How often should one dry clean their clothes?

How often should one dry clean their clothes?

Today in this busy world everybody looks for quick fixes. Nobody wants to spend the whole day doing laundry at home. So here comes dry cleaning, as our savior. Dry cleaning cleans the clothes by using a non-water based solvent which breaks down the dirt. Stains are spot cleaned with additional chemicals and steam jets. Later they are washed and rinsed with the solvent. But these solvents can weaken the fabric over time and the whole process is quite harsh on the clothes as it involves a lot of friction. So dry clean wisely and save your wallet and your time.

How often should you dry clean your clothes?
There are a lot of factors which decide the frequency of dry cleaning. If your clothes are heavily stained and soiled then they need to be taken to the dry cleaner immediately. Fabrication is also an important variable that can affect your visit to the dry cleaner. Wool clothing can be worn a lot of times whereas delicate materials like silk and cashmere which are susceptible to sweat, need more care. Then the weather also plays an important role in deciding your trips to the dry cleaner. If it is summer or you live in a warm place, you will sweat more and your clothes will absorb more sweat and then they need to be dry cleaned frequently. In winters when you don’t sweat that much dry cleaned clothes can be worn several times. Dry cleaning ensures that your delicate clothes made with dainty trimmings, buttons, sequins, and fragile fabrics are not damaged during the washing process. But it can curtail the lifespan of your clothes. So dry clean as less often as possible. Drycleaning and pressing expose your clothes to chemicals and in the long run, can wreck them. The dry cleaned clothes do shine due to the heat and pressing but the process thins out the fabric. Try not to buy a lot of clothes which need to be dry cleaned every time. The dry cleaned clothes should be worn at least three times before they are sent again for dry cleaning. The reason for this is that the dry cleaning process uses a lot of chemicals to remove the stains and uses starch to make the clothes wrinkle-free, making them stay cleaner for a long time. Too much dry cleaning can damage your clothes. Here are some tips to help you decide when to bring your clothes to the dry cleaner.
Suits and coats- Suits and coats are tougher and can be worn many times before they would need dry cleaning. With woolen coats, you can go longer between cleanings but with materials like polyester, viscose or rayon you need to send them for dry cleaning quickly. Unless you soil them or it is excessively warm, you may not need to dry clean them quite often.
Denim- Denim can be washed at home also in the washing machine as it is a tough fabric but if drycleaned can also be worn several times before being dry cleaned again. Washing at home wears down the denim and cause shrinkage and so some people prefer getting them dry cleaned.
Jackets- Jackets can also go for months without drycleaning unless badly soiled. Jackets and coats don’t. come in direct contact of the skin and can be drycleaned once every season.
Sweaters-Dry clean sweaters after wearing 3 to 5 times ( depending upon how much you tend to sweat).
Blouses- Blouses should be dry cleaned after them 2 to 4 times, as they get up close to your skin. Silk blouses are delicate and tend to absorb more sweat so during summer, blouses need to go to the dry cleaner maximum after second wear.
Skirts-Woolen skirts won’t crease or wrinkle and also refrain stains so you can wear them at least 5 times. Skirts made of stain-repellent material can also be worn a few times before you bring them to the dry cleaner.
Shirts- During winter shirts are worn inside the blazers or jackets and so there is less possibility of them getting soiled. So drycleaned shirts can last even 5 wears also. But in summers when one sweats more you will have to dry clean your shirt after every second wear.
Pants- Unless soiled, pants especially wool pants can be worn multiple times before making its trip to the dry cleaner.
Dry cleaning vs Wet cleaning
The harsh chemicals used in the process of dry cleaning can wreak havoc on your clothes and our environment also. Perc( perchloroethylene) is a common chemical solvent used in dry cleaning and is considered harmful to the environment. Even the drycleaned clothes contain the perc residue that releases small quantities of perc into the air. Perc can cause headaches, loss of consciousness, limited memory, drowsiness, and can damage the kidney, liver, and lungs. Its long term exposure is linked to various forms of cancers. Some other alternatives to perc like N-propyl bromide, propylene and glycol ether are equally detrimental. Wet cleaning is a greener alternative to dry cleaning. It is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly option. Wet cleaning is nothing but the gentler version of home washings. It uses a mild, biodegradable, and eco-friendly soap and water for cleaning the clothes. Wet cleaning is a professional method of cleaning clothes without chemical solvents. There are computer-controlled wet cleaning machines which remove the stains with non-toxic spot removers. Wet cleaning is a cleaner and safer cleaning process that can clean “dry clean only” garments also. The clothes also come out smelling fresher and don’t smell of perc. Unlike dry cleaning which curtails the life of your clothes, wet cleaning protects the garments.

