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A Cleaner World Blog

Dealing with Clothing Embellishments: How to Clean Clothing with Sequins, Beads or Rhinestones

A couple years ago I purchased a LBD with pearl-like embellishments around the collar. As always, I failed to check the care label (though I should have known by now that it required special care), and it is a hand wash only dress.

There’s a reason why it’s a hand wash only dress – the dress manufacturer knew that the embellishments they attached to that dress won’t withstand the dry cleaning process, and if they put on the care label ‘dry clean’ and the beads melt, then they are responsible for replacing the dress. That’s because the dry cleaner has no way of testing whether the embellishments can withstand the cleaning process.

Why Plastic Accents Can Be Damaged During Dry Cleaning

While my knowledge on plastics is somewhat limited, I do know, because my dad worked for GE Plastics for over 40 years, that plastic is taken to a liquid form so that it can be molded into the desired shape. Interaction with the solutions involved with the dry-cleaning process can cause the plastic to revert back to its liquid form, and when that occurs, the embellishments become misshapen and the liquid stains the garment. Certain types of buttons, plastic beads and rhinestones, and studs attached to dry cleanable garments will partially or complete dissolve during cleaning, many times leaving either a mess of melted stuff along with partial beading or melting all the embellishments leaving only pieces of thread exposed.

Safely Cleaning Embellished Clothing

If you have a special garment with embellishments, be sure to check the label before providing care. And many times, it might be a good idea to seek the council of a professional like A Cleaner World where we check the care label but are also smarter than just what’s written on that label. We will assess the garment and provide options – whether its foiling the embellishments so they won’t crack or tarnish, remove the embellishments before cleaning and then reattach them, or hand-cleaning the garment. Providing the best care for everything you wear is our specialty.

beaded collar
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