Everyone will be familiar with washing (in water) but less familiar with what happens
at the drycleaners.
Drycleaning is the use of organic solvents to remove soil and stains from fabric. It is called drycleaning because the process contains little or no water. When washed in water, natural fibres such as wool and silk can shrink, distort and even lose colour. Because the drycleaning process does not swell the fibres, these problems are unlikely to occur.
Drycleaning solvents actually dissolve and remove grease and oil stains. Water
by itself cannot do this.
Other stains require specialized treatment, known as spotting to remove them. Whilst many can be removed
quickly with steam, others require a high level of professional skill and expertise from the cleaner.
Drycleaning does not cause creasing or distortion, neither does it remove unwanted creases or restore
the loss of shape caused by wear. The skilled drycleaner, by steam pressing, will be able to
re-shape the garment, replace the required creases and eliminate unwanted wrinkles.
The term 'drycleaning' is generally understood to cover the whole process of cleaning in solvent,
spotting and pressing, carried out in sequence.