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Weird smell on a couple things after dry cleaning


Stylish Dinosaur
Mar 4, 2002
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The last time I got my wool armani sweater and a rayon Donna Karan shirt dry cleaned they came back with a weird smell on them.

I really don't know what the smell was and didn't notice till a couple weeks later when i put on my DK shirt. I tried to let them air out and stuff but the smell won't leave the rayon shirt (although it's now hardly noticeable on the swearter).

Normally these cleaners have been good and I've brought all my expensive stuff there without worrying about it but I'm wondering wtf happened to my shirt that the smell won't go away. Anyone got any ideas why a rayon shirt would come back smelling weird?

Also the DK rayon shirt i have says dry clean only but I have an armani one that says i can hand or machine wash it. They're both 100% rayon. Now i remember seeing something about different types of rayon but I really can't remember much about it. Would it be a really bad idea to try and wash or even handwash the DK shirt or should handwashing it be fine?


Well-Known Member
Mar 7, 2002
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That smell is probably perchloroethylene, the solvent used by most dry cleaners. It is very hard to get that smell out of clothing, and most dry cleaners return clothes that smell like it, at least to some degree. I personally prefer hand-washing my clothes whenever possible, and leaving dry-cleaning only to trousers.

Steve B.

Go Spurs Go
Mar 2, 2002
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Abe-2 is right. The newer the eqt., the less the smell. Unfortunately, your cleaner may be using older eqt. I recently switched cleaners because of this.

You can also try hanging clothes OUTSIDE before putting them in your closet, if you live in a neighborhood where this is practical. An hour or two should do the trick. Also a cedar closet will absorb some of these odors.

Thing to remember with dry cleaners, which I learned the hard way, is cheaper is NOT always better. In fact, it's usually the exact opposite...

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