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What is Dry Cleaning?

This is by far the most common question that I get asked.

Dry cleaning is a process of cleaning clothes and fabrics using a solvent other than water. It involves the use of a chemical solvent, usually Perchloroethylene (commonly known as Perc), to remove stains and dirt from clothing. The process does not involve the use of water, hence the term "dry cleaning."


During dry cleaning, clothes are placed in a machine that resembles a large washing machine. The machine agitates the clothes in the solvent, which helps to dissolve and remove stains and dirt. The solvent is then drained and filtered to remove any impurities before being reused. After the cleaning process, the clothes are dried using warm air and then pressed to remove any wrinkles.


Dry cleaning is often used for delicate fabrics, such as silk, wool, and cashmere that may shrink or get damaged if washed with water. It is particularly effective in removing ink, candle wax and oil of any sort – whether it be natural or synthetic oil.  

What are the disadvantages of Dry Cleaning?

Dry cleaning is much less likely to shrink garments than washing in water and it is better at keeping colour vibrant. It can dissolve oils, ink (subject to pre-treating) and chewing gum which will not come out in water - both washing and dry cleaning take out dust and mud. The main drawback with dry cleaning is that it does not remove water soluble soil. Sweat and drink spill marks are only water soluble and so only water can remove them.

At Woodland Dry Cleaners we both dry clean and wash so if a garment needs both we give it both. A quick rinse and light spin after dry cleaning is sometimes what is required. We have the years of experience to know what is both feasible and what is needed. We pride ourselves on making your clothing the best it can be.

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