How Do Dry Cleaners Work
Posted on Dry Cleaning

How Do Dry Cleaners Work?

Dry cleaners, otherwise known as laundrettes provide a time-efficient option when it comes to the cleaning process of your clothes and fabrics. At Love2Laundry, we know just how much a dry cleaner can help your clothing, from helping them last longer to removing smells and having your clothes feel fresh and fragrant.

In this article, we are going to explain ‘how dry cleaners work?’ whilst also addressing the benefits of dry cleaning your clothes via a laundrette, as opposed to doing it yourself.

The history of dry cleaning


Dry cleaning can be dated back as early as 70AD, as ruins of dry cleaning stores were found amongst the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii. In recent history, dry cleaning can be found between New York and France in 1845. After accidentally spilling kerosene on a dirty tablecloth, before he could wash it he realised it had dried and cleaned the stain, which was a key incident in unlocking the full potential of chemicals and cleaning processes.

In the UK, dry cleaning has been used more predominantly since 1920, at which time dry cleaners discovered less flammable and safer chemicals that could be used for the process. From then onwards, dry cleaning businesses have been a staple on the high street within the UK and across the world.

In the 1930s, Perchloroethylene (PERC) was discovered to be one of the most effective solvents to use in dry cleaning and remains one of the most popular choices on the market today. There have, however, been advances over recent years for more ethical and sustainable products to be used within the cleaning process. This signifies a continuation of the traditional dry cleaning methods but with a modern touch that will ensure it stays around for another 100 years and beyond.

For more information on the dry cleaning process head over to our blog.

What is a dry cleaner and how do dry cleaners work?


A dry cleaner can be used as a complimentary cleaning addition to a washing machine, in order to dry washed clothes, or as its own cleaning apparatus depending on the fabric, as some fabrics can not be washed with water without risk of damage.

Washing machines use water as a solvent (a conduit to penetrate the fabrics ) along with washing powder and/or detergent in order to facilitate a deep clean.

However, a dry cleaner uses a solvent other than water in order to clean clothes, the need for this arose as some wearable fabrics such as polyester react badly with water.

A ‘dry cleaner’ also refers to a service otherwise known as a laundrette, in which customers send their clothes, blankets and other fabrics to be cleaned specialised usually with an industrial dry cleaner.

The general process when it comes to using a laundrette service is as follows: (it can vary from business to business, as some laundrettes are self-service.)

  1. You send or deliver your clothes to the service.
  2. Each garment is tagged & corresponding references are given to the customer.
  3. (if the laundrette offers this service) You can discuss repair work that might be needed for the clothing, fabrics, covers, blankets etc that you bring to be dry cleaned.
  4. Garments are then inspected for stains and in some cases, pre-treated to make the dry cleaning process even easier.
  5. Items are then processed in the dry cleaning machine.
  6. A 2nd inspection and further use of the machine if needed
  7. Garments are then ironed or steamed.
  8. Your garments are ready for you to collect or have delivered.

Using a dry cleaner vs drying your clothes at home


Many people take the option of not using a dry cleaner and opting to dry their clothes at home. This can be for a variety of reasons including:

  • They may not have the funds to pay for this process on a consistent basis.
  • They may not be able to transport their clothing to and from the dry cleaner.
  • They don’t own clothes that specifically need dry cleaning.
  • They may own a washer-dryer or a separate dry cleaner.
  • They may never have used a dryer or dry cleaning service, so are unaware of its benefits.

We understand people have their preferences, but we at Love2Laundry believe we should provide you with the information as to what may happen if you only dry your clothes at home.

  • If leaving your clothes on an outside washing line to dry, there is a chance the clothing could be stolen, blown away by wind or even made wet again by unexpected rain. You also may not have enough room for all of your clothes on the line, making the drying process even longer than it needs to be.
  • If drying your clothes inside beside a heater, and not ventilating the room the clothes are drying in, you may be making your home susceptible to mould or dampness. This can happen because of the moisture in the clothes being forced out via the heat sources, creating humidity. If this humidity is not ventilated through a window or extractor fan, this humidity can form condensation on surfaces. If these surfaces are left moist, mould can grow on them.
  • If you own dry-clean-only fabrics, the process to clean them without a dry cleaner could be time-consuming, with any mistake meaning you’ve damaged the clothing. If you only use a washing machine on dry-clean-only fabrics, you will be damaging the integrity of the clothing, with either the fabric becoming frayed, loose or discoloured over time.

On the other hand, dry cleaning via a laundrette holds these benefits:

  • Your clothing will be in the hands of a professional who knows what your clothing needs depending on its fabric. Meaning the likelihood of your clothing being damaged, discoloured or shrunken is extremely unlikely.
  • It saves you time as you can tend to other things whilst the dry cleaning takes place.
  • You won’t run the risk of creating a home for mould by drying at home in an unventilated room by a heater.
  • A dry cleaner makes a note of each bit of clothing you give for their service, meaning you don’t have to worry about anything getting lost, and everything is accounted for.
  • The risks associated with drying your clothes on an outside line are nullified.
  • Some dry cleaners may have the option to collect, clean and deliver back to you, click the link here to find a dry cleaner near you who may offer this service.
  • Using a laundrette could save you money in the long term because you use less energy to dry clothes at home, as opposed to leaving the heater on for longer than normal for example.
  • Due to the industrial strength of the machinery used at a laundrette, clothing is treated for bacteria more thoroughly than drying manually or dry cleaning at home. This could be helpful for anyone with allergies or sensitivity to germs, a demand that has become more apparent in the wake of COVID-19.

Are you still in two minds about attempting to dry-clean clothes at home? If so, we have a blog that can give you some answers you need. Click here to read.

So where can I find a laundrette?

At Love2laundry, we understood the larger demand for environmentally conscious cleaning. That’s why we have a service in which you can find a laundrette near you, and it’s as simple as typing in your postcode. We are gradually expanding to cover more locations and hope to be helping you soon.

Contact us

At Love2Laundry, we believe in the valuable services laundrettes and dry cleaners can offer, that’s why we dedicate our service to making your clothes clean, long-lasting and fresh.

There are plenty of great hacks online that will make it possible to treat certain items that need dry cleaning, but without the professional products and tools offered by a laundrette, you will be very hard-pressed to consistently dry clean your clothes.

We are all for people considering in more detail how their items are laundered, but we are proud that we offer a very competitively priced way for you to achieve a perfect finish for your items for an affordable cost. In this blog, we hope to have answered the question ‘how do dry cleaners work?’ (whether that is a laundrette or a dry cleaning machine.)

Want to know how we can help you today? You can see our full price list or contact our friendly team to find out more about our services.

For further cleaning facts, our blog has a diverse selection of topics related to laundry.


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