Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Cleaning

How does dry cleaning work?

Despite its name, dry cleaning is not totally dry. It involves the use of liquid chemicals called solvents that remove most stains from a variety of fabrics.

Most dry cleaners use perc as their primary solvent. Because the clothes are cleaned in a liquid solution that is mostly perc or some other solvent, with very little water (if any), the term "dry cleaning" is used to describe the process.

There are some differences in the way dry cleaners process clothes, but here is how it typically works:

Dry cleaners usually treat spots by hand before placing garments in large machines.

Liquid solvents, detergents, and sometimes a small amount of water are added to the machines. The machines then agitate clothes in a manner similar to your own washing machine to remove dirt, oil, and stains.

Once clean, the clothes are dried in the same machine, then pressed and shaped.

Used solvent is distilled so it can be purified. Distillation separates the solvent from waste residues such as detergents, dye, dirt and oil, so the solvent can be reused. In addition to distillation, most machines also use filters to clean used solvent.

After the purification process, filters which contain the solvent in very small amounts, and certain solvent residues, such as perc, must be managed and disposed of as hazardous waste. Dry cleaners can send them to special facilities for recycling or incineration.

Does dry cleaning shrink clothes?

No, not if the dry cleaning process has been carefully controlled. We have the most up to date technology in all of our facilities. They are all computer controlled with specific programs for each different garment and fabric type. Our dry cleaning technicians have been fully trained and have years of experience in handling even the most problematic and difficult fabrics and garments. You can have confidence when you leave your clothes in our care.

Will my dry cleaned garments be odor-free and ready to wear?

We are professional dry cleaners and are skilled in keeping the dry cleaning solvent clean and pure. We are also intent on using proper drying procedures, making your garments odor-free and ready to wear.

Does dry cleaning clothing often result in it becoming un-wearable more quickly?

Frequent dry cleaning prolongs the life of your garments and textiles. Since some stains are invisible at first, or may simply go unnoticed, it's important that you consult a dry cleaner about your garments on a regular basis to ensure that irreparable damage is not done over time. This damage includes the danger of stains setting in, insects eating the fabric, and ground-in dirt and soil acting as a sandpaper-like abrasive that will rapidly wear down fibers.

How long can I expect a shirt to last?

Industry experience shows that, on average, shirts have a two-year wear-life expectancy. However, the number of launderings is a better measuring method. The average shirt should have a wear life of 35 to 50 washings. This can vary depending on the amount of abrasion and strain placed on a shirt during wear, the fiber content, the type of fabric and the laundering procedure.