Dry cleaning isn’t just for suits and fancy dresses, you know. In fact, a few types of clothes are better suited to the dry cleaning treatment. Here’s a quick guide to what you can dry clean.
If you’re unsure whether or not something needs to be dry cleaned, it’s best to take it in and ask your friendly neighbourhood dry cleaner. As long as we know what kind of pants need cleaning, our specialist staff will ensure everything gets done safely-guaranteed!
- 1 What Is Dry Cleaning?
- 2 What is Done in Dry Cleaning?
- 3 What Kinds of Clothes Should Be Dry Cleaned?
- 4 What Happens if I Wash Dry Clean Only?
- 5 Final Thoughts
What Is Dry Cleaning?
Dry cleaners use a dry cleaning solvent and stain solution to clean your clothes instead of water and soap. One common dry-cleaning chemical is tetrachloroethylene, or perchloroethylene (also known as “perc”). The process can be very beneficial for certain types of clothes because it does not wash them as you would at home with just an ordinary washing machine and harsh laundry detergent!
What is Done in Dry Cleaning?
When you drop off your dirty garments at your local dry cleaning store, the commercial dry cleaning process officially begins. There are various steps involved in cleaning each item:
Before being cleaned, clothes are thoroughly investigated for items left in pockets, stains, tears, and missing buttons, among other things. These found items are returned to customers, for defects, which are noted as “known faults” before cleaning.
Every item has a unique identifying number attached to it. Some dry cleaners use printed tags attached or pinned to the garment to identify the item being cleaned. For regular clients, some businesses use an iron-on strip with a permanently issued barcode. Similar soiled items from different clients are cleaned together, and the tags are attached to each garment to ensure that it is returned to its rightful owner.
Cleaners visually assess the garments before beginning the solvent cleaning procedure. They address any stains that are discovered during the inspection process. If you know what created a particular stain, it is extremely beneficial to share this information with the cleaner to achieve the best possible outcomes throughout the stain removal process. Additionally, a competent cleaner will remove or cover delicate buttons and trim to prevent harm during this process.
Dry Cleaning Machine
Dirty clothing is fed into a big drum machine and cleaned using a chemical solvent that does not require water. It is gently stirred in the solution, causing stains to loosen from the garments. The solvent is then drained, filtered, and recycled, and the clothing is “rinsed” in a clean solvent solution to flush away any remaining dirt residues before being dried within the drum.
Because a chemical solvent is used in the dry cleaning process, it is exceptionally effective at removing oil-based stains. On the other hand, other forms of stains are not always successfully eliminated. As a result, all items are post-spotted to check for any lingering stains. To eliminate any lingering remains of the stains, steam, water, or even a vacuum cleaner are used to treat them. These are treated as per type of stain, to complete the cleaning process.
The final step is to prepare the garment so that it is ready to be worn. This includes removing wrinkles with steam or pressing them out, reattaching buttons, and mending repairs. After that, the items are hung or folded before being returned to the customer. The plastic bags provided are solely for the purpose of transporting your clothes back to your home without causing more stains. It is critical to remove them as soon as possible to avoid any damage to your clothing caused by stored moisture.
What Kinds of Clothes Should Be Dry Cleaned?
It’s always a good idea to know what fabric your clothes are made of, so you can be sure of how they should look and how to take care of them effectively. Below is information about the different fabrics and their appropriate care:
Special care instructions for leather garments are generally included, and these must be strictly adhered to for them to last. If you have a significant stain on your leather jacket, such as pen stains or oil spills, you should dry clean it immediately.
Suede is a form of leather made mostly from lambskin, cowhide, and goat hide. Suede is a pricey material that is also exceedingly difficult to maintain. Light, moisture, water-based cleaners, and chemical-based cleaners are all detrimental to its longevity. It is important to use the services of dry-cleaning professionals that use non-toxic chemicals to ensure that your suede items are appropriately cared for and maintained.
Strong natural fibres are utilised to make silk fabrics, and they do not entirely absorb the dyes needed to colour them. The washing process will not only cause the cloth to lose its colour, but it will also shrink and warp the fabric as well. Silk should be dry cleaned to guarantee that its colours remain brilliant and that the fabric is safeguarded from harm during the cleaning process.
