Although you understand the process of cleaning your clothes in a standard washer and dryer, dry cleaning is a different matter. Dry cleaning is called such because the cleaning process uses little or no water as the cleaners used are organic solvents to remove stains and soil from garments. Clothing items made of natural fibers including silk and wool may fade, shrink, or lose their shape if laundered in a washing machine, but dry cleaning these items doesn’t cause swelling the fibers that lead to damage and discoloration.
Dry Cleaning Benefits Over Normal Laundering
The solvents used in dry cleaning dissolve and remove oil and grease stains, which is something that water alone can’t accomplish. For other types of stains, the dry cleaner performs spot treatments that may involve the use of steam or other professional skills and expertise only a dry cleaner possesses. The process of cleaning the garment with solvents doesn’t crease or distort garments, but it also can’t restore an item that has lost its shape. However, a skilled dry cleaner can re-shape the garment, restore creases and eliminate wrinkles through steam pressing. The entire process of dry cleaning includes cleaning with solvents, spot treatment and a final press of the garment.
Limitations of Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaners can do amazing things to restore clothing to its original shape, remove stains and provide a thorough cleaning, but there are limits to what they can achieve. Even the most experienced and skilled dry cleaner may not have the ability to accomplish the following:
- Remove ingrained grime and dirt that accumulated over years
- Completely remove all stains
- Restore torn or worn areas
- Prevent holes created by insects, pests, snagging or acid
- Remove the shiny appearance caused by too much pressure and heat during home ironing
- Correct damage from improper stain removal
Some of the above issues such as ingrained grime can be prevented with regular dry cleaning. It’s not always possible to remove every stain due to the type and age of stain and the construction and color of the fabric. Even at-home stain removal can fail in such instances. Dry cleaners with tailoring or alteration services can repair holes and some wear, but it’s not included in their usual dry cleaning service. Sometimes holes in garments appear after dry cleaning, but this is due to weakened fibers that existed before cleaning.
Obtaining the Best Results from Dry Cleaning
To obtain the best results from dry cleaning your clothing, you need to follow a few practices that help protect your clothing and extend their longevity. These practices include:
- Regular dry cleaning
- Bringing garment in as soon as possible following a stain
- Discuss stains and point out spills to dry cleaner
- Prevent contact between clothing and solutions with alcohol such as cologne or perfume as this can result in color loss
- Protect delicate fabrics like silk from excess sweat as this can weaken fibers
- Wait until your antiperspirant or deodorant is dry to dress
- Avoid exposing your delicate garments to prolonged direct sunlight
- Never iron clothing with stains as this can set the stains in
Make sure all of your dry clean only clothing continues to look its best with professional dry cleaning services from Embassy Cleaners.