How Clothes Get Dry Cleaned [FAQs]

How Clothes Get Dry Cleaned

Have you ever wondered how your clothes get dry cleaned? It’s not as simple as just throwing them in a washing machine. Dry cleaning is a specialized process that uses chemicals to clean delicate fabrics and remove stains. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how clothes get dry cleaned.

The Dry Cleaning Process

Dry cleaning involves a few basic steps. First, the clothes are inspected for stains and any damage. Then, they are pre-treated with a solvent to loosen dirt and stains. Next, they are placed in a machine with a special dry cleaning solvent, which removes the dirt and stains. Finally, the clothes are pressed and finished to restore their shape and appearance.

What is the Dry Cleaning Solvent?

The dry cleaning solvent is usually a chemical called perchloroethylene, or “perc” for short. Perc is a powerful solvent that can dissolve grease, oil, and other types of stains. It’s also gentle on delicate fabrics like silk and wool, which could be damaged by water.

How is the Solvent Used?

The dry cleaning machine uses the solvent to clean the clothes. The machine has a drum that rotates and agitates the clothes, allowing the solvent to penetrate the fibers and remove the dirt and stains. After the cleaning cycle is complete, the machine drains the solvent and spins the clothes to remove any excess moisture.

Is Dry Cleaning Safe?

Dry cleaning is generally safe when done correctly. However, the solvents used in the process can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. To minimize the risks, dry cleaners follow strict safety procedures and use specialized equipment to handle the solvents. They also use eco-friendly solvents that are less harmful to the environment and human health.


What types of clothes can be dry cleaned?

Almost any type of fabric can be dry cleaned, including silk, wool, cotton, and polyester.

How often should I dry clean my clothes?

It depends on the garment and how often you wear it. Generally, you should dry clean items like suits, dresses, and coats every few wears to keep them looking their best.

Can dry cleaning remove all types of stains?

No, there are some types of stains that are difficult to remove with dry cleaning, such as ink and oil-based stains. Your dry cleaner may recommend a different type of cleaning method for these types of stains.

How long does the dry cleaning process take?

The dry cleaning process usually takes a few days, depending on the volume of clothes and the workload of the dry cleaner.

Do I need to sort my clothes before taking them to the dry cleaner?

No, your dry cleaner will sort your clothes for you based on their fabric type and color.

Can dry cleaning shrink my clothes?

Dry cleaning can cause some fabrics to shrink if they are not treated properly. However, a reputable dry cleaner will take steps to prevent shrinkage and damage to your clothes.

Can I iron clothes that have been dry cleaned?

Yes, you can iron clothes that have been dry cleaned. However, it’s important to follow the care instructions on the label to avoid damaging the fabric.

How much does dry cleaning cost?

The cost of dry cleaning varies depending on the garment and the location of the dry cleaner. Generally, you can expect to pay more for delicate or heavily soiled items.


Dry cleaning is a great way to keep your clothes looking their best. It can remove even the toughest stains and help to extend the life of your garments. Dry cleaning is also a good option for people with allergies or sensitivities to detergents and other cleaning products.


To get the most out of your dry cleaning, be sure to follow the care instructions on the garment label. Also, be sure to point out any stains or damage to your dry cleaner so they can take extra care with those areas.


Dry cleaning is a specialized process that uses chemicals to clean delicate fabrics and remove stains. It’s a safe and effective way to keep your clothes looking their best, and can help to extend the life of your garments. By following the care instructions on the garment label and choosing a reputable dry cleaner, you can enjoy the many benefits of dry cleaning.

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