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How Does Dry Cleaning Work?

dry cleaning
If you’ve ever wondered how dry cleaning works, you’re not alone. It’s a process that seems pretty straightforward: drop off your clothes at the dry cleaner, pick them up later, and pay a little more money than usual. But what actually goes on behind the scenes? We know that you have a lot of questions about dry cleaning, so we’ve made this blog to answer all of them. Let’s get started!

What is dry cleaning?

Drycleaning is fairly similar to typical home laundry, however instead of using water and soap, a liquid solvent is used to clean your clothes. The term “dry cleaning” refers to a solvent that contains very little or no water.

Large, technologically sophisticated, computer-controlled dry cleaning machines are commonly used by dry cleaners. Although the liquid solvent is used to damp your garments, it dries out considerably faster than water does.

Since solvent is used instead of water, it is not drained and thrown away like filthy water in a washing machine. Throughout the whole cleaning cycle, the solvent is recirculated through filters to remove contaminants that were loosen during the cleaning process.

The solvent is then refined until it is completely clear and ready for reuse. Compared to wet cleaning or cleaning with water, dry cleaning offers two key advantages: The fibers swell in water.

Many clothing experience shrinkage and dye fading as a result of this swelling action. Water is much less effective than dry cleaning chemicals at removing oily or greasy residues, which are the main cause of many stains.

Dry cleaning process

How does dry cleaning work?

Here are some steps as to how dry cleaning works: 

Inspection and identification

When you drop off clothing for washing, it is examined and given a tag that stays on it until it is returned to you.
Eliminating spotting and stains
Spots and stains are expertly removed by your trained drycleaner using a variety of specialized treatments.


Your laundry will also be sorted by type and color before being cleaned or laundered. This helps ensure that each piece is handled properly and treated with care during processing.

Dry cleaning

Then, using a unique, transparent solution that is an international standard, dry cleaning is used to safely remove dirt and oil from even the most delicate and sensitive fabrics.


In accordance with any recommendations from the manufacturer’s care label instructions, clothes are dried at temperatures suitable for the type of clothing.

Pressing and finishing

The crisp, distinct pleats and creases that indicate a dry-cleaned garment are achieved by pressing the garments. In order to erase wrinkles and restore body and shape, garments are steam molded.

Packaging and final inspection

A final examination is performed before the items are ready for pickup.

How long does dry cleaning take

Depending on the type of fabric you drop off, the amount of clothing and accessories, the business hours of your local dry cleaner and any special requests you have, it can take anywhere from 24 hours up to 48 hours to get your clothes back.

Most items are returned within a couple days, but some items may require extra time for pressing or alterations.

Dry cleaned clothes

The benefits of dry cleaning

Dry cleaning is done by professionals at dry cleaners. They have the proper equipment and tools needed for this process. The process takes some time but it is worth it because it keeps your clothes looking new for longer. Here are some benefits of dry cleaning:

Dry cleaning can help your garments last longer

The main benefit of dry cleaning is that it helps your garments last longer. Dry cleaning removes dirt from your garments without damaging them like washing does.

When you wash your clothes, the water damages the fibers in them, making them weaker and more prone to breaking down over time.

Dry cleaning will prevent you from shrinking your favorite clothes

Washing causes shrinkage because it removes some of the sizing from the fabric which keeps it from stretching out over time.

Dry cleaning prevents both these problems because it uses gentle solvents instead of water to remove stains from clothing so there is no damage done to their fibers or sizing during the process and it doesn’t cause shrinkage.

Fabric quality is better preserved when dry cleaned

Dry cleaning is the best way to preserve fabric quality. It keeps your clothes looking good for longer, because it removes stains and dirt from fabric that can damage the fibers in your clothing.

Dry cleaning saves you time and effort

Dry cleaning saves you time and effort because you don’t have to do any of the hard work yourself! This means that you don’t have to spend hours washing clothes by hand or wait days for them to be dry enough to wear again.

It removes stains that are hard to remove at home, such as oil and sweat

Dry cleaning removes stains from clothing that can be difficult or impossible to remove using other methods like soaking in soapy water or using stain removers on them. This includes oil stains and sweat stains caused by exercise or travel, which are especially hard to get out of clothing that has been laundered at home without dry cleaning treatment first.

It can keep your clothes looking newer for longer

Dry cleaning is an excellent way to keep your clothes looking newer for longer because it does not expose them to moisture, which can cause wrinkles and damage fabrics.

Dry cleaning is economical

One of the main advantages of dry cleaning is that it saves money over time because it helps prolong the life of your garments while protecting them from damage caused by washing machines and detergent residue left behind on clothes after they have been cleaned with traditional methods such as hand washing or machine washing in warm water with soap or detergent added at each cycle of cleaning.

preparing the clothes for dry cleaning

How should I prepare the clothes for dry cleaning?

There is a lot you can do to ensure that your clothes are as clean as possible.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your clothes:

Put your clothes in a plastic bag, if possible

This will help keep them from getting dirty in the future. It also makes it easier for the dry cleaner to find and put back together your clothes.

