What Is The Difference Between Dry Cleaning And Laundry?

Dry cleaning your clothes will always cost a lot more money than throwing them in a washing machine. You’ll also notice when you buy certain garments they’ll specifically mention they have to be dry cleaned because a machine wash will harm them.This is confusing for some people because both processes will clean your clothes, so you must be wondering what the differences are.

Surprisingly there are a lot more differences than you think and we’ll look at them right now to help you figure out what you should do when it comes to washing your clothes:
– Your clothes won’t get wet when dry cleaned
– Each process uses different chemicals
– Wet laundering can shrink your clothes
– Clothes last longer when dry cleaned
– Dry cleaning is more harmful to the environment
– Stronger chemicals are worse on sensitive skin
– Wet laundering is much cheaper
– Dry cleaning will leave an odor

Your Clothes Won’t Get Wet When Dry Cleaned

The biggest difference can be found in the name and that is because dry cleaning doesn’t involve your clothes getting wet. When you want to use a regular washing machine your clothes will be soaked, whereas a dry cleaning machine is only used for drying your garments.

Each Process Uses Different Chemicals

When you wash your clothes in a washing machine they’ll be immersed in water, but laundry detergent, softener, and soaps are also used to get the stains out. If your clothes are dry cleaned the stains will first be treated with a chemical called perchloroethylene, which is a lot stronger than your conventional laundry detergents. Once they’ve been dry washed the chemical will then be removed from the garment. Because the chemical used in dry cleaning is stronger it’s better at getting out nastier stains, but that doesn’t mean washing your clothes the regular way won’t get your clothes looking nice and clean too.

Wet Laundering Can Shrink Your Clothes

The main reason a piece of clothing will tell you it can only be dry cleaned is because there is a bigger risk of shrinkage when using a conventional washing machine. If you have any expensive clothes it’s not worth the risk to immerse them in water unless you don’t mind wasting a lot of money. It usually comes down to the particular fabric your clothes are made from and certain fabrics are perfectly fine to machine wash. If you’re unsure about which option to go for a professional will always be able to help you out when you take your clothes to be laundered.

Clothes Will Last Longer When Dry Cleaned

Your normal clothes will be wet washed in a machine with laundry detergents and they won’t shrink, but even though you’ll not end up with something too tight to wear they won’t last very long. Clothes will get a beating in a washing machine and eventually you’ll have to throw them out. The exact opposite is true of dry cleaning and your clothes will last a lot longer. You might not care about most of your clothes coming to the end of their life because you can replace them, but if you have any favorites you will want them to last for as long as possible.

Dry Cleaning Is More Harmful To The Environment?
Over the years they’ve been coming out with lots of different eco-friendly washing detergents, but even the regular detergents you’ll find on the supermarket shelves are still a lot greener than the chemical used in the dry cleaning process. Wet laundering also only uses half the energy it takes to dry clean clothes. Even though you might count that as one of the main differences between the two methods it doesn’t make any difference when you think about it. If your clothes need to be dry cleaned, they need to be dry cleaned. Thankfully the chemical used in the dry cleaning process is recycled, so it’s not necessarily as harmful to the environment as one might think.

Stronger Chemicals Are Worse On Sensitive Skin

Anyone with sensitive skin might have a worse reaction when they have their clothes dry cleaned. This is something you’ll need to give a great deal of thought to because you will never feel comfortable wearing something that irritates your skin. I know some laundry detergents can also cause problems in people with sensitive skin, but it’s a lot less common and there are also certain brands that won’t cause you any problems when you machine wash your clothes.

Wet Laundering Is Much Cheaper

We touched on this in the very first sentence of the article, but it’s worth driving the point home. When you get your clothes dry cleaned you’ll end up spending a lot more money over the long-term. Putting your clothes in a wet wash is a lot more cost effective for those who don’t have a lot of money to throw around. Some things will need to be dry washed no matter what the cost if you want to wear them again, but for all your other clothes you’re sometimes better sticking to plain old water.

Dry Cleaning Will Leave An Odor

If you’re scared about how you smell you’ll always be better using a washing machine because your clothes will come out of the wash smelling fresh. There are even softening agents you can add to the cycle to give them an even fresher smell. The downside of using strong chemicals in the dry cleaning process is that your clothes will be left with a bad odor. It’s not a good idea to pick your clothes up and wear them straight away as you’ll not give the odor a chance to go away.

More Differences Than You Might Think

As you can see there are a lot more differences than you might think. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of each method used to clean clothes and you’ll be able to use the information in the future. Remember that one method is not better than the other even though it might seem that way at first glance. In certain situations you’ll need to get your clothes dry cleaned and in others you’ll need to wash them in water. It all comes down to the exact piece of clothing you’re dealing with.

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