While most people have washed clothes in a washing machine and then either dried them in a drier or hung them to dry, they probably know no more about the process than that a combination of water and soap is used to remove dirt and debris from the clothes before they are rinsed and then dried. Even more of a mystery to most people is dry cleaning, which is the process of cleaning clothing without using water as the solvent. Most people have taken their clothes to a dry cleaner, only to pick them up a few hours or days later and marvel at how clean and pressed they are, without ever really thinking about how this process works.
Dry cleaning is the process of removing dirt, debris and stains from garments without using water as a solvent. This process was created due to the fact that many fabrics do not react well to being soaked in water, wool being one of the most obvious. If garments made of certain fabrics are exposed to large amounts of water, they are generally ruined as far as keeping their look. The common misconception is that dry cleaning is “dry” and does not use any liquids to remove stains. This is not the case, and in fact a liquid chemical is actually used as the solvent to remove stains. In the past, this chemical was kerosine or gasoline, but health concerns caused nearly all dry cleaners to switch over to the use of perchloroethylene as the solvent. The clothes are washed in this solvent, which is then extracted using an industrial extractor. The reason for this is so that it can be recycled and so that it will not evaporate into the environment. After washing in this chemical, the clothes are then pressed in order to remain wrinkle-free and sharp.
Some dry cleaners are now using CO2 as an alternative to perchloroethylene, but this is not the case in the majority of dry cleaners as there is debate as to it’s superiority at cleaning the clothes to the same level that has come to be expected from dry cleaners. Most of the clothing that is cleaned using the dry cleaning process is considered “better” clothing than the clothes that are washed in an everyday washer. This is probably due to the act that the added cost of dry cleaning makes it be viewed as only important for finer fabrics, but in reality any type of garment or fabric can benefit from occasional dry cleaning. The process of water and soap agitation will fade and wear your clothes far faster than dry cleaning will, which means that if you would really like to preserve the life of your clothes you will want to have them dry cleaned occasionally.
If you are interested in our dry cleaning services, we try to make it as convenient as possible for you by providing free pickup and delivery of your clothes within a certain areas surrounding each of our stores.