How To Dry Clean Clothes At Home: A Step-By-Step Guide

The term “dry cleaning” is a bit misleading, because in actuality, it’s not a dry process. “Professional dry-cleaning is a wet process,” explains Brown, “but it doesn’t use water. Instead, other liquids are used, such as chemical solvents, that are combined with detergents.”

Garments are then placed in large machines that run on just the right temperature to help loosen debris and stains. Then, everything gets filtered and drained, and new solvent is added, she explains. “The process is repeated a couple of times until all soil is flushed away. Once that full process is completed, then the garment is finished when it is pressed and/or steamed and then folded, or hung and bagged.”

Because of the amount of chemicals used in the traditional dry cleaning process, she notes residue can remain on the clothing, adding, “for that reason, I rarely ever recommend dry-cleaning.”

More eco-friendly dry cleaners are opening up these days, and they prioritize solvents that are gentler on clothing and better for the health of employees. But if you, too, would rather take matters into your own hands, here’s what Brown recommends.

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