Check your pockets for cash, receipts and crayons

Some people like to keep things like receipts and crayons in their pockets when they go shopping or running errands. That’s fine, but make sure those items don’t get mixed up with your laundry!

Make sure any stains are visible

If you have any stains on your clothing, make sure they’re visible so the dry cleaner knows what needs special attention when cleaning your clothes.

Point out any stains, tears, or wear

If there are stains on your clothes, make sure to point them out to your dry cleaner. They need to know about them so they can take care of them properly.

Tell your dry cleaner about specialty items

If you have special items that need special attention (like leather or suede), make sure you tell your dry cleaner about these items so they can take care of them correctly and safely.

Attach notes for helpful reminders

You may want to attach notes with some helpful reminders for your cleaner, such as how many times you’ve worn an item or if they should launder certain pieces before they return them.

How much does dry cleaning cost

Depending on the type of fabric, a standard size load of dry cleaning, which consists of two pairs of pants, three shirts or blouses, and one coat or blazer, often costs between $12 and $15 per garment. When considering specific clothing, the price of dry cleaning a shirt or pair of pants is less than $10.

examining clothes for dry cleaning

When do you need to dry clean your clothes?

If you’re looking for a quick, general answer to that question, it’s this: if your clothes are stained or dirty, or if they smell bad. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

You have to dry clean your clothes if they’re made of natural fibers like silk, wool, or cotton. These fabrics are delicate and prone to shrinkage, so they need special treatment.

These include:

Fine fabrics

Delicate fabrics like silk, chiffon, and jersey can be damaged by laundering because they’re made from thin fibers that can break easily when handled roughly by washing machines or tumble dryers. Delicate fabrics also tend to shrink significantly when exposed to high heat — even if you’re careful about your drying settings.

Unfamiliar fabrics

If you don’t know what kind of fiber something is made from (or how fragile it may be), it’s best not to wash it at home unless there’s no other option.

Rayon-blended fabric

Rayon-blended fabrics require dry cleaning because they cannot withstand the high heat of a washing machine or the agitation of the spin cycle. If you have a rayon-blended garment, be sure to read the care label.

Stains that you’re not sure how to handle

Laundry stains can be difficult to remove. If you are unsure about how to treat a stain on your garment, it is best to contact your local dry cleaner before attempting any home remedies.

Lined garments

Lined garments should be dry cleaned rather than machine washed because they are more delicate than unlined garments and could easily tear during washing at home.

Expensive clothing

The main reason people use dry cleaning is because it works better than washing at home. Because it uses chemicals, it can remove dirt and stains that you can’t get out on your own. This means that you don’t have to worry about ruining your expensive clothes when they get stained with food or drink.

What fabrics can and should not be dry cleaned?

Here are some fabrics that don’t need dry cleaning:


Cotton does not typically need to be dry washed. However, you should machine wash them in warm or cold water with complementary colors. The majority of cotton apparel has already been preshrunk, making machine drying safe.

Synthetic materials

These include polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, and acetate for synthetic materials. It is okay to wash these in warm water because they won’t shrink.

On the other hand, these are some fabrics that need dry cleaning:


The flax fibers used to make linen are recognized for keeping people cool and fresh in hot weather. It can lose its sharpness and fine finishing if washed improperly. For linen garments, dry washing is frequently preferred.


Given that it is regarded as semi-synthetic, rayon is a challenging fabric. It is constructed of refined cellulose fiber. When washed, dyes can bleed, and rayon might shrink or lose its shape in warm water.

Although it is possible to hand wash this fabric in cold water with a mild detergent, dry cleaning is typically safer.


Silk should be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water because the dyes in it have a tendency to bleed. Additionally, a light detergent should be used. At this stage, dry cleaning silk is usually simpler, especially if it’s a piece of clothing you really value.


Wool is a hardy fabric that should, whenever feasible, be dry washed. When it’s not possible, hand wash in cold water because warm or hot water will cause it to shrink. When properly cared for, the cloth is strong and will last for a very long time.

How often do i need to dry clean my clothes?

The answer may vary depending on the fabric, how frequently you wear it, how dirty you get it, and other factors. However, generally speaking, you should dry clean your “dry clean only” apparel every third to fourth wear.

Is dry cleaning really worth it?

Some clothing should not be washed after each wear since doing so can cause fading or shrinking over time. Although getting your clothes dry-cleaned may cost more than doing laundry at home, it is still worthwhile because it will make your clothes last longer.

Long-term solution for your beloved clothes

Dry cleaning is a great option for those of us who want to keep our clothes looking their best and feeling fresh, but don’t have the time or energy to do it ourselves. The process is simple, but in order to get the best results you need to know what you’re doing—you wouldn’t want to make a mistake that could ruin your favorite piece!  With that, all your belongings will be perfectly safe if handled properly by experts from Clean Touch Cleaners. ​​Clean Touch Cleaners promise to provide your clothes with the care they deserve, relieving you of the burden of laundry.
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