Tips to reduce the trips to the dry cleaner
1. Air dry your dry cleaned clothes after having worn them before putting them back into your closet.2. In case your dry cleaned clothes get any stain, try to spot clean them at home. Oil stains are difficult to get rid of and would need special care.3. You can brush off any lint or dry dirt off your dry cleaned clothes to release any trapped particles.
You can increase the wear of your dry cleaned clothes by airing, spot cleaning, and brushing. Decide judiciously which items of clothing need professional care and which ones can be taken care of at home. Also, if deciding to wash at home do it properly or you will end up ruining your garments.

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Dry cleaning: Cleaner than clean

 

Dry cleaning: Cleaner than clean

Did you just toss your expensive silk dress into the washing machine thinking the gentle cycle would wash it delicately? Yes! and the result – a misshaped, shrunk and warped dress. The cleaning of some delicate items of clothing should be best left to a professional dry cleaner. But what exactly is dry cleaning? Dry cleaning is a cleaning process that uses liquids and not water to clean clothes, upholstery and various types of other fabrics. It is very much a wet process just without water, which cleans the clothes with a chemical solvent and some mechanical action. First, the clothes are sorted and inspected for any stains which are then spot cleaned using powerful chemicals. Then they are washed with a solvent and in the end, the garment is dried with hot air followed by steaming and pressing. Pressing is nothing more than steaming the garment and then either blowing some air through it or vacuuming the steam out of it. Steam, as opposed to electric irons never scorches, burns, or shrinks the fabric. At the dry cleaner, we have the steam presses as opposed to the electric irons or presses allowing a burst of steam which does a better job of finishing the garments. Clothes are taken straight from the washer and put on the presses and due to that, they do not shrink since it is the electrically generated heat that shrinks the fibers of the clothing.

Why do some clothes need dry cleaning?

The primary reason is the fibers that are used to make the clothing. Home washing can be hard on gentle fabrics. Delicate fabrics and materials have to be processed separately. There are some stains which cannot be removed at home and these are called the invisible stains. When white wine or any juice spills on your clothes you may not see a visible stain but the sugars in them start oxidizing the fibers of the garment. When we expose these fabrics to heat during the pressing process it turns those oxidized fibers into brown. The longer the stain goes untreated the darker the stain will be. So how do you beat the culprit before it ruins your favorite piece of clothing? Just treat it immediately at home by making a paste of baking soda and some water and rub it on the stain. You can also try putting the club soda and then quickly take it to the dry cleaner. Michael from theĀ lawsuit funding company Verum has told me. “There are times when I have a meeting with a lunch in between and when I go to lunch I get something on my suit. At that time I use a paste of club soda and baking soda on it. It usually takes out the stain until I can get to the dry cleaner.”

Dry cleaning is a savior for delicate and fragile garments made with silk, unwashable leather, suede, acrylic, nylon, and wool. These fabrics don’t react well with water and should not be exposed to the heat of traditional dryers. These delicate fabrics need extra care. So always check the wash care instructions on the label. Dainty embroideries, trimmings, buttons, and sequins need delicate handling. The pressure of the normal electric press is too much for these fragile items. Also, clothes with pleating and blazers with shoulder pads, embellished and delicately woven sweaters and tops can get wrecked by washing at home with water. Heavily soiled and stained clothes should always be dry cleaned to ensure that they go away completely. By trying to remove the stains at home you run the risk of making them permanent. The oil stains are tough to get rid of and need professional attention. Dry cleaning also curtails discoloration and protects the texture of the fabrics and removes invisible stains like oil, grease more effectively.

Can some delicate clothes be washed at home?

There are some fabrics which can also be washed at home and also be dry cleaned. Washing at home is a cost-effective and sustainable option as it only uses water for washing and not any harmful chemicals. Dry cleaning uses an extremely hazardous chemical called Perc to remove dirt and stains. If you decide to wash some of the delicate fabrics at home, always do the spot test, to check the colorfastness. You can do this by rubbing water and a mild detergent on the inside of the garment. If it does not react you can think of washing it by hand with cold water and a mild soap or using a gentle wash cycle of your washing machine. Light-colored silk can be cleaned at home but bright ones should always be drycleaned so that the colors do not bleed. Cotton, linen, nylon, and polyester are all resilient to being washed multiple times in your washing machine. Delicate fabrics cannot withstand the pressure put on them by your conventional washing machines.

If a label says” dry clean only” does not mean the garment cannot be washed at home by hand or in a washing machine especially if it is made of natural fibers. When washing your delicate clothes in washing machine put them into a mesh bag and wash them with cold water to reduce the wear. Unlined items of clothing can be washed at home. Be careful when washing gentle fabrics at home or you can end up ruining them.

You can choose to wash clothes in your washing machine or can even hand wash them. You should always wash a delicate fabric inside out. To hand-wash fill a bucket with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent and mix it in water. Let the garment soak for at least 30 minutes. If your garment has stains gently rub them. When you feel the garment is all clean empty the bucket and give your garment at least four rinses with cold water unless it is no longer soapy. Lay the garment flat and on a towel and never hang it dry on a clothesline and also not in a dryer. Put the towel inside the garment and squeeze it gently to remove water. Never wring it out. Do this a few times until the garment is no longer dripping and put it out in open for drying. Woolens should always be air-dried.

