Difference Between Laundry and Dry Cleaning

difference between laundry and dry cleaning

Everyone wants to get things done quickly in today’s generation, where technological advancement has taken its place in a hectic world. People used to spend an entire day doing laundry, especially hand-washing. Nowadays, it is common to do laundry at home using washing machines. However, because everyone seems to be looking for ways to save time, many companies that provide dry cleaning and laundry services have emerged. The purpose of this article is to explain the key difference between laundry and dry cleaning.

Although dry cleaning and laundry appear to serve the same purpose, they are vastly different in many ways. The inability to distinguish between laundry and dry cleaning results in the ineffective use of the method in cleaning specific clothes. Some garments are designed to be dry cleaned only, while others are intended to be laundered only. When you decide to send your clothes to be cleaned, you should understand the fundamental differences between dry cleaning and laundry cleaning.

What Is Dry Cleaning?

Dry cleaning is very similar to regular home laundering, except that instead of water and detergent, a liquid solvent is used to clean your clothes. Because the solvent contains little or no water, it is referred to as “dry cleaning.”


Dry cleaners use massive, technologically advanced, computer-controlled dry cleaning machines. Although your clothes get wet, the liquid solvent used evaporates much faster than water. Because solvent is used instead of water, it is not drained and disposed of in the same way that soiled water is drained and disposed of in a washing machine. Throughout the cleaning cycle, the solvent is re-circulated through filters to remove impurities loosened during the cleaning process. The solvent is then distilled until it is crystal clear and completely purified before being reused. Read on to understand the pros of dry cleaning and the difference between laundry and dry cleaning.

The Dry Cleaning Process

Step 1: Inspection and tagging process

Small paper tags or small labels written on a shirt collar are used to identify your clothes so they don’t get mixed up with everyone else’s. You take your garment to the cleaners, and the dry cleaner makes a tag for it. This is also the time when your clothes are inspected for stains, missing buttons, tears, and so on.

Step 2: Pre-treatment

Once you’ve dropped off your garments, cleaners will typically perform a pre-spotting process in which they will apply a chemical solvent, vacuum, or heat to stains on your garment, which will aid in the removal of the stain during the dry cleaning process.

Step 3: Dry cleaning

The dirty clothes are placed in a dry cleaning machine. If your dry cleaner uses the wet cleaning method, the organic solvent of choice or water is pumped into the machine while the clothing is gently agitated. Your clothes are completely dry when they are removed from the dryer. These machines are much larger than our washing machines, but they perform the same basic spinning function. Dry cleaning machines can be programmed to spin much slower and have more temperature control.

Step 4: Post-spotting

At this stage, your cleaner will inspect your clothes for any remaining stains and residue and remove them using the same method as in the pre-spotting stage. In addition, all buttons, embellishments, and seams are checked to ensure they are still in good condition. If any embellishments or buttons were removed during the preliminary inspection, they are now reattached.

Step 5: Finishing

The dry cleaner will now press, iron, or steam each garment to remove wrinkles, depending on the type of fabric. This step is often completed by a form finisher, which is used by many dry cleaners. Form finishers are machines that iron a garment in the position in which it will be worn, using air or steam. It gives the dry-cleaned clothing a smoother, more pristine finish. All garments are inspected one last time before being wrapped in plastic and returned to their owner.

What Is Laundry Cleaning?

This is commonly referred to as “wet” cleaning because it entails immersing garments in water as the solvent. Laundry cleaning can also remove tough but not the toughest stains when compared to chemical solvents. Laundry detergents, soap, and water are the most commonly used items. The clothes are then spun and dried in the dryer. Laundry washing is done in the same way that we would do it at home, using our domestic washing machines and dryers, or by hanging it to dry. Drying the garments takes too long because it involves the universal solvent, water, even when a drying machine is used.

dry cleaning

Most people do their own laundry, but those who want to save time may leave it to a laundry service. Professional cleaners are well-trained to provide better services, and they can even add additives to provide a long-lasting scent. During the laundry process, clothes are manually inspected for the type of stain. Depending on the fabric, some clothes with the most stubborn oil stains may be sent for dry cleaning. After inspecting stains, a computerized mixture of specific detergent and solvent measurements will be placed in the laundry machine. The clothes will then be tumble dried and spinned to remove any remaining moisture. The garments can be hung in direct sunlight to remove any remaining moisture. They will then be ironed and folded before being delivered to the customer. After giving the necessary information about both processes, it is time to explain the difference between laundry and dry cleaning.

