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Industry news + tips to help you take the best care of your garments.

Why Do They Call It Dry Cleaning Anyway?

May 22, 2014

100_0525Ever wonder why it’s called “dry cleaning?” How can it be dry if there is liquid involved? The answer to this age-old question is: because there is very little moisture involved in dry cleaning, very little water.

When you wash an item at home it is cleaned in water, which, of course, is 100% moisture. Dry cleaning is a process in which your items are cleaned in a liquid that is actually a dry solvent, which means that there is no moisture in it. Dry solvents remove dry side stains such as oils and grease but not wet side stains like grass, milk, or mud.

If you wash a piece of clothing with automobile grease on it in your washer, for instance, the grease is not going to come out. But if you dry clean that same piece, the grease will clean right out. If, on the other hand, you place an item with mud on it in the dry cleaning machine, you can clean it for a week and the mud will still be on it. Throw this piece in your washer with a little detergent and the mud will wash right out! So it’s called dry cleaning not because of the absence of liquid but because of the absence of moisture.

So, the question becomes: How do you remove moisture stains from items that are dry clean only? That’s another blog for another day. Stay tuned!