting that not all suits need an iron. Suits, especially woolen ones, have a natural ‘bounce back’ feature that allows them to regain shape after washing. But ironing would be necessary if you find any stubborn wrinkles that won’t diminish.

Before you fire up the iron, make sure it’s set on the wool or low-temperature settings if your iron doesn’t have a fabric-specific option. A press cloth between the iron and your suit is also essential to prevent potential burns and shiny marks. Remember to iron lightly and never press down too hard.


So, you’ve learned how to give your suit the TLC it needs. Remember, it’s not just about washing – drying and ironing play a crucial role too. Ditch the dryer and opt for air drying in a well-ventilated spot. Use a sturdy hanger or rack, but steer clear of wire hangers. When it comes to ironing, keep it low and slow, using a press cloth to protect your suit. And don’t forget, not all suits need a press – woolen ones bounce back naturally. Remember these tips, and you’ll maintain your suit’s top-notch condition. Now, you’re all set to store your suit correctly, ensuring it’s ready for your next big event. Your suit care routine doesn’t end here. It’s an ongoing process. But with these guidelines, you’re well on your way to suit maintenance mastery.

Clotheslyne: A Professional Laundry Solution

For those who prefer professional laundry care, Clotheslyne provides an ideal solution. Through the app, you can hire Clotheslyners for expert laundry services, including washing, drying, and folding of clothes and bulky items.

Choosing Clotheslyne ensures your laundry is handled with care and expertise. It’s convenient for those who value their time and prefer professional laundry services.

To use Clotheslyne, download the iOS Apple App or Google Play Store Android app to schedule your laundry pick up.

You can also schedule your laundry pick up through our web portal.

Fill up a tall kitchen bag full of clothes. A Clotheslyner in your community will pick it up and deliver it back to you washed, dried, and folded in 48 hours. It’s that simple.

Got a question for us? Head over to our contact us page and make a custom request by email or by phone! We’re here to help.

FREE pickup and delivery laundry services for less than drop-off at your local laundromat!