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Dry cleaning myths debunked

There are a lot of dry cleaning myths. Here are 10 of them, debunked.

  • Dry cleaning is dry 
  • Dry cleaning makes clothes smell bad 
  • Dry cleaning is expensive 
  • Club soda can remove stains just as well as dry cleaning
  • Excessive dry cleaning wears out clothing
  • It’s fine to store clothes in plastic dry cleaning bags
  • Dry cleaning a suit will leave it shiny 
  • Dry cleaning helps clothes stay intact
  • Always adhere to ‘Dry Clean Only’ labels
  • There’s no need to dry clean a wedding dress

Dry cleaning is dry 

Despite the name, dry cleaning doesn’t actually mean that your clothes are cleaned whilst dry. Dry cleaning is called as such because water isn’t used in the process. Instead of water, a chemical solvent, with a lower viscosity than water, is used because of its effectiveness at removing grease-based stains whilst minimally disturbing the fibres on clothing.  

Dry cleaning makes clothes smell bad 

If your clothes are coming back from the dry cleaners smelling strongly of chemicals, it’s time to source a new launderette. The smell is a result of the solvent that replaces the water in the cleaning process not being left long enough to be completely removed. In addition, if your clothes have a lingering bad odour, it comes as a result of the launderette not using clean solvent. That means soil, sweat and anything else trapped in the fibres of your clothing is being redeposited rather than cleaned off. A good dry cleaner will always use clean solvent and know the appropriate time to leave the solvent in for in order to produce high-quality, clean clothing.

Dry cleaning is expensive

If you are consistently dry cleaning your clothes than the cost can begin adding up. If you are only dry cleaning the essentials, such as delicate items of clothing, or you build up a substantial amount of clothing, then dry cleaning is the most sensible option.

Image by moneycortex from Pixabay

Club soda can remove stains just as well as dry cleaning

Despite the speculation that club soda can remove stains from clothes, it can actually end up doing more damage than good. Rather than using club soda, dab the stain immediately with a white napkin. For the best result, take your stained clothing to a dry cleaners and inform them of the stain and what has caused it. That way, they can ensure the best treatment is used and the stain is more likely to be successfully removed.

Excessive dry cleaning wears out clothing

Continuously washing clothing will eventually wear out the colours and fibres of the item regardless of whether you use a dry cleaning service. Contrary to popular belief, dry cleaning your clothing will preserve your clothes for longer than using a regular wash. This is because dry cleaning solvent is lighter than water, and therefore travels through fabric in a much more delicate manner. 

It’s fine to store clothes in plastic dry cleaning bags 

Many people leave their clothing in the plastic bags that their dry cleaning comes in. This is very bad for your clothing. The reason that plastic bags are used for your dry cleaning is to prevent your clothes from being dirtied post-laundering. As soon as you get your clothing home, it is recommended to immediately take your items out of the plastic to allow your clothes to breathe. Leaving your clothes in the plastic bags could trap humidity and allow stains to oxidise and make the clothes harder to clean.

Dry cleaning a suit will leave it shiny

If your suit is looking shiny it is not a result of getting it dry-cleaned. The shininess of a suit comes from the fiction of wearing it day after day. That being said, if your dry cleaner is not sufficient at pressing suits you may notice some marks left behind. 

Image by Flazingo Photos

Dry cleaning helps clothes stay intact

As previously mentioned, because of the lack of water used, dry cleaning is gentler on your clothing. This is not to necessarily say that all of your clothing needs to be dry cleaned to help them stay intact. We recommend that you always read the care label on your clothing. There are some items that are labelled “do not dry clean” because they have a protective layer coating the fabric. If these items are dry cleaned your clothing will not stay intact for long.

Always adhere to “dry clean only” labels

 Care labels on clothing must be looked at so that you know how best to look after your clothing. More delicate fabrics, such as cashmere, will most likely come with a “dry clean only” label. It is always advisable to have delicate items of clothing dry-cleaned to avoid damage to the material, however, hand washing these items can sometimes work just as well. If you are hand-washing any delicate items remember to ALWAYS air dry your clothing to avoid damage to the fabric. 

There’s no need to dry clean your wedding dress 

For many people, their wedding dress will be worn on their wedding day and never again. If there are no visible stains on the dress, you may not see any reason to get it dry cleaned. Regardless of whether you can visibly see any stains, you should ALWAYS get your wedding dress dry cleaned. There will be sweat, deodorant and body oil stains on your dress from wearing it all day. Over time, these stains will turn a yellowish colour that will completely ruin your dress. Having your special dress dry cleaned will prevent this from happening so should you, or anyone else, wish to wear it again it will be just like new. 

Laundryheap is open for ALL of your dry cleaning needs. Simply head to our website or download the app to book your slot. We now offer a hot wash service and contactless delivery to limit the spread of Covid 19. 


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What Fabrics Should Be Dry Cleaned?

All clothing and linen items come with a care label as a guide to instruct us with the proper cleaning method required for the fabric.

In some circumstances, it’s okay to delicately machine wash clothing that says dry clean, but that depends on the fabric type. Fabrics that should be dry cleaned are delicate ones that can’t handle the agitation and hot water from the washing machine.

What Fabrics Should Be Dry Cleaned?

  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Rayon
  • Linen

Wool: A sturdy and durable fabric like wool is too delicate to be machine washed, so it’s best to have it dry cleaned instead. The hot water and agitation from the washing machine will only ruin the fibres of the fabric. When cared for properly, it will last longer.

Silk: This luxurious fabric is known to need proper care when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, so the suitable method of cleaning is to be dry cleaned. Alternatively, it can be hand washed in cold water.

Rayon: Since Rayon is a manufactured fibre made from regenerated cellulose fibre, it can be difficult to decide on the appropriate cleaning method. This semisynthetic fabric is best to be dry cleaned as it may shrink or deform in shape in the washing machine.

Linen: This type of fabric can be hand washed as well as dry cleaned and often requires ironing. Linen is made of breathable flax fibres which, if washed incorrectly, can ruin the fabrics crisped finish. 

What Fabrics Shouldn’t Be Dry Cleaned?

  • Cotton
  • Synthetic Fibres

Cotton: Although cotton is a natural material, it can tolerate the agitation of being machine washed as well as machine dried and does not need dry cleaning. 

Synthetic Fibres: Clothing made out of Polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic or acetate does not require dry cleaning as they won’t have a negative effect in the washing machine. 

Dry cleaning sounds like a long process but it’s actually really simple. If you don’t have the right equipment to dry clean at home, you can schedule a free collection and delivery with Laundryheap.