Key Differences Between Laundry and Dry Cleaning

  • Water is used as a solvent in laundry, along with detergents and soaps. Other softeners, such as bleach, can also be used. Dry cleaning, on the other hand, uses chemical solvents, primarily perchloroethylene, to remove the toughest stains.
  • Another distinction between doing laundry and using dry cleaning services is how the clothes are dried. Water is removed from clothes in conventional laundry as they spin and tumble in the dryer. Dry cleaning requires the use of a special drying machine. That is one of the main reasons why dry cleaning services can be superior to traditional laundry services.
  • Dry cleaning preserves the original form of the fabric, such as curtains. It is not surprising that when curtains are machine washed, they shrink, crumple, and become smaller in size.
  • Laundry is safer because there are no hazardous chemicals used. Dry cleaning involves the use of chemicals that can be irritating to people with sensitive skin.
  • Laundry cleaning is less expensive and uses less electricity than dry cleaning, which is more expensive and uses more power.
  • When cleaning clothes with water, certain high-quality fabrics, such as leather, silk, wool, or cashmere, can be severely damaged. Dry cleaning clothes can protect these delicate fabrics, allowing your most expensive and high-quality garments to last longer. Dry cleaning clothes also reduces fading and preserves color better than washing them.
  • When it comes to efficiency, washing clothes takes longer than dry cleaning.
  • When compared to dry cleaning, washed clothes have a more refreshing scent. Detergents that have been used cannot be reused in the laundry. This is due to detergents being mixed with the water. Solvents used for cleaning in dry cleaning can be easily recycled and reused.

You should be aware of the benefits of each process, as well as the material of your garment and difference between laundry and dry cleaning, before deciding whether to dry clean or wet clean it. If you are unsure, seek professional advice from laundry cleaning services. It is best to use the proper washing process on the appropriate fabric to reap the most benefits.

What Are the Pros of Laundry Cleaning?

People who wonder about the difference between laundry and dry cleaning often consider paying for a service to be an unnecessary expense, and they consider it to be a luxury available only to those with large sums of money. However, most of the time, this is a mistake. Laundry services are not only useful for those who have a lot of money, but they can also help you save money. There are advantages to doing your laundry at home, but you must consider factors such as using the proper detergent, not overloading the washing machine, and not leaving your clothes in the washer. The following are some of the advantages of laundry cleaning:

  • It only takes water, bleach, laundry detergent, and a washing machine to clean laundry.
  • There are no potentially hazardous chemicals used.
  • It is much less expensive and uses half the amount of energy that dry cleaning does.
  • Garments can be laundered with softeners to retain their scent for a longer period of time.
  • It is gentle on the skin and does not harm the environment.

What Are the Pros of Dry Cleaning?

Professional dry cleaning may seem like a luxury to some, but once you understand the benefits, it is no longer an option; it is a requirement. Dry cleaning provides advantages that at-home washing does not. Dry cleaning is a good way to ensure that your clothes are not only clean but also pressed and starched. When you have a stain on your clothes, it is sometimes recommended that you use dry cleaning services rather than laundry cleaning services. Among the advantages of dry cleaning are the following:

  • The most stubborn oil stains that water cannot remove are effectively removed by dry cleaning.
  • It preserves the tensile strength and thickness of thick and heavy materials such as curtains, gowns, and carpets.
  • It helps to reduce discoloration.
  • It extends the life of the garment.
  • It keeps the garments from crumbling and shrinking.

If you need a professional dry cleaning service, you can check services in your area from here.

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