Q: What is drycleaning?

A: Drycleaning most simply said is cleaning garments without water. This is where the word "dry" comes into play, as the opposite is "wet" which means with water. The process is not really "dry" at all, because the garments are wetted with solvents that clean the garments. After this "washing in solvents", the garments are then "dried" where the solvent is reclaimed and used over again. The solvent is filtered and more than likely distilled to make it pure.

Drycleaning is said to have started back in the 1700's when a person tipped over an oil lamp with kerosene in it, and saw how when it dried, the cloth was clean. In the early 1900's all drycleaning was done in petroleum solvents which had a high fire risk... Later benzene and carbon tetrachloride was used. In the late 1940's a synthetic solvent was developed that is used today by over 85% of the drycleaners.

In the drycleaning solvent, there are usually detergents that help to suspend the soil off the garment and to carry a small amount of moisture to aid in the removal of "sweet" stains. The cleaning process itself (not counting finishing (pressing) can take between 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the cleaning equipment, solvent used and a few other factors.

Q: How do I know if my clothing and/or household items should be dry cleaned?

A: Manufacturers are required to attach a permanent label to textile garments (with the exception of footwear, gloves, hats, suede and leather clothing, and household items) that provides directions for their care. Read your general care labels carefully. If you are still unsure as to how your garments should be cleaned please bring it into The Cleanery for a free consultation.

Q: How do I best care for my leather and suede garments?

A: Here are a few tips to keep your leather and suede garments looking good as new:

  • • Always buy from a reputable dealer.
  • • Wear a scarf to protect the collar from body oil and perspiration.
  • • If leather gets wet, do not put it near heat. Always air-dry it.
  • • Do not try to clean spots by yourself with aftermarket cleaners. Bring the item to The Cleanery, and let us make it look good as new.

Q: Is dry cleaning bad for the environment?

A: The Cleanery takes every precaution to ensure we are engaging in environmentally sound business practices. We use environmentally friendly cleaning products, recycle our wire hangers and offer reusable garment bags to reduce our impact on the environment.

Q: Does dry cleaning wear out clothes?

A: No, regular visits to the dry cleaner keeps garments looking fresh and extends their useful life. Dry cleaning can remove body perspiration and oils – elements that contribute to stains and fabric degradation.

Q: Can any stain be removed?

A: No, successful stain removal depends on the nature of the stain, the type of fabric and the colourfastness of the dye. Some fabrics and dyes simply will not withstand the use of cleaning or stain removal agents. Additionally, some stains (i.e., ink, dried paint) can be impossible to remove.