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Learn the Fundamentals of Dry Cleaning
Learn the Fundamentals of Dry Cleaning
While you’ve probably heard of dry cleaning, what you might not be so clear on are the finer points of dry cleaning. Stitch It is here to provide you with a crash course on the basics of dry cleaning laundry services. Learn a new way to keep some of your most prized clothing items looking brand new no matter how many times you wear them.
What Is Dry Cleaning?
Putting it simply, dry cleaning is a way to clean clothes without using water like you would in a regular washer. One thing we’d like to point out is the fact that the process isn’t completely done without any kind of moisture. Instead, several different solvents are used to take care of stains, odors and the like, solvents such as perchloroethylene, trichloroethane and tetrachloroethylene. Once the garment has been soaked in a solvent, it’s spun around in a machine and steamed dry.
Thankfully, dry cleaning has evolved so that the solvents used aren’t flammable like the chlorine and petroleum selections used up until the early 1900s. Even better is the fact that today’s solvents work better on a wide variety of materials.
If you were to take a glimpse behind the curtain of a dry cleaning business, you might be surprised to see machines that look a lot like front-loading washers. Your clothes are loaded into the machines along with one round of solvent to get them nice and clean before a second round of solvent is loaded. After that, the spin cycle takes care of the lingering solvent before the load is steamed dry.
Why Is Dry Cleaning Is Necessary?
While water has long been touted for its ability to clean a great number of surfaces and materials, water and laundry detergent isn’t always a good combination when it comes to some fabrics. There’s also the fact that it’s not always possible to completely get rid of stains like oil and grease once they mark your clothes.
Even if the combination of water and detergent is enough to lift all dirt and stains from your favorite pair of jeans, they can still sustain damage or lose their original shape due to them being washed in hot water or subjected to the temperatures of your dryer. When you don’t want to take the risk of your clothes losing their shape, fraying, fading or weakening, or when the care label on your clothes recommends dry cleaning, it’s best to let us handle the job.
Can Dry Cleaning Damage Your Clothes?
For all the good it can do, you don’t want to become overly reliant on dry cleaning. This is because dry cleaning cuts down on the total life expectancy of your clothes, mainly because of the friction involved in the process. So you don’t have to iron your dry-cleaned clothes, they’re pressed. While pressing takes care of wrinkles, it also uses chemicals that can thin out fabrics.
For these reasons, it’s a good idea that you check the labels of clothes before wearing them to ensure you don’t have to have them dry cleaned after every wear. Thankfully, there are other things you can do to better protect your dry-clean-only items. For instance, take care that you wear machine-washable garments under your dry-clean-only garments to create a barrier between deodorant, perfume/cologne and sweat. If you own sweaters that can only be dry cleaned, you’ll want to wear shirts underneath them that can be tossed in a regular washing machine. When you take off your dry cleaning items for the day or night, let them air dry outside or near blowing air coming from a vent to take care of any odors that might be lingering on them, odors that can become trapped inside your closet.
What Makes for a Quality Dry Cleaner?
You’re likely to see dry cleaners everywhere, but know that they aren’t all equal, which is why it’s important you know what to look for in a quality and reputable dry cleaning service. One of the first things you’ll want to do is check reviews, seeing what people like and what they could do without. It’s also best to choose a dry cleaning service that asks you if there are any specific stains you want to get rid of to reduce the chances of stains setting in. Finally, whatever dry cleaner you select should have an easily understood pricing breakdown.
Interested in learning more about the basics of dry cleaning? Contact us here at Stitch It whenever you’re ready.