One of the more common misunderstandings is exactly what “dry cleaning” is and how it works. Because of this misunderstanding many people probably do not dry clean items that need to be, and as a result shorten the life span of clothing that is expensive. The issues with using the incorrect cleaning methods on specific fibers is that they will lose their shape or color, ultimately making the garment itself look old and worn before it’s time. When you pay an expensive price for clothing that is made from fine fabrics, it is not the kind of thing that you would like to see age too quickly, but unfortunately this is exactly the case. Many people are probably getting a life span of 1/4 as long as the clothing would have if they would dry clean it, but they do not understand what separates dry cleaning from regular washing.
Dry cleaning is not dry at all, but instead refers to the use of other liquids instead of washing and agitation to remove soil and odors from fabrics. The actual process involves seven steps, but the main ones are a bath in a chemical liquid mixture in order to loosen and remove soil, odors and dirt, and then the extruding of that chemical mixture from the garment utilizing a specialized machine. The liquid is completely removed, taking with it the dirt that was trapped in the fabric, and then the garment is professionally pressed using an industrial iron in order to remove wrinkles and keep the fabric shape and strength. Because chemicals are used instead of soap and water, the garment does not need to be agitated as it does in a home washer in order to remove the dirt, which is far easier on the fabrics and ultimately keeps it looking exactly as it did when it was new for far longer. Extra delicate fabrics like silks will ultimately be ruined through dis colorization if they are exposed to water even one time. Anyone who has ever had a suede garment in the rain knows the trials of water and how it will destroy the look of your expensive clothes. The only way to protect these types of items and keep them looking good is through dry cleaning. If you choose to not clean them at all in order to avoid the washing machine, you will ultimately ruin them anyway because the oils in your skin will become trapped in them and cause them to yellow. Dry cleaning is the only way.
So why do so many people misunderstand dry cleaning and fail to dry clean their expensive clothes? Probably because they think that all clothing can be treated in the same way that their jeans and t-shirts can. Many people do not realize that even expensive jeans are suggested to be dry cleaned instead of washed in a washing machine if they are to remain looking good! So learn where your nearest dry cleaner is, and take your clothing to be dry cleaned regularly.