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Clothes hanging on hangers at dry cleaning service

Dry Cleaning 101: How It Works and Why It Matters?

Date Written: 10 Jun 2024

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Most of us have heard the term dry cleaning, but do we truly understand what is involved in this laundering method? Understanding the ins and outs of dry cleaning can be a game-changer, especially if you’re looking to keep your wardrobe pristine or you’ve just acquired a garment that can’t be tossed in the washing machine. Well, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll dive into the basics of dry cleaning, exploring its process and benefits, and provide you with some practical tips for making the most of this indispensable service. 

The Chemical Process Behind Dry Cleaning

Unlike traditional laundering, dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent instead of water. Typically, perchloroethylene (perc) is used to thoroughly clean fabrics without risking water damage. The process begins with pre-treatment to address stains individually. Clothes are then placed in a machine resembling a large washing machine for gentle agitation, lifting dirt and oils from the fabric with the solvent. Once washed, the solvent is extracted, leaving the garments fresh and clean. After cleaning, garments undergo detailed inspection, pressing, steaming, and ironing so that they are crisp and ready to wear. This meticulous operation ensures even delicate fabrics are treated with care, maintaining their integrity and prolonging their lifespan.

Benefits of Dry Cleaning for Delicate Fabrics

Certain materials, such as silk, wool, and intricate embroidery, are not suitable for conventional cleaning methods because they can shrink, stretch, or get damaged when exposed to water and agitation. Dry cleaning offers a gentle chemical approach that is ideal for laundering such delicate items. The solvent used in the process effectively dissolves oils and grime while being gentle on fabric fibres.

Moreover, dry cleaning helps maintain the original texture and colour of garments, making it particularly beneficial for formal wear, evening gowns, and tailored suits that require careful care to look their best. With proper cleaning techniques, you can preserve the quality and appearance of your clothes for years without damage.

Woman's hands holding clothes label with cleaning instructions

Tips for Choosing the Right Items for Dry Cleaning

While dry cleaning is excellent for preserving garment aesthetics and quality, not all items require this method. Knowing which items would benefit most from the process can save you time and money. Generally, garments with a “dry clean only” label, like woollen coats, silk blouses, and dresses, should be taken to a professional.

For everyday wear, such as cotton shirts or synthetic fabrics, regular washing is often enough. However, heavily stained or delicate pieces can benefit from dry cleaning. It’s also a good idea to dry clean items that you might not use for a while, like winter coats, before storing them so that they remain clean and free from contaminants that could cause damage over time.

Dry Cleaning Alternatives for Eco-Conscious Consumers

Dry cleaning is undoubtedly effective, but it raises environmental concerns due to the use of the chemical solvent perc. Luckily, there are eco-friendly alternative methods to consider. One popular option is wet cleaning, which involves using water and biodegradable detergents with specific machine settings and cycles gentler on fabrics. This method is effective for many delicate garments and is kinder to the environment.

Another alternative is silicone-based solvents, a chemical-free and odourless solution that removes stains. It’s non-toxic and safe for a variety of fabrics. Additionally, many dry cleaning machines are more energy-efficient and better equipped to reuse cleaning solvents, preventing their release into the environment. Choosing these alternatives allows you to reduce your environmental footprint while still enjoying the benefits of professional garment care.

Dry cleaning may appear luxurious, yet it’s essential for preserving the quality and longevity of your wardrobe. Understanding the process and following the tips mentioned above empower you to choose the right cleaning method. This guarantees your clothes, whether a treasured silk dress or a tailored suit, maintain their best appearance well into the future.

Image of laundry worker doing laundry service

If you’re in Singapore and seeking reliable laundry service, Clean Care offers tailored options to meet your needs. Our expert team ensures consistent and quality cleaning for your high-value pieces. Everything is delivered to you in immaculate condition, looking brand new. Also, we exclusively use liquid silicone in our dry cleaning process, offering a gentler and more environmentally friendly clean for your items.

Schedule your service now and let Clean Care take the hassle out of garment maintenance!

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