Unless there is an extremely delicate garment with stubborn stains then only send it for dry cleaning and save yourself some serious cash.

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What is dry cleaning and when is it needed?

What Is Dry Cleaning And When Is It Needed?

To some people, dry cleaning clothes or bedsheets may seem like a luxury service only meant for those individuals lucky enough to be able to afford to hire a professional dry cleaner to do their laundry load. However, in reality, dry cleaning is recommended and sometimes required for clothing, upholstery, bedding, or any other textiles that truly should not be washed with or cannot be treated by water.

Despite its name, dry cleaning is not a dry process at all. Dry cleaning is the process of using chemical liquid solvents to gently clean certain fabrics that need to be cleaned with something other than water, whereas traditional laundry uses water and detergent to clean fabrics. Also, dry cleaning can require more labor from the dry cleaner and more steps than traditional laundry, depending on what fabric is being cleaned and the types of residue on it. You have your fabrics dry cleaned when the use of water will cause damage to the item or when the stains on the fabric cannot be removed by or get worse with water.

When doing traditional laundry at home or at a laundromat, you put your items in the washing machine, then put in the right amount of laundry detergent, and then you turn the machine on and wait until its completed its wash cycle before putting the laundry load into the dryer or hanging the items out to dry in the sun. You may spray a few items with a spot treatment when there are small stains or add some fabric softener to the washing machine but the process of traditional laundry is fairly simple and not too involved during the wash and dry cycles.

When it comes to dry cleaning, there are multiple steps taken by the dry cleaner in order to clean an item but it is dependent on the type of fabric the item is and the stains it contains. After an item is inspected for stains, the process of pre-spotting is begun, which is when the dry cleaner prepares the stains for the cleaning process. Not all fabrics are the same and neither are all stains, so any pre-treatment needs to be done according to the type of fabric and its stain in order to avoid damage to the textile. In pre-spotting, the cleaner may apply heat, steam, or a spot treatment to the entire item or to the stain itself. Some items may need to soak in a special stain removal liquid before the liquid solvent wash cycle.

After pre-spotting, the item is then washed in a machine similar to a traditional laundry machine but instead of water and detergent, it uses a liquid solvent to clean fabrics and remove stains. The item is then rinsed with a freshly distilled solvent, which prevents discoloration of the fabric from the first solvent used that had become dirty during the wash. After rinsing, the solvent is then removed from the fabric by spinning the basket the item is in at such a rapid speed that causes the solvent to spin free of the fabric. Then the item is tumbled in warm air to both begin the drying process and evaporate the remaining solvent. After the drying cycle, a deodorizing cycle cools the item and removes any last remaining traces of solvent. Now the item is cleaned and ready to be finished by either being pressed, steamed, or ironed by the dry cleaner.

Dry cleaning is meant for fabrics with delicate fibers while traditional laundry works for fabrics made of more durable materials. Delicate fabrics are recommended to be dry cleaned because their fibers are fragile enough that the fabric can lose its color, texture, shape or it may shrink when washed with water or dried in the sun. For example, when wool clothes are manufactured, in order to save on the amount of fabric used, fibers are stretched but when they are soaked in water, they will shrink down to its pre-manufactured original size once dried. Other delicate textiles like silk, velvet, suede, and leather can get damaged with water contact. Knits and fabrics with open weaves can lose their shape when washed with water. Water does not pose such threats to more durable fabrics, like polyester and cotton, so they can be cleaned and dried through the traditional laundry.

Dry cleaning is also a benefit for white clothes that have turned yellow or grey because dry cleaning uses a solvent that will cause the white fabric to return to its original color. The dry cleaning process is also great for fabrics that have embroidery, paint, or sequins because it is a gentle enough process to not ruin the construction or color of the threads, paints, or beads used. Vintage or expensive fabrics in the form of clothes or upholstery also benefit from dry cleaning because the process allows those types of items to remain crisp, maintain their shape, and hold onto their color.

In a traditional laundry wash, heavy stains, like grease stains or oil stains, can set into the fabric if not properly treated before meeting water, which would make the stain permanent or even harder to remove. That is when dry cleaning is an option for stain removal or prevention, regardless of the type of fabric.

All in all, dry cleaning is a necessity for various types of fabrics and it is always best to follow the cleaning directions on any tags on or directions that come with your textile items. However, personal judgment can also be used when determining whether to dry clean something or not because dry cleaning can also be a necessity for various specific types of issues with your fabrics and dry cleaning can be used in order to achieve an outcome you know you will not be able to achieve at home through traditional laundry methods.

Dry cleaning is a further investment into your items and it can ensure that they last for a long time to come and look great as they do.

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