The Ultimate Guide To Dry Cleaning – Everything You Need To Know

The Ultimate Guide To Dry Cleaning

From the outside, dry cleaning looks like magic. You drop off your suit, it gets a tag and a slot on the rack, and a few days later, you pick up your clean and fresh case.

However, there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Here are the key things you should know about the process before you choose a dry cleaner.

How It Works

If you are one of the many people who hates doing laundry, you will appreciate the time and energy a professional dry cleaner Toronto can save you. Not only can cleaning your clothes and linens be very time-consuming, but it also requires special equipment.

The dry cleaning process involves a solvent instead of water. The solvent breaks down the stains and soils on your fabric, removing the resulting residue with the dry cleaning machine. The process has been around for centuries, and the first mention of it can be found in the ruins of Pompeii. In those days, cleaners used ammonia and lye to clean woolen clothing to prevent shrinking.

In the 19th century, they used petroleum-based cleaners like gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits and turpentine to clean fabrics. These chemicals, however, were flammable and dangerous to use, leading to safety concerns and government regulations. In the 1930s, dry cleaners began using perchloroethylene, commonly known as “perc,” which is still used today.

Fabrics That Should Be Dry Cleaned

Many fabrics can be washed at home, but some must be dry-cleaned. These are generally the more delicate textiles, such as silk and velvet; a washing machine’s agitation may damage that. Also, some fabric items have embellishments or applique work that would not hold up well to washing and may require dry cleaning.

Most fabrics are labeled with a care instructions tag, which is useful for determining how to clean the item properly. Manufacturers must only list one way of cleaning a garment, so don’t automatically assume that if the tag says “dry clean only,” you should not wash it at home. Rather, read the instructions carefully. For example, some rayon-based fabric is hand-washable. If the care tag recommends dry cleaning, the item must be inspected and pre-treated for any stains before being sent to the dry cleaners. This step ensures that the garment will be cleaned thoroughly and appropriately.

What To Bring To The Dry Cleaner

Since fabrics like silk, velvet, wool and cashmere are expensive investments and beloved closet staples, you must take care of them. Unlike cotton and linen, these fabrics require special treatment to prevent color loss, shrinking, pilling, and fraying. This is where dry cleaning comes in. Though a clumsy maid may have knocked over a kerosene lamp that removed stains from a tablecloth, the first dry cleaners employed flammable solvents such as kerosene and gasoline before 20th-century innovations introduced safer and more stable options like perchloroethylene.

When choosing a dry cleaner, look for one with friendly, knowledgeable employees. For instance, if you are located in Tampa, Sage Cleaners—a Tampa wedding dress preservation and dry cleaning service—ensures that your cherished gown receives the care it deserves, preserving its beauty for years. Those who go out of their way to provide exceptional customer service will be happy to keep your business. Be sure to bring all clothing items in a clear plastic bag and swap out the wire hangers for padded or wooden ones—wire hangers can rust or stain garments.


It’s important to note that dry cleaners are businesses, so their prices are often based on market rates. They want to turn over a profit and are usually unwilling to lose money for the sake of one customer.

The pricing of dry cleaning services varies from location to location and can also depend on what is being cleaned that day. For example, the price of cleaning a comforter will vary depending on the size and material.

The dry cleaning industry is much like any other, and the men and women who run these companies are looking to build trust and loyalty with their customers. As such, many will bend over backward for a customer they love, and in return, they are likely to receive repeat business. The best way to avoid expensive dry cleaning is to buy clothes that can be washed and not purchase any fabric with special finishes like flocking, decorative beading, or sequins applied by glue (which are no-gos for the washer). This will help keep your costs down and save time and money in the long run.

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