Is dry cleaning better than washing? This is probably one of the most common questions that homeowners often have. After all, both are popular methods for keeping your clothes clean and fresh.
Dry cleaning and washing are two processes meant to de-soil and cleanse clothes as well as other articles. Washing or laundering is a more traditional form of cleaning practice. This cleaning process is water-based that usually uses an in-home dryer and washer combination and common detergent or soap.
On the other hand, as its name suggests, dry cleaning doesn’t use any water. Instead, this is a comprehensive process that can clean your clothes just as effectively, and sometimes, even more effectively compared to washing.
Even though these two processes have their specific purposes, dry cleaning is generally better and safer for clothes, specifically delicate ones, compared to conventional washing using a machine.
What’s Involved in the Dry Cleaning Process?
Dry cleaning is a well-established cleaning practice that can be traced back as far as the ancient times. It uses specially chosen cleaning agents together with a unique method for cleansing clothing articles without damage.
Although water is not the primary cleaning agent used during dry cleaning, this process still involves the use of different liquids for soil and stain removal. Similar to washing, dry cleaning uses a specific type of machine and the garments that will be cleaned will be put there. Once placed in the machine, it will be started, with it gently rotating the clothes inside the basket as a continuous stream of the clean solvent gets pumped to the system. The dirty solvent is simultaneously pumped outside the drum to maintain constant cleansing of the clothes.
After the solvent cycle, the second cycle will start wherein the clothes are quickly circulated and the solvent is removed. Lastly, the clothes will be dried while warm air gets pumped to the machine and it continues circulating while the basket of clothes is spinning.
Benefits of Dry Cleaning
Since the dry cleaning process doesn’t require the clothes to be immersed in water and the whole process itself is also gentler, it offers several unique benefits compared to washing when it comes to cleaning clothes.
- It helps preserve your clothes.
Dry cleaning is a type of soft washing process that can help maintain the new appearance of your clothes. It is very rare for dry cleaning to cause shrinking in delicate fabrics. It can also maintain the texture and color of fabrics better than the traditional washing method.
- It ensures deep cleaning.
One of the benefits of dry cleaning is the ability of the process to dry clean tough stains and soils. Dry cleaning got a unique ability of dissolving grease and oil in garments that traditional washing might not be able to do. This process of cleaning can also restore garments to their like-new state even with just a single processing.
- Your clothes will look better after dry cleaning.
Clothes usually come out looking wrinkled and rumpled once removed from the washer and dryer, which means that they need further treatment and ironing afterwards. But in the case of dry cleaning, your clothes will come out looking clean, fresh, and crisp when finished.
- It is a soft process.
Dry cleaning is comparatively considered as a form of soft washing experience than the conventional washing method. The drum’s rotation in dry cleaning is milder compared to the washing machine’s abrasive agitator while the limited amount of solvent and water used can help protect the garments that are being cleaned.
The Truth Behind Dry Clean Only Garments
You have surely seen that dry-clean only label on your clothes. However, this is not really the whole story here. The manufacturers are obliged to give just one care instruction and most of the time, they opt for the most conservative one. Of course, taking your clothes to the dry cleaner will least likely cause any damage on your items. However, there are also items that have this label that you can hand-wash safely. Having said that, always proceed with caution, whether it is with dry cleaning or washing.
How to Hand-wash Your Clothes Properly
Hand-washing is clearly a little bit more transparent process since everyone has done and tried it at one point or another. The most recommended way to hand-wash clothes is to dissolve a small amount of gentle detergent in cold water. Add your clothes then gently agitate while working the sudsy water through them. Allow the clothes to soak for around 10 minutes before rinsing. Use only gentle squeezes for removing the water. Avoid wringing out. Place the garment on top of a clean towel before rolling it up to remove the water. Lay them on a drying rack or fresh dry towel or you can also hang them to dry.
Things You Should Not Hand-wash At All
Avoid hand-washing rayon, triacetate, and acetate as these can lose their shape and shrink once immersed in water.
This also applies to garments that are constructed with various layers such as wool jackets with interfacing and lining. These items tend to shrink at varied rates that can leave the structured item soggy and no longer looking crisp.
Suede and leather should never be hand-washed as well. Anything that is tricky to iron such as skirts with plenty of pleats is best left to dry cleaning.
The Bottom Line
Even though dry cleaning and traditional washing are both effective cleaning processes with their own place and purposes, it is easy to see that dry cleaning does provide more benefits when it comes to clothing maintenance and cleanliness compared to the traditional washing process.
Dry cleaning can get your clothes cleaner, keep them looking new for a longer time, give them that like-new appearance with every treatment. So, if you are wondering if dry cleaning is better than washing, the verdict is quite clear. Indeed, dry cleaning is a more superior process that makes it a wiser option for you.