We are often asked how best to work with us to ensure the best results. We asked our experts their opinions and put together some dry cleaning basics to keep in mind.

Care Labels

Clothes with tags reading -�dry clean only-� should go to DELIA'S Cleaners for professional cleaning. If you try to machine or hand wash these items, you may damage the fabric, color, or fit of the garment. A label reading -�dry clean-� means that you can try washing the garment at home, but for best results dry cleaning is recommended. Before washing, check to see if the fabric is colorfast. Dab a little water on a hidden spot. If color comes off, it should be dry cleaned. If colors run they may damage the garment and other items in the load.

Bring lined clothing like jackets or coats, pleated skirts, and garments with fabric that is not colorfast or that shrinks to DELIA'S Cleaners. Professional cleaning maintains the quality and life of these garments.

Always professionally clean taffeta, silk, wool, velvet, acetate, and fabric blends that include rayon, silk, and wool, unless the care label indicates a different method. The special fibers in suede and leather garments, their textures and shaping do not fare well with at-home care, so take these items to the cleaners.

If you choose to hand-wash garments with special details like beading and sequins, check to see that the embellishments are sewn on and that they are colorfast. Otherwise, you might damage them. Test each type of detailing with a wet cotton swab to see if the color runs. If you have any doubts, take them to DELIA'S.

When To Dry-Clean

Knowing when to dry clean is another one of the basics. Take stained clothes to the dry cleaner as soon as possible to avoid setting. A fresh stain has a better chance of being removed successfully than one that's left for a few days or more. Don't use water or pretreat stains at home. The solvents used by dry cleaners are made to treat specific stains and are better at tackling the problem.

Dry cleaning helps extend the life of garments. As a general rule, wear wool sweaters and skirts about six times before having them cleaned. Clean a wool suit once or twice a year.

Preparing Clothes For Dry Cleaning

Remove everything from the pockets. Mark stains with pins or tape so they are easy to find. Tell us what caused the stain. This eliminates guesswork when deciding which stain-removal process to use.

Dry clean all the pieces of an outfit, such as a suit, together. This keeps the pieces from fading at different rates. Point out any concerns like loose buttons or broken zippers when dropping off your cleaning.

Storing Freshly Cleaned Clothes

Once your items are home, take them out of the plastic bags. Replace wire hangers from the cleaner with plastic ones. Recycle the hangers and plastic bags at DELIA'S Cleaners. Leave any paper that has been stuffed into sleeves to help them keep their shape.

If you follow these basics, your clothing will last longer than you can imagine.