When you bring home newly-cleaned clothes from the dry cleaner, should you remove them from the plastic, or hang them as is?
Many people think that they should keep on the plastic to protect the items until they are worn again. However, a Google Search on the phrase “remove dry cleaning plastic” will convince you that removing the plastic is the correct thing to do.
The plastic is apparently to protect the item while it is in transit from the dry cleaner to your home. Reasons to remove it once you get home are:
- Chemicals used in dry cleaning need to be ventilated rather than trapped in the bag. Otherwise, they can cause yellowing of your clothing.
- The plastic bag traps in moisture which can cause mildew. (Apparently dry cleaning is not a dry process after all.)
If you are concerned about your item getting dusty, then cut the plastic about four inches below the top. The clothing will have a chance to breath, and the small amount of plastic at the top will protect the shoulders from dust.
From an organizing standpoint, I have seen many reasons why you should remove the plastic once you get your items home. Here are some of the things I have witnessed while working in clients’ closets.
IF YOU CAN’T SEE IT, YOU WON’T WEAR IT
An item covered in plastic is hard to discern. You may think you know what it is, but until you remove the plastic, you’ll never really know. Even if you hang it with other items of the same type, the plastic covering provides an obstacle to your wearing it, and you will generally select the items around it instead.
IT MAY BE TETHERED TO A PARTNER
If you dry clean multiple items, you usually get them back attached with a twisty-tie. If the two items are not the same kind — for example, a pair of pants and a blouse — you’ll end up hanging it with one of those types, and the other item will be forgotten.
IT TAKES UP MORE ROOM THAN NECESSARY
Removing all your dry cleaning plastic is one way to make your closet look neater instantly. In addition, when clearing out clients’ closets, I’ve often taken out a hanger and removed the plastic, only to discover that the hanger is empty. The clothing has already been worn, but the plastic remains, taking up space.
So let’s get those bags out of your closets! Keep in mind that you can recycle dry cleaner plastic in the same bins where you recycle plastic grocery bags. You’ll find these at chain grocery and drug stores, among other places.