How To Dry Clean Saree At Home

When we consider the stress and expenses involved in taking our beloved saree to the dry cleaners, we might hope to turn our faces to the possibility of doing the cleaning at home by ourselves? 

But can you actually dry clean saree at home? Would it work? If so, what are the products required? And where can you get them?

Relax, sit back and continue reading, because this article has answers to all your questions, and more.

You can’t actually dry clean saree at home

There is absolutely no way to dry clean saree at home, be it silk or cotton. The process is just too sophisticated to be translated at home (and I believe I’ve done a pretty good job at explaining why this is so in this article). Read it. 

Dry cleaning solvents are almost impossible to get in the market, and any other product that claims “dry clean at home” is most definitely using a technique that is quite different from the actual dry cleaning. 

Like dryel for example, It’s a cleaning product that claims to be a “at home dry cleaner”, but when you inspect to see how it cleans cloth, you’ll find that it uses a process quite different from dry cleaning. 

It uses steam released from a cleaning cloth to remove stain and soiling from fabric, whereas dry cleaning uses organic solvent or non-water based solvents to clean clothes.

Before we forget about the topic of discussion, let’s get back to it. 

Saree cleaning. 

The fact that you can’t “dry clean” saree at home, does not mean that you can’t actually wash it at home. 

You can use the washing machine to launder saree and they’ll turn out fine. You can also wash them by hand, but before you hop onto that technique, there are a few things you must understand so your treasured cloth remains protected whenever you wash it.

How to clean saree at home

Cleaning a saree at home is very easy. Once you get the hang of the necessary precautions, steps and the techniques, you’re good to go.

One of the most important things to know before attempting to clean any saree is that it is super delicate, especially the silk based ones, and because of that, you have to make sure everything you do, or use, is very gentle otherwise you risk ruining the finishing, the designs, the colors and even the integrity of the fabric.

You also want to make sure you’re checking the saree’s care label to see what it says regarding washing the saree.

If it says “dry clean”, feel free to go ahead with machine washing or hand washing at home, but if it stays “dry clean only”, then you want to avoid the entire process we are going to be discussing below and take it to the dry cleaners instead.

Another category of saree that must be dry cleaned are those that are not colorfast to laundry detergents and products. The way you can be sure your saree is colorfast is through a quick spot test. 

Get a cotton swab and wet it with the solution of water and laundry detergent. Dab continuously over a specific surface of the saree fabric and check to see where the color comes off.

If it does, you have no option but to take it to the dry cleaners, and if it doesn’t, proceed with the cleaning methods below.

Washing saree by hand

There are two procedures you can use to wash sarees at home. You can choose to wash them by hand, or opt to wash them in the washer. 

I personally would go for hand washing as it is easier, and there is a substantial degree of control over the amount of friction and agitation translated upon the fabrics. 

The washer on the other hand, is a much different case. Even the delicate cycle has a degree of agitation far greater than what your hands can produce when on “delicate mode”, and so if your saree falls under the category of super delicate, you want to avoid putting it in the washing machine completely.

Here’s how to wash a saree by hand.

First of all, you want to make a solution of shampoo or liquid laundry detergent and water. 

Lather everything up and soak the saree right side in for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how soiled up it is and how rich its colors are. The longer you soak a rich colored saree, the more the chances its colors will come off. So keep to time based on these factors. 

After that, remove this saree and continuously plunge it into the water to release the dirt and soiling. You can also lightly scrub the surface of the saree especially in areas where you notice dirt and stains. This would help to release them into the wash water.

After you’re done washing the saree, you want to fill up a new bucket with cold water and keep dipping the saree in it to release as much suds and detergents as possible. 

When you’re satisfied that the saree is completely free from detergents, you want to allow it to drip as much water as possible, then press a clean towel against it to soak up as much water as possible. 

Repeat the step until your saree is no longer dripping with water, or have excess moisture. Another method you can use, is to roll up the saree in the towel and press against the final roll to remove as much water as possible. This is much faster than the earlier method. 

Dry the saree flat on a clean towel, a clothesline, or flat on the drying rack.

If you must iron your saree, then iron it inside out, using low to moderate heat and also make sure that you have a clean pressing cloth between the saree and the iron. Do not iron saree when it’s damp or wet.


  1. If your saree has stains, avoid DIY’s and take it to the dry cleaners. Some DIY procedures can actually cause permanent damage to the surface of your fabric, especially if it happens to be a fabric as delicate as saree.
  2. Silk sarees are super delicate, and they are best handled and cleaned by the dry cleaning process. 
  3. Blot fresh sweat stains on your saree with a paper towel. This will prevent the build up of sweat stains on them. 
  4. Avoid using bleach on sarees as this can weaken and discolor the fabrics.
  5. If you ever find the need to sanitize your saree, then don’t hesitate to use the laundry sanitizer. There are many options to choose from so feel free to go for the one that best suits your needs or your budgets.

How to clean saree using the washing machine

Cleaning a saree in the washing machine is pretty easy. First fill up your washing machine with cold water and add laundry detergent to it. 

You can also use a liquid baby shampoo. Next, set the washing machine to the gentlest cycle possible which could be “hand wash”, “delicates” or “silk”.

Put your sarees into a mesh bag and put it inside the washing machine. Run the complete cycle and rinse manually using the techniques outlined in hand washing. 

Avoid the drying machine completely and air dry flat on a towel, a clothing line or on a drying rack. 

When washing pattu saree in the washing machine, you want to make sure you’re cleaning them alone to avoid excessive friction that will cause their fibers to weaken. 

If you’re washing them with items that have buttons on them, these can also get stuck on the saree and they can cause it to tear. 

Final Thoughts

The preferred method of cleaning sarees is to dry clean them, but that is not something you can achieve at home, rather, you’ll have to go to the dry cleaners. 

Dry cleaning is super gentle on fabrics, especially delicates like sarees, and even the cleaner it employs is far gentle on fibers and colors of fabrics than normal laundry cleaners. 

That isn’t to say that you cannot wash sarees at home. You can, but have to be extremely gentle with the process to avoid damaging your “pattu”. 

In this article, we have outlined all that you need to get started with washing sarees at home. So read the article, follow the procedures and good luck!