How Often Should You Clean Your Suit to Keep It in Good Condition?

We’ve all been there – staring at that suit hanging in the closet and wondering, “How often should I clean this thing?” Spoiler alert: it’s not as often as you might think.

But let’s break it down before you go dunking your blazer in the washing machine.

Essentials You Should Know About


First off, suits are like houseplants. Overwatering kills them, and overcleaning does the same.

A suit isn’t just an outfit, but a delicate arrangement of fabrics that requires a little more TLC than your favorite pair of jeans.

Dry cleaning is your best bet, but even that can cause wear and tear over time if done too frequently.

When Should You Actually Clean Your Suit?

  1. The “I Can Smell You from Here” Rule: If you can smell your suit before you see it, it’s time to clean it. Whether it’s the aftermath of a night out or just a particularly sweaty day, odors are a clear sign your suit needs attention.
  2. The “I Spilled What on My Lap?” Scenario: Spills happen. If you’ve had an unfortunate encounter with a glass of red wine or your morning coffee, a visit to the cleaners is necessary. Stains, especially those you can’t tackle at home, are another no-brainer.
  3. The “It’s Been a While” Situation: If you wear your suit frequently, think once a week or more, aim for a dry cleaning every three to four months. For those less frequent wearers, once or twice a year might suffice. It’s all about balance.

How to Keep Your Suit Fresh Between Cleanings

Cleaning isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, prevention is key. Here are a few tips to extend the life of your suit without overdoing it on the cleaning front:

  • Spot Clean: Minor spills can often be treated at home. A bit of water, a gentle blot, and you’re good to go.
  • Steam It: A handheld steamer can work wonders. It not only removes wrinkles but also freshens up the fabric.
  • Air It Out: After wearing, hang your suit in a well-ventilated area. This helps to dissipate any absorbed odors and keeps it looking sharp.
  • Brush It Off: Invest in a good clothes brush. It helps remove dust and debris, which can cause wear over time.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Too Much Dry Cleaning: Dry cleaning chemicals can be harsh. Overdoing it breaks down fibers and reduces the lifespan of your suit. Less is more.
  2. Ignoring the Labels: Every suit comes with care labels for a reason. They’re not just suggestions. Follow them to avoid any mishaps.
  3. Using the Wrong Hangers: Wooden, broad-shouldered hangers are a must. Those flimsy wire ones from the dry cleaners? Toss them. They do nothing for maintaining your suit’s shape.

The Cost of Keeping It Clean


Let’s not pretend that dry cleaning is cheap. It’s an investment. Regular cleaning can add up, so here are a few pointers to make sure you’re not throwing money down the drain:

  • Find a Reliable Cleaner: Not all dry cleaners are created equal. Do some research, read reviews, and maybe even ask for recommendations.
  • Ask for Spot Treatment: Sometimes, only a part of the suit needs cleaning. Asking for spot treatment can save money and reduce wear.
  • Avoid Add-ons: Some cleaners will try to upsell you on various treatments. Stick to what’s necessary.

Special Considerations for Different Fabrics

Different fabrics have different needs. Knowing what your suit is made of can help you tailor your cleaning routine:

  • Wool: Needs less frequent cleaning. It’s naturally odor-resistant. Brush it regularly and clean it a few times a year.
  • Cotton: More prone to wrinkles and stains. Clean it a bit more frequently, but spot clean and steam it often.
  • Linen: Lightweight but prone to wrinkling. Clean it after a few wears, but be gentle with it.
  • Silk: The diva of fabrics. Clean it as little as possible and always use a reputable dry cleaner.


You spent good money on your suit. Keeping it in top condition means it’ll last longer, look better, and make you feel more confident. Here’s a quick summary to keep in mind:

  • Clean it when necessary, not on a schedule.
  • Use preventive measures to keep it fresh.
  • Avoid common mistakes that can shorten its lifespan.
  • Pay attention to the fabric.

Suit Care Cheat Sheet

Suit cleaning

To wrap things up, let’s put all this info into a handy cheat sheet:

When to Clean:

  • Odors
  • Stains
  • Regular use (every 3–4 months)

Between Cleanings:

  • Spot clean
  • Steam
  • Air out
  • Brush


  • Overcleaning
  • Ignoring care labels
  • Wire hangers


  • Reliable cleaners
  • Spot treatments
  • Necessary services only


  • Wool: Less frequent
  • Cotton: Regular but gentle
  • Linen: As needed
  • Silk: Minimal and careful



What if I wear my suit daily?

For suits worn daily, it is advisable to dry-clean them every one to three months. Over-cleaning can damage the fabric, so it’s important to balance cleanliness with preservation.

Can I dry-clean my suit less frequently if I don’t wear it often?

Yes, for suits worn infrequently, you can dry-clean the blazer once or twice a year. Pants or skirts may need more frequent cleaning depending on use.

What are the signs that my suit needs to be dry-cleaned?

You should dry-clean your suit if it has visible stains, odors, or if the fabric looks dull and wrinkled despite proper storage.

Are there any alternatives to dry cleaning to maintain my suit?

Yes, you can use spot cleaning for minor stains, steam the suit to remove wrinkles, and ensure proper storage (such as hanging the suit in a well-ventilated area) to prolong the time between professional cleanings.

Will frequent dry cleaning damage my suit?

Over-cleaning can indeed damage the fabric and reduce the lifespan of your suit. It’s important to follow expert recommendations and not dry clean more often than necessary.

How can I extend the life of my suit?

In addition to following a suitable dry cleaning schedule, you can extend the life of your suit by spot cleaning, using a garment steamer, rotating suits if you own multiple, and storing them properly.

Is there a difference in cleaning frequency for different types of suits?

Yes, suits made from delicate fabrics like silk may require more careful and less frequent cleaning compared to more robust fabrics like wool. Always follow the care label instructions specific to your suit.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Keeping your suit in good condition doesn’t have to be rocket science. Just a bit of care, a touch of common sense, and you’ll be suited up for years to come. Now go forth and conquer – wrinkle-free, stain-free, and smelling like a rose.