Dry Cleaning Labels: There Oughta Be A Law - And There Is!

Manufacturer’s clothing care labels don’t tell all, but they do provide valuable information about your clothes.

Clothing Care Label

The Federal Trade Commission says care labels must:

  • Be attached firmly to the garment
  • Be easy to find
  • Be readable for the useful life of that garment
  • Explain one safe cleaning method for that garment 
  • List any warnings about that cleaning method     

  GINETEX, (International Association for Textile Care Labeling) devised a labeling system based on symbols. That way, consumers, textile companies, and dry cleaners can all understand the label and avoid damage to the fabric. The dry cleaning symbol is a circle. 

1.  A plain circle means the article is cleanable in all the normally available dry cleaning solvents.
2.  A letter (usually P or F) tells the kind of solvent is safe to use on the fabric.
3.  A  horizontal line under the circle indicates restrictions on heat and agitation.
4.  An X in the circle means “do not dry clean”.

What if the care label indicates “washable”? Can you still have that garment dry cleaned? Possibly. (Remember that the FTC rule requires that only one safe method of processing a garment must show on the label.)  It’s best to rely on our professional expertise to judge whether dry cleaning or washing is the best way to handle the garment.

At Classic Cleaners, deciphering manufacturer’s clothing care labels is just the beginning.  We study the label first, then address each stain.  Over decades of stain-fighting experience, we’ve assembled an arsenal of tools and techniques, from compressed air to specialized brushes,  from steam guns to dozens of different stain-fighting solutions. Our goal: restoring each garment to its very best.. so that you can look – and feel – your very best!