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What is the difference between dry cleaning and laundry?

Laundering and dry cleaning both serve the same purpose – to remove stains and clean clothes so that you smell and feel fresh every time you put on a cleaned garment. One of the biggest differences between dry cleaning and laundering is that one cleaning process uses water and the other doesn’t. Carmel dry cleaners break down these major differences.


Laundering is less expensive, easier to do at home, and uses less energy than traditional dry cleaning. However, the most significant difference between laundering and dry cleaning is that clothes are cleaned in soap and water rather than using chemicals. Unfortunately, laundering can shrink and distort clothing and may not get all the stains out.

However, laundering your clothing at home or at a laundromat is much more convenient for many people than dry cleaning since a load of laundry can be completed within two or three hours. Laundering your clothes at home or a laundromat is also less expensive when you’re washing items that don’t need the specialized treatment that dry cleaning provides for harder-to-clean clothing.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is a chemical-based system that does not use water to clean clothing.

Chemicals, Not Water

The main chemical used in dry cleaning is perchloroethylene (PERC), a type of colorless, nonflammable liquid solvent. However, with more environmentally-friendly solutions to dry cleaning, it’s possible to get the same results that you love from dry cleaning using other methods than PERC.

Dry Cleaning Can Extend The Longevity of Your Clothes

You loved that outfit when you saw it, and it fit perfectly. You loved the crispness of the fabric and the way it conformed to your body. Now you’re afraid that if you throw it into the washer and dryer, it will stretch unevenly or otherwise become distorted in an undesirable way. Or maybe you found a beautiful shirt or dress that is very delicate but one that you love wearing and want to preserve for as long as possible. How do you clean these clothes?

There are many benefits to dry cleaning, like helping to increase the longevity of your most delicate clothing. Although dry cleaning relies on chemicals to clean clothing, using gentle chemicals will not deteriorate the fibers in your clothes, as proven by research done at the Department of Clothing and Textiles at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Because water is not used in the process, there is less risk of shrinking, distortion, or bleeding of colors.

You can trust dry cleaning to preserve delicate clothing that matters a lot to you. Dry cleaning is suitable for:

  • Equestrian garments and gear
  • Wedding dresses
  • Carpet and area rugs
  • Wool suits

Expert Alterations

In addition to having your clothes dry cleaned, you can have them fixed at a dry cleaning company with professional tailors and seamstresses. If you need a suit to look and fit much better or a garment you love has a rip or missing button, you can take it to the same place where it gets dry cleaned. It’s a great convenience to have a location where you can take a favorite outfit to get cleaned and fixed at the same time.

Written by Simpson

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