If you have a lot of dry-clean-only clothing items, cleaning bills can add up quickly. With a few insider secrets, you can extend the time between your visits to the dry-cleaners. Here are four tips to help get the most out of dry-cleaning services.

1. Keep on Top of Stains

It isn't worth it to get lazy when it comes to stains. If you get coffee on your favorite blouse, you should try to immediately treat this with stain remover. If you always bring stained items to the cleaners, the cost to clean the stains is going to add up quickly. You might be able to effectively remove stains on your own at home if clothing is dry-clean recommended but isn't dry-clean only.

2. Use Outerwear Garments a Few Times

You don't need to bring clothes to the dry-cleaners after every wearing. Especially when it comes to outerwear such as jackets and pants, these can be worn a few times before a professional dry-cleaning is in order. If the clothing label permits, invest in an at-home steamer that you can run over clothing before wearing to get out small wrinkles and freshen up clothes between dry-cleaner visits.

3. Practice Proper Storage

How you treat your clothes can make a big difference in how often an article of clothing might need to go to the cleaners. Clothes that are dry-clean only should be handled with a little extra care since they are such an investment. Hangers with foam or cloth will keep the shape of clothing, and garment bags can keep items fresh and clean in your closet.

4. Ask for Starch

A great way to keep professional clothes looking fresh from the cleaners is to request starch from your dry-cleaners. If you shy away from starch because you are worried it will make your clothes uncomfortable, realize that it will just hold shape and not affect wearability. This will keep your items wrinkle-free and can keep items such as dress pants and suit jackets looking crisp through multiple wearings. Starch will act as a protectant, keep clothes looking newer longer, and hold creases and folds.

If your dry-cleaning bills are starting to add up, give your clothes a fighting chance to stay fresh longer. If you feel as if you frequent the same dry-cleaner quite often, it doesn't hurt to see if there is a frequent customer or neighborhood discount. Dry-cleaning may be a part of your life, but you can help lower your visits with a little effort on your part.