We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, the world of dry cleaning is shrouded in mystery and this leads to all kinds of misinformation on what goes into the process and what things need to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning is an absolute must for certain fabrics and highly recommended for others, but if you’re the type that enjoys doing your own laundry, then what can you handle at home?

Woman looking through clothes on a rat

These Fabrics & Garments Don’t Need Dry Cleaning

Cotton Shirts

Your average, day-to-day cotton t-shirts don’t need the specialized dry cleaning process. However, depending on how careful you are when wearing them, they might benefit from a professional stain removal if you encounter accidents.

Synthetic Clothes

Garments made from materials like polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, and acetate aren’t in danger from a domestic washer, though the dryer might cause problems if it’s too hot. Giving these clothes a long, low dry is the way to go if you can’t hang dry them. 

Painted Fabrics 

Whether it’s a hand crafted piece you bought from an artisan or that college intramural shirt you just can’t part with, caring for painted fabrics can be confusing. Because their designs are delicate, many think these garments must be dry cleaned. Similar to our advice on synthetic clothes, beware heat and hang dry whenever possible to preserve the painted designs.

Knit Fabrics

In addition to linens, knit fabrics common in sweaters are another fabrication that folks highly recommend taking the cleaners. Depending on the quality of the garment, though, your cozy sweater may be able to stay at home. They aren’t without their own special care and can’t be treated the same as your jeans or pajamas. Due to this extra care, many find it worth it to bring their sweaters to their local cleaners anyway.

You Should Dry Clean These Fabrics & Garments

Delicate or Speciality Fabric

These materials include things like silk, velvet, wool, and leather. Upscale fabrics— such as chiffon, velvet, and merino wool – should also be brought to a professional cleaning service to preserve their natural luster and form. These are perhaps the fabrics that make most people go, “uhhh…” so it’s just common sense to bring them to your local dry cleaner.

Anything you want to keep its form and color quality

Lastly, anything you want help in making it last should be brought to the cleaners. Expensive professional attire is just one example, but maybe you have a favorite casual shirt that you wear on repeat that we could help with.
While everything we listed in that first section doesn’t need to be dry cleaned, it doesn’t mean it can’t be dry cleaned or that other laundry services at your local cleaners would be helpful to you. If you want the best possible care for your garment to increase its longevity, bring it in. Or, if the care instructions on the tag have you feeling overwhelmed, we’d be happy to handle the laundry.

The world behind the dry cleaner’s counter is a mystery to most. This leads to not-entirely-accurate information being spread about dry cleaning. The dangerous part is many of these misconceptions can actually damage your clothes. To help protect your wardrobe, don’t fall victim to believing these misconceptions. 

Series of blue button-down shirts hang on wooden hangers.

1. Dry Cleaners Don’t Use Liquids

As we’ve said before, it’s called ‘dry cleaning’ because there is an absence of water. However, the cleaning solvent is still liquid. This solvent is often a petroleum-based liquid, perchloroethylene, which dry cleaners refer to as ‘Perc.’ It is a popular option, but we at Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners don’t use that human carcinogen, and instead use our EcoTech System to maintain your clothes.

2. Use Club Soda Instead – It’s Cheaper!

Club soda may be touted as a miracle hack for treating serious clothing stains at home, but it is in no way a substitute for your local dry cleaners. In many cases, it can often make a stain worse. If you encounter a stain, gently dab the excess away and bring the item in to the cleaner as soon as possible. Let them know what happened and they will be able to help.

3. Store Your Clothes in the Bag from the Cleaners

This isn’t necessary. The bag is just to protect your clothes on the trip back to your closet, whether you’re picking them up or having them delivered. Your clothes will come back clean and dry, but the bag may trap residual heat, making the air humid and hostile towards certain garments. Our bags are not meant for long-term storage.

4. Only Clothes Labeled “Dry Clean Only” Should Go to The Cleaners

While your local cleaner may have specialized processes for those clothes that should not go in a domestic drying machine, many offer services for your other clothes. Any garment that you want to last and maintain its quality should be taken to your cleaners. 

