Over the years, many people have struggled to decide between dry cleaning and laundry. While both processes seem to offer benefits, it can sometimes be unclear which one is best for specific fabrics or situations. But worry not! In this guide, we’ll outline the key distinctions that set these two approaches apart. Whether you’re trying to decide which option is right for you or want to learn more about fabric washing and cleaning in general, this guide has you covered! Let’s get started!
The Solvent Used
The primary difference between dry cleaning and laundry is the type of solvent used. In dry cleaning, chemical solvents such as hydrocarbon and perchloroethylene are typically used, while laundry typically involves water-based solvents like soap or detergents.
The different solvents used in these two methods have a number of implications for the treatment and care of clothes. For example, dry-cleaning solvents are extremely effective at breaking down dirt, allowing it to be easily removed from fabrics. In addition, they leave behind no residue once the cleaning process is complete, meaning your clothes will be completely free of any dirt or odour molecules. On the other hand, water-based solvents are better at breaking down solid residue or soil build-up on clothing.
However, these same solvents can lead to shrinkage, fading, or other damage if not used properly. As such, it’s always advisable to hire a professional laundry service if you’re unsure about how to care for your clothes.
Precision and Usability
While laundry is typically done at home or in a commercial facility using water, detergents, and agitation, dry cleaning relies on specialised chemicals and gentle techniques that avoid water altogether. This allows for much more precise control over the cleaning process, resulting in more thoroughly cleaned clothes.
Additionally, due to its non-water-based nature, dry cleaning can be used on a wide range of clothing materials and types, unlike laundry, which is typically only suitable for natural fabrics like cotton or wool.
The Level of Care Required
Another key difference between laundry and dry cleaning is the level of care required. Dry cleaning is often considered a gentler way to clean delicate items, as it does not involve using harsh detergents or high temperatures. As a result, dry cleaning may be the best option for items that require a little extra care.
The Drying Process
The drying process for laundry and dry cleaning is different, as well. With laundry, clothes are typically placed in a high-powered dryer that uses hot air to remove moisture. This can cause shrinkage, fading, and other damage over time, particularly if the clothing is not removed from the dryer promptly once it is finished.
Dry cleaning, on the other hand, uses a process called “drying in air,” which allows clothes to hang until they are completely dry. This gentle drying method helps preserve the shape and quality of your clothing, making it a great option for delicate items.
By understanding the key distinction between dry cleaning and laundry, you can make the best decision for your clothing care needs.