What even is dry cleaning anyway?

Your clothes take a trip to the dry cleaners, then after some miracle, they come back to you as good as new. But what’s actually going on?

Dry cleaning is where clothes are cleaned without water, which is why it is called ‘dry’.  Instead, fabrics are immersed in a chemical solvent that doesn’t penetrate the fibers, which is why it is used for sensitive fabrics like silk or wool.

The step-by-step journey:

  1. Stain pre-treatment:
    Here, stains are treated and things like delicate buttons are removed for the protection.
  2. The Machine: Clothes go into a large drum and are gently bathed in a chemical solvent e.g. perchloroethylene. This gets sprayed all over the clothes whilst they are agitated.
  3. Post Spotting: Any remaining stains are treated with steam, water and even a vacuum.
  4. Finishing: The final touches before your garment is ready for delivery – so this includes reattaching those buttons, banishing away wrinkles or making repairs, ironing and folding.

When do I use dry cleaning instead of normal laundry?

Typically, silks, woolens, saris and suits are dry-cleaned; however when in doubt check the label. Sometimes very structured or tailored garments may come with a ‘dry clean only’ label not due to the fabric, but to protect the integrity of its shape. However even dry cleaning should be done sparingly, only when clothes are soiled, since the chemicals can deteriorate the quality of your clothing over time.

Not sure?

Get it done by a professional dry cleaning service near you. Launderette is a great tool for laundry on demand. It offers: steam ironing, wash and fold, dry cleaning, wash and iron services.

Dry Cleaning Coat - Launderette