5. Wait as Long as Possible Before Taking Your Clothes to The Dry Cleaners

This misconception stems from the idea that dry cleaning actually harms your clothes and that it should not be done as frequently as you do your own washing at home. This assumption is false and prolonging the time in between visits can be a costly mistake. Waiting to take your clothes in means wearing them multiple times. This can compound stains and smells that latch onto your clothes, making them more difficult to get out, even at the hands of an expert cleaner. Don’t wait to take your clothes to the cleaners. 

There are many bits of common knowledge about dry cleaners that stem from misplaced assumptions. Don’t fall into believing them or your clothes could suffer. Trust your local dry cleaner to help your clothes last and keep you looking smart.

You’re not the first to ask this question, and you won’t be the last. With unfamiliar machinery and a process that shrouded behind other people’s laundry, it’s hard to guess at how dry cleaning works. While it might be mysterious, the process is actually very simple. 

1. Your clothes get tagged.

When you first drop your clothes off (or have them picked up), the dry cleaners tag and inspect them. The tags help ensure your clothes stay and are washed together. It also helps in retrieving your clothes once they’re ready for pick up/drop off. 

Tagging allows the dry cleaning staff to clear your pockets of anything you wouldn’t want washed (Hello, missing airpods!) and note any pre-existing damage such as missing buttons. We take it a step further at Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners to note specific details about the garment, such as the clothing brand and color, which is packed into a barcode unique to that item.

2. Your clothes are pretreated.

If, during the inspection, the cleaner notices any stains, this is when they will be pretreated. It’s best if you alert your cleaner to the stain and, if possible, let them know the cause so they know how best to treat it.

3. Your clothes are washed.

This is where we tell you the “dry” part of “dry cleaning” isn’t entirely true. Clothes do become wet at the dry cleaners, but it is due to a cleaning solvent, not water. This solvent can differ from place to place, like how Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners use GreenEarth, a solvent free of “perc” or perchloroethylene, a human carcinogen. 

To clean your clothes, dry cleaners load your garments into their washing machine and rinse it through with their solvent. This gentle cleaner will remove surface stains as well as prevent any stretching or shrinking like a domestic washing machine might cause.

4. Your clothes are checked.

While the washing process is gentler than the machine found in most homes, there is still a chance of a button getting lost or a thread being snagged. After they come out of the machine, clothes are inspected for such damage, but also any remaining stains. 

5. Your clothes are pressed.

Once they pass quality control, your clothes are pressed to remove wrinkles. Sometimes this is simple ironing, but other times, special forms are used to help important garments keep their shape. 

These general steps aren’t specific to Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners. Most dry cleaners will stick with this process to best care for your clothes. However, if you have special care instructions for your garments, it’s worth investigating what makes your local dry cleaner unique.

Image of colored shirts and jeans folded neatly in a pile.

Even though many of our normal activities have been put on hold recently, most of us are still as busy as ever. Whether you’re an essential worker who never had a chance to stay at home during the pandemic or you’ve had to take on additional responsibilities at home due to school and summer camp closures, getting around to doing that pile of laundry may seem impossible these days. Luckily, you’re not in this alone! With Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners‘ Wash and Fold service, you can get all of your laundry done without any of the extra stress.  

How does it work?

Many people only think of a dry cleaner for special deep-cleaning services. However, dry cleaners are a wonderful option for your everyday clothing as well! Crafted for our clients who simply do not have the time to worry about washing their and their family’s clothing, Crest Wash and Fold is the perfect choice for your laundry needs. We will wash all of your clothing, no matter what material it is made of, and return it to you perfectly folded. All you have to do is collect your laundry and get it to us!

What if I don’t have time to drive to the dry cleaner?

Whether you need your laundry done twice a week, weekly, or every two weeks, we understand that making the drive to the dry cleaner often could negate the benefits of having someone else do your laundry for you. Luckily, with Crest Concierge Home Delivery, your laundry will be picked up from your home and returned to you sparkling clean.

What are other benefits to Crest Wash and Fold?

Using a dry cleaner for your daily laundry needs is a fantastic way to give your garments the best care possible. The advanced, eco-friendly systems used at Crest will ensure that your clothing looks as good as new every single time you wear it. 

If you’re ready to put an end to the stress caused by piles of dirty laundry taking up space in your home, contact Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners today to begin benefiting from our Wash and Fold service.