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Did you know that you can handwash some delicate items marked ‘dry clean only'? To find out which items are safe, ask at your dry cleaners, or carefully read the labels inside the items. You will find that there are several things you can safely wash at home, and it's very easy to do.

Never use hot water to handwash delicates, and if the item is not colorsafe, you will probably not want to chance washing it at home. But for those items you would like to clean yourself, here is a simple way to go about it.

Using a quarter CAPful of your favorite liquid detergent, pour the detergent under a stream of lukewarm water. When you have a nice sinkful of suds, carefully add the item you wish to handwash. Gently swish the article around in the sudsy water, being careful not to wring or twist the fabric. For any stubborn spots, GENTLY scrub with a tiny bit of detergent, being careful not to rub too hard. Wash one item at a time, removing each from the water before adding the next.

To rinse, swish each article in a sinkful of lukewarm water, or pass under running tepid water, until all traces of soap suds are gone. Again, do not twist or wring fabric. You may gently squeeze the material to remove most of the water, then place garment between thick towels and press out excess water. Hang to dry.

By using these tips you will be able to cut back on your cleaning bills, as well as the valuable time it takes to run to the drycleaning store! And your favorite clothing will look newer longer. Delicate blouses, lacy underthings, skirts, and even some lightweight jackets can all be handwashed. Why not start saving money and time by handwashing your dry clean only items at home?

(Note: Don't use too much detergent or you could have difficulty rinsing out the suds.)