What exactly should you dry clean?

Dry cleaning is a miraculous technology. Without the rough and tumble cycle of a regular washing machine, this divine invention lifts dirt and stains using a series of chemicals and a light rotation. Ironically, dry cleaning isn’t actually dry. It involves liquid chemicals but just now water, hence “dry”.

But what items should you trust to the dry cleaner? Can one simply follow the tags at all times? The answer is that just because it says that it must be dry cleaned doesn’t always mean that it is 100 percent necessary. Although, we think it is usually best to err on the side of the professional job that a dry cleaner can provide, but we are a bit biased in the matter, for obvious reasons.

Let’s talk frankly for a minute about how to best utilize the technology and service provided by your friendly neighborhood dry cleaning shop.

The main thing to remember here is what we described above: the fact that traditional washing is extremely rough on your clothes. Now, for an old t-shirt this violent cycle of cleansing might not be such a big deal, however, when you start getting into delicate, expensive, or ornate items, you might as well be throwing your money in that wash cycle right along with those special clothing items. Just like your twenty dollar bill left in your jeans pocket might be thrashed in our washers (hint hint – check your pockets before washing!), so too do delicate clothes have a very tough time being washed the normal way. This is exactly why dry cleaning is such an impressive feat of modern technology - it manages to mechanically wash things that are extremely delicate and sensitive.

With a basic knowledge on how dry cleaners operate, customers can make a more informed decision about which items should definitely be done professionally, and which can just be chucked in a normal old washing machine without much worry.

Let’s say you have a silk dress with embellishments, your best bet is to come down to Pearl Street Laundry & Dry Cleaning and let us dry clean it for you. This is not to mention if the dress has a particularly bad stain. Trying to rub out that ketchup stain from sensitive material may result in a worse stain or something like sequins coming off, the material ripping or showing signs of wear. On the other hand, a properly equipped dry cleaner will have a wide assortment of stain-lifting solvents, which, when combined with a steam gun, can delicately lift a lot of unsightly things from your fabrics.

In fact, a good measure of how likely an item is to need dry cleaning is just how many bells and whistles it has. Tassels, beads, linings, etc.? You are probably safer using a dry cleaner. This makes for a pretty good rule of thumb. Is the fabric thin, delicate, or special? Dry-clean it! And, when in doubt, check the tag!

Read more on the benefits of dry-cleaning as well as how to decide what to do with a man’s button down shirt on our other blog posts.

When it comes down to it, your professional dry cleaner is willing to help out with any and all of your garment care needs. We look forward to serving you for all of your laundry needs at Pearl Street Laundry!