Some clothes need professional care when they are cleaned. If that’s the case, it’s time to find a great local dry cleaner. Here’s everything you need to know about dry cleaning.
What is dry cleaning?
Dry cleaning used to be called “French” cleaning, because it was the French who invented this chemical cleaning process. Dry cleaning is not really “dry” at all, however. Clothes are wetted with solvents and chemical agents, then they are treated and pressed with steam.
- Dry cleaning can include pre-spotting for stains, post-spotting for persistent stains and hand-pressing to ensure perfect seams, pleats and lapels.
- Do not expect such thorough work from a one-hour cleaner, though. A true full-service dry cleaning operation will offer tailoring in addition to minor sewing repairs, mothproofing, sanitizing and drapery or linen cleaning.
- Check with friends and neighbours to find out which dry cleaners in your area have a good reputation.
- Find out if the dry cleaner pre-tests clothing, if they do all laundry on the premises (this usually is preferable) and if they try to remove stains more than once.
When to use a dry cleaner
The following situations always call for dry cleaning.
- Tailored garments. Always have these garments professionally cleaned and pressed.
- Delicate silk or any fabric of questionable washability. Dry clean rather than risk harming the garment by washing it yourself.
- Persistent stains. If you have tried treating a stain with no success, take the item to the dry cleaner immediately. Some stains can be invisible until acted on by the dry-cleaning process.
Getting the most out of your dry cleaner
To get the most from your dry cleaning, keep the following tips in mind.
- Always clean all parts of a matching suit at the same time; this way they will fade at the same rate.
- Point out stains or tears, and tell the dry cleaner what caused them, if you know.
- Let the dry cleaner know if a garment is delicate or has sentimental value.
- Note that repeated dry cleaning can cause white linens and cottons to grey or yellow, and may damage loose-woven woollens.
Finding a great dry cleaner that you trust is very important to maintaining the colour and integrity of your clothes. Because of this, the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
Do your research when looking for a dry cleaner to make sure your clothes look and fit great as long as possible.