Without specific care instructions on what’s allowed and what should not be done to the garment, the risk of damage is high, especially for fabrics that contain elastane or plasticisers (typically used in garments to provide stretch and recovery characteristics).

Dry cleaning labels may wrongly specify that a particular chemical should be used to clean the garment.

P or "dry clean only" means the garment can be dry cleaned with the solvent perchloroethylene (perc), hydrocarbon solvents green earth and white spirit.

Dry cleaning the wrong garment with perc can cause dyes to run and beads to melt.

A plain circle including a cross means do not dry clean.

F means dry cleaning should only be carried out with hydrocarbon solvents green earth and white spirit (no perc).

W means the item may be treated in water by a professional wet cleaning process.

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