Dry Cleaning VS Laundry. Pros And Cons

You will finally make your choice and know the difference

Laundry. Pros And Cons

When it comes to keeping our clothing neat and good-looking, quite many people ask themselves what option to choose: dry cleaning or a simple laundering. The issue becomes a true point of concern when we have to deal with old stains or grease that successfully survived multiple washes.

So what is best? And what is safest? Dry cleaning vs laundry! Who will win?

Let’s figure that out!

Dry Cleaning. What It Is And How It Works

Dry Cleaning. What It Is And How It Works
Photo by Waldemar Brandt

To find the answer to the question of which cleaning method works best, we need to figure out first what each of them is.

Dry cleaning, as it comes from the name, uses no water when cleaning clothing. However, some liquid is still used, and this liquid is perchloroethylene (or simply perc) which is the main point of arguing. Perc is a toxic and harsh chemical solution that works perfectly when we need to get rid of nasty grease or stains. 

Since dry cleaning is basically used for the massive and heavy items that can’t be washed at home manually (for instance, carpets, rugs, curtains, bedsheets, or even heavy gowns), those items are pre-treated with perc and then loaded to the machine to tumble dry them.

Such a method has its advantages, of course.

Dry Cleaning
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  • It cleans well
  • It is fast
  • It leaves no shrinkage
  • Your items won’t bleed, fade, or distort
  • It allows us to keep the sturdiness and thickness of the massive items like carpets or curtains
  • The fabric doesn’t become crumpled after the dry cleaning
  • Dry cleaned items preserve their color and texture without any changes. Soft things will remain soft, and furry carpet will be the same fluffy as it was before!
    It definitely makes the items’ lifespan longer
  • It fights grease and old stains effectively
  • And finally, dry cleaning reduces the risk of discoloration

It sounds all well and good, doesn’t it?

So why do so many people get concerned about dry cleaning their clothing and household items?

Laundering And Its Distinctions

Let’s take a look at another option now. Laundering, or simply saying ordinary wash.

As you all know, this way of cleaning garments requires water and a washing product, powdered or liquid – up tp you.

Sometimes, additional products might be needed, for instance, bleach to deal with stubborn stains or a softening liquid.

We normally do laundering ourselves, nevertheless, some people prefer to take their clothing to the special public laundries to not waste time on this washing fuss.

Does this method have any strong sides? Well, in fact, it does.

  • It can be done whenever you need, without waiting for your turn
  • It costs less than dry cleaning (well, maybe not if you are using some super expensive washing products)
  • It is simple to perform
  • It cleans garments to the deepest corners
  • Washed items have a pleasant fresh scent (that depends on the product you use, however)
  • The laundered items have no chemical odor
  • Washing is safe to use since it requires no chemicals in the process
  • You can clean almost any fabric like this, even such delicate ones like silk
  • It is harmless for the environment

In terms of convenience, laundry is way comfier since you don’t have to drag your clothing to the nearest dry cleaner’s and wait until it is finished. Besides, considering that we often need to do small daily washes for the small items, laundering becomes a 100% winning option.

Things You Wouldn’t Like About Both Methods

Things You Wouldn’t Like About Both Methods
Photo by Nathan Dumlao

But of course, both dry cleaning and washing have their specific negative features that are good to know, especially if you can’t decide for sure which way of cleaning fits you best.

Dry cleaning cons:

  • It leaves a heavy chemical odor on the items that can be harmful since a hazardous product is used for cleaning. That is why dry cleaned items must be aired for quite a long time before putting them on
  • It doesn’t clean off sweat stains and the odor in a men’s shirt collar the same well as washing does
  • It is expensive, and there is nothing to do with it
  • It uses harmful chemical
  • It may not always cope with the tough stains that are not oily or grease
  • SOmetimes chemicals used for cleaning can stain the clothing

Laundering negative features:

  • It takes more time to get the final result (a ready to wear item)
  • It is not suitable for massive items like curtains of carpets
  • Washed apparel can often shrink, discolor, or the color may bleed
  • It doesn’t work on all types of fabrics
  • Sometimes it can’t deal with old and nasty stains

So what do we have in the end?

Dry cleaning is faster, more effective on stubborn stains, it is more friendly to clothes since any shrinking or distortion is highly unlikely to happen. On the other hand, it is quite expensive and not comfy for daily use. 

Besides, people with sensitive skin may have an allergic reaction to the chemical used for this type of cleaning, not mentioning this stuff’s harm to general health.

And then there is washing. With more time to spend, some risks of shrinking and other unpleasant effects that can appear on garments, but cheaper and way more acceptable for the small daily needs. In addition, you will get a bonus: a pleasant scent on your freshly laundered garments which you can choose yourself! Just buy the detergent that smells best to you.

The obvious conclusion can be the following: use laundry for the daily washing, and leave the dry cleaning for any special occasions like extremely oily or greasy marks on your favorite suit that you know an ordinary washing powder will never deal with.

Anyway, who said you couldn’t bring your garments to the nearest laundry if you don’t feel like doing it yourself?

And if you are worried about polluting the environment, shift your ordinary laundry product to the eco-friendly one (fortunately, today we have plenty of them of any price), and try not to overuse water (which means launder reasonably: everyday loaded to the top washes are definitely not ok).

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Why do some shirts say do not dry clean?

It can be stated on the shirts that have embroideries or embellishments since the chemical used for dry cleaning can dissolve or discolor those applications.

⭐ What happens if a dry cleaner ruined your clothes?

The best what you can do is to claim compensation if your items are damaged while left in their care.

⭐ Should you dry clean brand new shirts?

No, that’s not necessary since they are not yet that dirty to be in need of cleaning. A simple wash is enough if you feel like refreshing them after bringing from the store.

⭐ Why should I dry clean my clothes?

Well, dry cleaning is good for big items like curtains or rugs that can’t be washed manually or in a washing machine. Besides, this way of cleaning is safer since it leaves no shrinking or color bleeding.

⭐ Does Dry Cleaning actually clean your clothes?

It does, but you need to take into account that it deals better with oily and greasy stains, and can sometimes be not so good on other kinds of dirt.

⭐ Should shirts be dry cleaned or laundered?

If they are not heavily greased, then you should prefer washing since it copes with the smell of sweat way more effectively.

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Written by
Olivia Paxton
Olivia is a Former Four Season Service Manager she worked there for 15 years. She knows all the nuances and secrets of hotels, houses, and apartment cleaning. We are very proud that she is a part of our team of Experts and shares her knowledge and experience with us.
Or editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
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