Many of us see dry cleaning as one of those simple facts of life. It’s taken for granted that this is something you’re supposed to do for your delicate garments. But is taking in your articles of clothing worth the extra effort? Will it really make them last longer?
To answer the question, we’ll first need to take a look at what’s actually going on when you send clothes in to be dry cleaned.
What Exactly Is Dry Cleaning?
Let’s start by clearing up any confusion about the name. What “dry cleaning” describes is simply a way of cleaning clothes or other textiles without using water. It’s a process that originated in 1885, and has been improving ever since.
But while dry cleaning doesn’t involve water, it does use a different liquid. Specifically, clothes are cleaned with a gentle petroleum-based solvent called perchloorethyleen (or “perc” for short). Perc dissolves dirt and oils that may be clinging to your clothing, without damaging the underlying fabric.
When you drop off your clothes at the dry cleaners, they’ll be placed into a washing chamber along with a certain amount of this solvent. As the machine rotates, dirt and particles are lifted from the clothing and suspended in the solvent, before being filtered out entirely. Of course, if you have any particularly hardy stains (or any other type of garment damage), these will need a bit of individual special attention. Fortunately, this is a service that the best dry cleaners are fully capable of providing.
A Longer Lifespan For Your Clothing
Back to the initial question: will this process make clothes last longer? The simple answer is “yes” – and here’s why:
Dry Cleaning is Less Abrasive than Washing Machines
Some fabrics are particularly sensitive to water immersion, and/or to the heat and agitation that takes place inside most commercial washing machines. But because dry cleaning drums tumble more slowly and gently – and because the process does not use water – your delicate clothes experience less wear & tear. Why risk damaging that expensive suit, dress, or tablecloth?
Dry Cleaning Preserves Fabric Qualities
Tears and shrinkage are awful, but they aren’t the only way in which machine washing can harm your clothing. Using a gentle solvent like perc, rather than hot water and soapy detergent, will also better preserve the color and texture of your fabrics. If you’ve ever seen a frayed and blotchy wool sweater or silk dress, you’ve probably witnessed machine-induced damage.
Dry Cleaning Tackles Tough Stains
The solvent used in dry cleaning penetrates deeply, dissolving and removing the oils, odors, and tough stains that diminish the garment’s value. As a result, your clothing and linens will maintain that fresh and new look for a much longer period of time.
For over 25 years, Classic Touch Cleaners has been Atlanta’s dry cleaning provider of choice. Stop by our convenient Buckhead location today, or give us a call at (404) 365-8660.