Cleaning clothing and household textiles is a scientific endeavor. Professionals worldwide have extensively researched the best cleaning methods for various fabrics, including dry cleaning and wet cleaning.
While dry cleaning is commonly associated with “dry clean only” garments, wet cleaning, a professional method, has gained popularity due to its eco-friendly approach. The choice between dry cleaning and wet cleaning depends on factors like fabric type and the nature of stains.
What Is Dry Cleaning?
The name “dry cleaning” is somewhat misleading because it’s not a dry process. Instead of using water and detergents, dry cleaning employs environmentally friendly solvents, such as hydrocarbon, to clean the clothing. This cleaning process does not involve the use of water, which is why it’s called “dry cleaning.” In this method, a large machine is used to clean the clothes by placing them in the solvent to remove stains. After the items have been cleaned, they are dried in the same or a separate machine and later pressed.
What Is Wet Cleaning?
With wet cleaning, cleaners add water and detergent to a specially designed, computer-controlled machine, along with the garments. This allows cleaners to customize the wet cleaning process for each item by agitating clothing extremely gently or drying it at a very specific temperature.
It’s important to note that neither method is superior to the other in all aspects; both wet cleaning and dry cleaning have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
The Pros and Cons of Dry and Wet Cleaning
√ Water cannot dissolve oil and grease stains, while dry cleaning solvents have the capability to do so.
√ Dry cleaning solvents, which are environmentally friendly, excel at stain removal, rendering pretreatments and spot removers unnecessary.
X Solvents can potentially discolor or dissolve some types of beading.
X Low-cost dry cleaners often employ undistilled chemicals, which can be harsh and may turn your white clothing grey.
√ Wet cleaning employs eco-friendly detergents and water.
√ The absence of harsh solvents can help colors retain their vibrancy.
√ Wet cleaning results in softer fabric textures.
X There is a greater risk of clothing stretching or warping due to the weight of the water, inadequate training, or faulty equipment.
X Certain stains, like oil stains, may require spot removers and pretreatments for effective removal.
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