How Dry Cleaning Works

We’ve all dropped off some piece of clothing at the dry cleaner before and have been amazed when it comes back spotless. Maybe there was a stain you thought you’d never get out, or a hole you didn’t know could be repaired. The dry cleaners are a modern material wonder most of us take for granted. But have you ever thought about how it all works? Beyond the dry cleaning pickup and delivery services, how does a professional remove stains without ruining clothes? How do they wash delicate materials without shrinking or damaging the clothes? There are a few trade secrets that can help you understand this very process.

What’s the “Dry” in Dry Cleaning?

Washing your clothes at home is fairly simple. Your washing machine fills with water and spins them around, agitating the dirt and grime out of the fabric. Some clothes though specifically tell you to “dry clean only.” Why? Because the fabric they’re made from doesn’t hold up well when wet with water, which makes safely cleaning at the home much more difficult. Dry cleaning isn’t dry because no liquid is used, just because no water is used. Instead, they use a petroleum solvent, specifically perchloroethylene, which is another type of chemical used to clean clothes. The rest of the process is similar to washing at home, but with this chemical used instead of water. After your clothes are cleaned, they are ironed or folded to look and feel like new quality.

Home Dry Cleaning

If you prefer cleaning your clothes yourself, but don’t want to risk ruining your clothes, there are a few home dry cleaning options you can try as well. One way is to purchase a dry cleaning kit, which usually comes with some type of stain remover and dry cleaning pad. This allows you to treat stains and remove them in your home. They also contain a dryer activated cloth that helps to clean your clothes in the dryer after you’ve treated the stain and a dryer bag. You can put the clothes in a dryer bag with the cloth to finish off the process. After cleaning your items, all you have to do is iron them out and you have fresh, clean clothes!

Dry cleaning might seem like a mystery, but it’s actually a fairly simple process that trades a chemical for water to clean clothes. So next time you drop off clothes, you’ll know what happens behind the scenes!

 

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