3 Ways to Avoid the Dry Cleaner

The ultimate dilemma: you want to look nice, but you don’t want to take on the burden of even more dry cleaning. There are lots of ways to extend the number of wearings between cleanings so that you’re not always carting ten pounds of smelly silk to the dry cleaners.

1. Spritz clothes with a little vodka

Vodka kills the bacteria that causes odors. It sounds crazy, but it works so well. This has been a long-time favorite trick of costume designers and environmental enthusiasts alike. Grab one of those cheap spray bottles from the travel isle at your local drugstore and fill it with cheap vodka (or Grey Goose, I don’t know your life), lightly spritz the garment with vodka, and leave it hanging to dry. The vodka dries odorless and it takes the pee-eew with it.

2. Hang clothes in open air

Yes, your home looks tidier if you hang your blouse and put it in the closet directly after you wear it, but if you give them time to air out, they will stay fresh longer. Don’t believe me? Fran Liebowitz hangs her blazers on her shower rod when she gets home for this reason. In your closet, the clothes don’t get the proper ventilation, so they smell really gross. Plus, moths are attracted to sweat and skin particles, all the more reason to give them a good shake and hang before returning them to the closet.

3. Shower steam them

Ironing is a nightmare, and who has time to do it? I swear I have tried to get on board (pun intended) with ironing at least five times. I’ve bought upscale starches, watched endless ironing videos on YouTube— it’s a thing— all to end up with wrinkled shirts an hour later.

When that went nowhere, I switched to steaming, and even bought a top-of-the-line steamer. Where is it now? In a corner at my parents house. You can get the same steam just buy hanging your garments on the shower rod. This tip is a change-your-life kind of thing. You can knock out stubborn wrinkles to take a fourth-day shirt and make it look like a first day wear. Hang the garment on the shower rod and leave the shower running hot with the door closed. Presto.