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Homekeeping · Laundry · Laundry Hack: How To Dry Clean Your Clothes At Home

Laundry Hack: How To Dry Clean Your Clothes At Home

Whether you want to freshen up a suit jacket or refresh your favorite pair of dark jeans without color loss, this easy at-home dry cleaner is the perfect solution!

A while back, I received an email from a reader asking if I knew of a way to make a homemade version of Dryel. My initial reaction to this email was mostly confusion, because at that point, I had never heard of Dryel and didn’t have a clue what it did! So I did a bit of research, and discovered that Dryel is an at-home alternative to dry cleaning. The Dryel starter kit includes an odor and wrinkle releaser spray, a steam bag, and their special steam-activated cleaning cloths.

I saw the appeal of this product immediately. After all, being able to replicate the effects of dry cleaning at home would certainly be very convenient! I personally avoid “dry clean only” fabrics because I’d rather not deal with the hassle of dry cleaning. But further research revealed that Dryel and other at-home dry cleaning products only freshen fabrics, and don’t replace commercial dry cleaning. So what’s the difference?

Commercial Dry Cleaning vs. At-Home Dry Cleaner

Commercial dry cleaners use a highly volatile fluid and very high heat to achieve that clean and pressed look. Due to the supplies and equipment required, it’s really not something that can be duplicated at home. With that being said, at-home dry cleaning products do have a certain usefulness.

For instance, at-home dry cleaners are great for those times that you want to freshen up a piece of clothing without sending it through your washing machine. You know that nice pair of dark jeans that you’re afraid will fade in the wash? That’s where at-home dry cleaner products can really come in handy. Here’s how to do it yourself at home!

Related: How To Break The “Dry Clean Only” Rule The Right Way

How To Make Your Own At-Home Dry Cleaner (AKA Dryel)


1 cup warm water
1 tsp borax
1 tsp oxygen bleach
3 drops lavender essential oil


NOTE: I’m still not entirely sure how to replicate the steam bag from the Dryel kit. I ended up buying the kit just so I could use the bag, but you could try using something similar like a zippered pillow protector instead!


Step 1 – Pretreat It

If there are any dirty areas of your clothing item, pretreat those first. Just spray the affected areas with a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and dab with a clean cloth to help lift the stain out.

Step 2 – Bag It

Next, add the water, borax, oxygen bleach, and lavender essential oil to a small bowl and stir to combine.

Soak a clean cloth in the solution, then squeeze some of the liquid out (just so it isn’t dripping.)

Toss the saturated cloth into the steam bag, along with the clothing item you want to clean.

Step 3 – Dry It

Zip the bag closed, place it in your dryer, then run the dryer for about 30 minutes.

Remove the item from the bag and hang it up immediately to prevent wrinkles from forming. (It might be slightly damp, but that’s normal.)

While this may not be a replacement for dry cleaning, I’m quite pleased with the results that I got from using this method! And I’m confident that you will be just as happy. Your clothes will look and smell markedly fresher, all while retaining their color and shape! 🙂

Have you ever tried an at-home dry cleaner on your clothes?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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