Wash or Dry Clean: How to Decide?

It might be an easy choice at first glance to decide whether or not to wash your clothes or to give them for dry cleaning. While the fabric care label influences your decision, factors like your fabric itself and the cost-effectiveness of dry cleaning play an essential role. What’s more important is how you handle the garments.

If you are dealing with a blemish requiring you to use bleach, you are better off giving them for dry cleaning. Water washing can result in shrinkage, reduction in longevity, and color saturation. Dry wash uses toxic solvents that could leave a stain if not used appropriately. But dry washing certainly has an edge while dealing with expensive fabrics.

Choosing Between Dry Cleaning and Washing

Fabric Care Label to Rescue

Our fabric could be prone to shrinkage or stains when wet-washed or applied with certain substances. If the label says it is safe to be wet-washed, we can try using laundry detergent. And other pantry substances like baking soda, vinegar, etc., make sure to pretest these on a small region before applying them. Although dry cleaning is better, if you have time to spare and know how to do it, you can proceed with wet washing or washing machines.

Fabric Sensitivity

If your fabric (cashmere, leather, polyester, wool, linen, and nylon) is too sensitive to handle detergents, wet washing, or washing machines, then you should not try to clean it yourself at home. You might end up damaging the garment or might even discolor it. If you need to treat a small stained region, you can pretest on the same fabric to see whether or not the cleaning substance is compatible with the material before directly applying it to the garments. If it’s incompatible, then give it for dry cleaning.

Removing Organic Stains

At times we take too much time to act on organic stains, which leaves us no option but to give them for dry cleaning. But with prudent action, it’s not as difficult as it might seem to eliminate the stains. You can blot the tint by taking a paper towel and putting it on the other side of the blemish, then passing cold water through it. Clothes are porous, and the stain will then get through the fabric and get collected in your paper towel.

Washing Machine or Dry Cleaning

If you prefer a washing machine over hands, you are better off giving the clothes for dry cleaning that you wear occasionally but are of significance. Washing garments with hands is better than a washing machine, and dry cleaning is better than self-cleaning, so it’s apparent that dry cleaning is better than a washing machine. A washing machine can aid discoloration or even damage the garment.

woman holding occasional and casual clothes alternatively

Garment Type

To get a clear idea, you need to chart out the costs and benefits, and you surely do not need to dry clean the clothes you wear every day, irrespective of the material. Dry cleaning is for garments that constitute your favorites or the expensive ones. If you give your everyday clothes for dry cleaning, you might expend more on dry cleaning than the garment’s worth. In that case, wet washing or washing machine is more cost-efficient.

Dry Cleaning Edging over Washing

Color Preservation

Dry cleaning, as mentioned above, requires a solvent in place of water compared to traditional cleaning. Water washing aids discoloration or fading, which is a massive drawback as you do not want your magenta dress to become bubble gum after washing it a couple of times.

Keeping it Sturdy

Dry cleaning can maintain the sturdiness of the fabric. Wet washing or washing machines, on the other hand, can make the textile frail and prone to wrinkles. Wet washing also contributes to shrinkage and early aging of the garments and affects their longevity.

Efficient Cleaning

Be it stains or dirt, laundry detergent, and other home remedies fall short of thorough cleaning. At times we end up damaging the fabric in eliminating stubborn stains. On the other hand, dry cleaning can effortlessly eliminate dirt and stubborn stains without damaging the color or textile.

visual representation of a carpet

Convenient for Large Items

Curtains, sofa covers, bed sheets, etc., are too heavy and considerable to be handled and cleaned at once, making it time-consuming. Another aspect of wet cleaning is that the large items gain substantial weight when wet and are hard to dry. Dry cleaning can make the task more effortless and efficient, concerning time and value for money.

Delicately Deals with the Delicate Fabrics

Unlike the stereotype, dry washing is gentle, and instead, you can get your clothes damaged while you wet wash them or put them in the washing machine. Dry cleaning can deal with sensitive fabrics gently without damaging them. And it’s reasonable to spend on dry cleaning to save the garments than to use DIY remedies and destroy the color or fit.