5 Quick Tips How Does Dry Cleaning Work : Is It Better Then Washing ?

Whenever your expensive clothes and sarees get dirty or have grease stains, you think of giving them for dry cleaning.

Most people think that dry cleaning is a procedure for cleaning clothes without liquid. But in reality, it is not true. Dry cleaning is a procedure where chemical solvents are used to clean clothes. These solvents remove stains and grease from the fabric without damaging the natural texture of the cloth, like silk, wool, and velvet.

You cannot do a dry cleaning process at home. Some clothes or blankets are too big and cannot be put in the home washer and dryer. 

Additionally, some fabrics cannot handle water, resulting in shrinking and stretching. Most dry cleaners have years of experience handling delicate clothes and fabrics.

The article elaborates on how does dry cleaning work. So, keep reading this article to know more about the steps involved in the dry cleaning process and the advantages of giving delicate clothes dry cleaning.

Dry cleaning History

Thomas Jennins was working as a tailor in 1820. He developed a method for cleaning clothes without hampering the quality of fabrics. He then filed a patent in 1821, but unfortunately, it was damaged by fire.

Again 1825, Jean Baptist Dolly made a similar discovered related to cleaning clothes. Her maid accidentally spilled kerosene on paint-stained clothes. The kerosene was enough to clean the paint stain in that cloth.

Hence, after Dolly opened a dry cleaning business in France, people later recognized that cleaning clothes with petrol and kerosene was not good as they could easily catch fire.

Again it’s not good for the health if you work for a prolonged time in kerosene and gasoline.

After a few years, William Stoddard developed a cleaning solvent for cleaning clothes with no petroleum base.

But Faraday found perchloroethylene which is now the choice of most dry cleaners.

But perchloroethylene has some limitations. It is carcinogenic, contaminates soil, and is not even good for the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States encouraged Dry cleaners to use safe chemical solvents which will be friendly for the environment.

How Does Dry Cleaning Work?

We have discussed below the procedure of dry cleaning in a few steps.

1. Tagging

Tagging is the first step in the dry-cleaning process.

Whenever you drop your cloth, the dry cleaner first tags it with a distinguished number so it will be easier for him to identify.

This process will be easier for the dry cleaner to track the cloth and give the right cloth to the customer.

2. Inspect And Stain Treatment

The dry cleaner inspects each garment thoroughly. If he finds any stain, then it is treated with chemicals.

The chemicals differ from each stain to another. Sometimes, professionals remove the buttons from the clothes so that chemicals will not damage them.

3. Introduce Clothes To Dry Cleaning Machine

The cloth is put inside the dry cleaning machine. These machines are larger than the washing machine you usually have at home. 

Additionally, they spin at a lower rate and have good temperature control. The professionals use organic solvents in the dry cleaning machine to clean clothes.

4. Inspection For Second Time

Once the dry cleaning is completed, all the garments are thoroughly inspected to ensure no stains. Additionally, if the buttons are removed during cleaning, then professionally attach them to your cloth.

5. Finishing

The dry cleaner professional will press the cloth. He may use iron or steam, depending on the fabric of the cloth, to remove all the wrinkles.

Some dry cleaners use machines that iron the cloth using air or steam. All the clothes are given a final inspection become they are packed and given to the customer. 

What Are The Various Dry Cleaning Solvents Other Than Perchloroethylene?

Perchloroethylene is not good for the environment. So, dry cleaner professionals developed various dry cleaning solvents other than perchloroethylene.

1.Silicon base solvent

Silicon base solvents(Siloxane) are now becoming popular in the dry cleaning industry is a safe solvent for the environment as it breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, and sand. 

Siloxane quickly removes the stains from your garment. But the solvent is not good for the rats. Additionally, it is not good for the liver.

Siloxane manufacturing cannot be completely green because of the involvement of chlorine.

2. Liquid Carbon dioxide

The liquid and gas form of carbon dioxide is not poisonous. It is a cheaper dry cleaning solvent in comparison to other types. 

But the price involved in buying the dry cleaner machine where liquid and gas carbon dioxide can be used as solvents is usually high.

So most dry cleaner professionals avoid using liquid carbon dioxide.

3. Water

Dry cleaner professionals can also use water. But it is only suitable for some dry cleaner machines set at a specific cycle and temperature when water is used as a cleaning agent.

How Can You Get the Best Results From Dry Cleaning?

  1. 1.Check your cloth to ensure that cleaning is the correct method to clean it. Check the care symbol. You will find the label indicating dry cleaning and the type of solvent used for cleaning.
  2. You must tell the dry cleaner professional about stains. Some stains need pretreatment before being put inside the dry cleaning washing machine. You should talk about the things which have created the stain. For instance, if coffee, gasoline, tea, or spilled food has created the things, you need to talk about it. It will help the professional choose the solvents required for clearing out stains from clothes.
  3. some fabrics are meant only for dry cleaning. If you clean them at home by using detergents and water, then it can stretch or shrink the fabric. Sometimes the fabric can be damaged badly.
  4. Your cloth should smell of solvent after opening from the plastic covering. If the smell lingers, your dry cleaner professional needs to clean it properly. You need to find out another dry cleaner professional to clean your garments.

Wrap Up

We often think of washing the grease and stains with laundry detergent and water. But some fabrics are not suited to washing in detergent. Delicate fabrics should be handled with care. The best way to remove stains is by giving clothes to a dry cleaning professional.

A dry cleaning procedure is an excellent way to remove stains from fabric. It cleans your delicate fabrics, uses iron and steam to remove wrinkles, and packs it in a plastic cover which gives a fresh new look. 


We have discussed how dry cleaning works and hope it has helped to understand the procedure.

Thank you for reading this article. You can ask any queries about the dry cleaning procedure in the comment section. We will be happy to answer all your questions.

FAQ : How Does Dry Cleaning Work 

Q1. How does dry cleaning work without water?

Ans : Dry cleaner professionals use something other than water and detergent for cleaning your delicate clothes. They use organic solvents, which are environmentally friendly for washing delicate fabrics like velvet, silk, and wool.

The professionals put the clothes in a big machine and use the solvent for cleaning and removing stains from garments.

Q2. Does dry cleaning remove old stains?

Ans : A dry cleaning procedure can remove grease, ink, coffee, or tea stains. But try to communicate dry cleaner professional early and talk about the stains. Delay in giving clothes to dry cleaner may become tough to remove stains.

Q3.  Can dry cleaning remove yellow stains?

Ans : Sweat contains a compound called urea which can cause yellow stains on clothes. You can easily remove these yellow stains by washing them many times. But sometimes, it becomes difficult to remove specific fabrics. Well, dry cleaning can remove the yellow stains.

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