What Actually Happens in Dry Cleaning?

Dry cleaning is a great way to have all your delicate and specialty fabrics cleaned safely without damaging the garment or running the risk of any colors fading. This method of cleaning is designed to remove dirt and stains from clothes without the need for water. According to Universal Cleaners, it’s also the best way to keep suits, dresses, pants, and other garments looking as good as new.   

Many people take their clothes to the dry cleaners for convenience and expert care. Since they are tasked with taking care of your clothes, one of the hallmark traits of a professional dry cleaning service is preserving quality.

What is Dry Cleaning?

Dry cleaning is a method used to clean clothes without water. The purpose of this cleaning process is to remove dirt and stains from garments without damaging the individual garment fibers. The reason why it is referred to as “dry” is because of a specialized cleaning solvent that is used instead of regular soap and water.   

You can also get rid of hard-to-remove stains on clothes from accidental spills originating from wine, coffee, and oil, from a dry cleaner that offers stain removal as part of their service. It’s also highly recommended to have garments made of taffeta, silk, velvet, or wool dry-cleaned regularly (unless the garment label says otherwise).

How Does it Work?

A cleaning chemical known as tetrachloroethylene is commonly used as a dry cleaning agent and a degreasing solvent to remove any impurities found in garments. Dry cleaners also use advanced commercial machines that don’t require water to clean the clothes. Your garments are loaded into the machines and are gently agitated in a water-free solvent that loosens any dirt and grime. The solvent is continuously circulated throughout the entire process until it is then drained, filtered, and recycled. Afterward, the garments are rinsed in a fresh solvent solution to wash away any impurities that remain.

The Dry Cleaning Process

The process begins the moment you drop off your garments at your local dry cleaner. After you’ve handed over the clothes you want to clean you’ll want to discuss the cleaning services you want and let the cleaning staff handle the rest.

There are several steps involved in the dry cleaning process which may vary by location, but the process is generally the same in the industry. 

Here is how it works:

  • Tagging – Clothes are identified before they are cleaned and the process varies from dry cleaner to dry cleaner. It involves counting and describing each garment, then sticking a small, colored tag on each item with a safety pin or staple.
  • Pre-treatment – Before the machine-washing process, the cleaner checks for and treats stains on clothes. They may also choose to remove or cover delicate buttons during this stage of cleaning.

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