If you own a tailored suit, you’re probably under the assumption that you have to take it to a dry cleaner if you need it cleaned. This is not strictly true – there are some things you can do at home to keep your suit looking its best.
A high-quality, tailored suit is an investment, and it needs to be cleaned regularly and carefully to prevent damage to the fabric. Although it’s often best to take your suit to be cleaned professionally, you can also clean it at home to keep it pristine.
In this blog, we’ll go over some tips from our expert tailors on how to clean your suit at home. Plus, we’ll give you the answers to the most commonly asked questions about suit cleaning.
8 tips on suit cleaning and maintenance
There will be times when you need to clean your tailored suit at home rather than taking it to a professional dry cleaner. Here are our top tips…
1. Brush regularly
The key to keeping your suit looking stunning is regular brushing. You should regularly brush your suit to remove dust, hair, and other unwanted particles, ideally after every wear. Regular brushing with a suit brush made from animal or synthetic hair will also help extend the life of your suit. Ensure that you’re brushing the fabric in a downward motion. Finish up with a lint roller to ensure your suit looks absolutely spotless!
2. Spot clean
If you notice a mark or stain after wearing your suit, mild detergent and a wet cloth can help remove it before it sets. Afterwards, hang it up to air dry or use a steamer if you have one.
We don’t recommend washing your suit in a machine as it can degrade the fabric. If the stain remains, you’ll need to take it to be cleaned professionally.
3. Don’t use hot water or chemicals
Hot water can damage the fibres in the fabric, so it’s best to use cold water when spot cleaning or hand washing your suit. Similarly, avoid bleach or other chemical cleanings, which can damage the fabric and lead to fading.
4. Hang your suit on quality wooden hangers
Although this won’t assist you with cleaning your suit, it will make a huge difference to the final result and suit maintenance. Always opt for a quality wooden hanger rather than a wire one. This will help keep your suit smooth and wrinkle-free when you’re not wearing it! Wood will also absorb any moisture from the fabric. Try to hang your suits at least two inches apart to give them space to breathe.
If you wear your suit to work, keep a wooden hanger there as well – it’s always preferable to hang your suit rather than drape it over the back of your chair.
5. Keep your suit in a cloth suit bag
Even if your tailored suit comes in a plastic garment bag, it’s always worth investing in a quality cloth suit bag. Storing your suit in a cloth suit bag allows greater airflow to the fabric, letting it breathe. An added bonus is that it will protect your suit from moths and keep it free from wrinkles when you’re not wearing it.
6. Invest in a steamer
A steamer is a worthwhile investment if you’re a regular suit wearer. Steaming your suit before hanging it up to air-dry helps to reduce odours and wrinkles, so your suit is ready to wear, whatever the occasion. Plus, steaming works surprisingly well on most clothing and fabrics, from silk shirts to cotton t-shirts.
7. Don’t wear the same suit every day
Wearing the same suit daily means its condition will inevitably deteriorate. Instead, rotating between two or three suits for regular use is best. This will keep your suits in good condition for longer as it means you’ll have more time to spot clean and brush your suit.
8. Get your suit cleaned professionally 1-3 times a year
Provided you spot clean, brush and air out your suit regularly, taking it to a dry cleaner 1-3 times a year should be enough. In fact, getting your suit cleaned professionally too frequently can actually be harmful to your suit’s delicate fabric.
Commonly asked questions about cleaning suits
How much is it to dry clean a suit?
Although regular cleaning and maintenance can be done at home, using a professional dry cleaning service at least once a year will still be necessary. The average price to clean a 2-piece suit is around £15, while a 3-piece suit costs approximately £19. However, this price will vary depending on location and quality of service.
How long does it take to dry clean a suit?
The turnaround time can vary greatly depending on the dry cleaning process, but 2-3 days is the standard time. Some dry cleaners will offer a same-day service if you need your suit cleaned urgently for a last-minute event.
Can you iron a suit jacket?
We don’t recommend ironing your suit as this can cause the fabric’s fibres to break down. This results in a wrinkled appearance and can cause the suit to lose its shape.
However, if you are going to iron your suit, you should ensure that your iron is clean and filled with distilled water. You should also ensure you use a pressing cloth in between your suit and the iron to protect the delicate suit fabric. Always use the lowest heat setting to reduce the likelihood of causing permanent damage to your suit.
Can you wash a suit jacket in the washer?
Again, this is not something we recommend, especially for expensive, high-quality tailored suits. However, if you do plan to use a washing machine, make sure you put your suit in a mesh bag and wash it on a cold, gentle cycle.
Tailored suits by Philip Alexander
Even with regular maintenance and care, a suit won’t last forever, especially one bought from the high street. Whether you’re looking to invest in a new suit for daily wear or purchase one for a special occasion, we can help. At Phillip Alexander, we specialise in crafting stunning tailored suits for all occasions.
We’ve been dressing gentlemen for over a century. Phillip Alexander offers a range of tailoring services in our Cheshire and Savile Row locations, including bespoke suits, made-to-measure suits, and tailored suit hire.
Our bespoke tailoring service is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a suit of the highest quality that can last a lifetime with careful care. Whether you’re attending an upcoming formal event or want to stand out as the man of honour at your wedding, we can create a unique bespoke suit tailored to your measurements and specifications.
Our made-to-measure suits are a more affordable option and are ready in less time than our bespoke suits. This is perfect for an upcoming event or regular wear. The made-to-measure process uses machine work and handcraft to produce a quality, well-fitting tailored suit that’s incomparable to buying off-the-peg.
If you need a suit to wear for a special occasion but aren’t ready to invest in a new suit, our luxury tailored suit hire service is the perfect solution. Our suit hire service includes several fitting sessions and adjustments to guarantee the best possible fit on the big day.
Book an in-person or telephone consultation to get started on your journey to a stunning new tailored suit.