Wool fabric can be just as durable as silk if it is not subjected to prolonged immersion in water, which can cause it to shrink. By using dry cleaning, you may eliminate this risk and extend the life of your wool clothes significantly.
Fabric made from flax is known as linen. If you compare it to cotton, it is much stronger, more absorbent, and dries much more quickly. When it comes to linen, you have a couple of options. While this may be hand washed and air dried, it is frequently ironed because its flax fibres are thought to be better and fresher when exposed to high heat. Linen clothes, unfortunately, can lose their crispness if they are not appropriately managed, and the general quality of the garment can deteriorate. If you have this fabric, dry cleaning is your best bet.
Are you familiar with the term “rayon”? This one is a little controversial because it is semi-synthetic rather than natural compared to the textiles stated before. When washed in warm water, it can bleed since it is made of fine cellulose fibres that have been dyed. As a result of this, it will become smaller and lose its shape. While handwashing in cold water with a gentle detergent is an option, dry cleaning is the safest and most effective method.
Other or General
Jeans are a classic wardrobe staple, but many people don’t realise that denim cannot be put through the dryer. To keep them long-lasting and looking just like new, you should always wash your denim inside-out in cold water, then hang them out to air before wearing or storing them away! But even this may cause the fibres to come loose and bleed. Dry cleaning is best for high-end denim, especially in its purest form.
Dry cleaning is the way to go for those with delicate fabrics, especially if you’re attached at least a little bit. You can prevent damage and preserve your favorite clothes in perfect condition by using professional cleaners who know what they’re doing!
What Happens if I Wash Dry Clean Only?
The “Dry Clean Only” label means that the garment should not be washed at home. Some manufacturers put this on their clothes to ensure they’re safe from wrinkles and preserve delicate fabrics, but if you don’t want your new shirt to look like an old mess after just one wash, then send it off to a professional cleaning service!
● Significant shrinkage is possible with dry-clean-only garments, not just a slight size reduction. Some garments will shrink by two or three sizes, while draperies might shrink by half their original size when washed by a conventional washing machine.
● Your garment may expand out of shape. Consider the scenario in which your sweater sleeves hang to the ground like some kid next door.
● You might not be able to predict the outcome of wet cleaning your blouse. The fabric may feel stiff and coarse after a thorough wash, or it could come out feeling fluffy enough for an infant’s hands!
● It is possible that the fabric or lining of your clothing will tear. Wet cleaning a dry-clean-only clothing may damage the seams through the vigorous spin cycle.
● Beading, sequins, and lace can all be destroyed by the spin cycle of a washing machine. A more gentle method, dry cleaning is more effective, and skilled cleaners are trained in how to protect those delicate trims.
● Colours will fade or bleach if you don’t treat them right. For instance, although many silks today are washable, their dyes can still damage your garment and ruin it with just one wash! Dry Clean Only fabrics aren’t always colourfast, so make sure that no stains or bleeds happen when washes become necessary.
● Fabric pilling is a problem. Those tiny balls of fabric can completely detract from the appearance of your garment. Using dry cleaning can help reduce pilling because of the slow movement of the fabric. A professional cleaner will know how to effectively eliminate the fuzz balls if pilling occurs.
● Sometimes, even if your dry clean only garments survive the washing machine and dryer unscathed; stubborn stains will likely remain.
If you’re not 100% confident in the cleaning methods used for your garments, then take them to a professional dry cleaner. They will know what is best and ensure that all of those tedious steps are taken and your valuable fabric is cared for appropriately!
You have spent a significant amount of money on your garments, and because they are made of delicate textiles, you want to ensure that they last as long as possible. However, when it comes to reading laundry labels, it can be difficult because there are no shortcuts when it comes to caring for these items. It’s best to consult with an expert or conduct some research before making a final judgment on whether something should be dry-cleaned. We at Ad Astra Dry Cleaners recognise how important this is. We are confident that our extensive experience in dealing with delicate fabrics will ensure that your wardrobe is carefully cared for without causing any damage to any of its parts. Give us a call today so we can assist you!