What is dry cleaning?
The Dry Cleaning process is cleaning your clothes in a special “Washing Machine” using a solvent with detergent instead of water with detergent. The process of using a solvent prevents your clothes from being exposed to water or large amounts of moisture which frequently causes wrinkling, shrinkage, dye bleeding, and loss of body and feel of fabric. The solvents used in the dry cleaning process have excellent degreasing properties.
Therefore the ability to remove greasy stains such as makeup, body oils, wax and oil from food is superior to an aqueous cleaning process. However, water soluble stains (beverages, perspiration, soil) generally require removal or pre-treatment before the cleaning process. Cleaning is then followed by a finishing process which may include steaming, ironing or pressing to restore clothing back to a “like new appearance” allowing your clothing to have a longer useful life.
How often should clothing be dry cleaned?
How often clothing is dry cleaned is a personal preference. Some people prefer dry cleaning after each wearing while others clean after several wearings. It is suggested that items be cleaned when:
They will be stored or not worn for over a 1 month period. (change of seasons)
There are known stains that should be removed before they set in and cannot easily be removed.
Lustre and appearance visibly needs to be restored with a fresh clean and press.
What stains can I remove at home?
Generally, items labeled dry clean only such as most silks, wools, rayons etc. should be left for a reputable dry cleaner to remove stains and cleaning. Because these items are easily damaged when exposed to water and improperly cared for. However stains can be removed from items labeled washable or hand wash using some of the basic guidelines that follow. Always test stain removal procedure on an inside hem or inconspicuous location for adverse reaction.
Limit any scrubbing action especially on dark and/or bright colors.
Use ammonia and cold water on protein stains. (stains that come from an animal – urine, blood, egg)
Use white vinegar and cold water on stains that come from a plant. (coffee, juice, wine)
Follow stain removal with a washing rinse, if needed bleach as a last resort . “Oxyclean” or “Hydrogen Peroxide” work well and are color safe.