What Is The Difference Between Dry Cleaning and Laundry?

In this fast-paced corporate life, everyone wants to get things done right away. Technological advancements pave the way for us to maximize our time and resources. The same goes for the way we do the laundry. While it is common to wash your clothes in the comfort of your home, not everyone has the time to do it.

Thus, more professional cleaners are offering dry cleaning and laundry services. Dry cleaning and laundry cleaning have been around for years. Both of them target to remove dirt and grime on clothes. Yet, many people are still confused about which laundry service to choose. When the situation is not assessed, you may end up damaging your garments. Here are some key differences between these two cleaning methods: laundry and dry cleaning. 

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning does not use water during the cleaning process. Instead, dry cleaning uses a special chemical solvent to remove dirt and grime on clothes. 

Dry cleaning involves the use of more advanced machinery and chemical solvents. Thus, people go to professional cleaners to get their clothes dry cleaned. The dry cleaning process starts with the inspection of the clothes. It will help the professionals to determine the type of stain there is. Then, a chemical solvent is used to treat stains. Afterward, the clothes go through a tumble drier. The clothes are then dried in dry cleaning machines and ironed afterward. 

The most common solvent used by professional dry cleaners is Perchloroethylene or “perc.” Perc is an effective chemical solvent that can carry out cleaning processes. But it can pose serious health hazards if they do not control the exposure. The hazardous chemical can also cause skin allergies. Dry cleaned clothes also have a distinct chemical odor. They also don’t leave a long-lasting scent. With these concerns, more dry cleaning companies are using more environmentally-friendly chemical solvents. Such chemical solvent is GreenEarth. This solvent uses less harmful chemicals. It also prides itself as an odorless, non-allergic, and non-irritating chemical solvent. 

Here are key advantages of dry cleaning:

  • The dry cleaning process does not make garments shrink since it does not use water. Thus, they are best used to clean woolen and silk garments which are delicate fabrics.
  • You can clean heavy materials such as gowns, carpets, or curtains through dry cleaning.
  • The original color and fabric stay the same after dry cleaning.
  • The fabric is not crumpled after dry cleaning.
  • Dry cleaning is effective in removing stains on clothes. It can even remove even the toughest stains caused by oil and grease.
  • It can prevent discoloration on fabrics. Thus you get more wear out of dry cleaned garments.

Laundry Cleaning

Wet laundering is the most convenient way of cleaning clothes. Laundry washing involves the use of water as the prime solvent. It also uses laundry detergent, bleach, and fabric softener to get rid of dirt and grime. Laundered clothes always leave a long-lasting scent. 

Laundry cleaning gives off that fresh and lean vibe compared to dry cleaning. It is also more energy-efficient compared to dry cleaning services. Unlike dry cleaning that involves a chemical solvent, laundry cleaning only uses water. But, it can take some time to dry when you clean them using the traditional method of wet laundering. 

Some fabrics also tend to shrink during laundry cleaning. Frequent washing can also cause color-fading on clothes. Moreover, the washing process can also lead the garment to lose its original texture. 

Thus, it’s always important to check your clothes’ care tag. 

Here are some advantages of using laundry cleaning:

  • Laundry cleaning only requires water and laundry detergent. But you can add some bleach and fabric softener to your laundry routine.
  • You can choose to wash your clothes at home through hand washing or using a washing machine.
  • Laundry cleaning can better remove dirt and odor caused by sweat.
  • Freshly laundered clothes smell fresh and clean.
  • You don’t use harmful chemicals and won’t inhale strong fumes during laundry washing.

Key Differences Between Dry Cleaning and Laundry

Wet Cleaning (Laundry)Dry Cleaning
Solvent Usedwaterchemical solvents
Safetyless sensitive to the clothes’ wearerhas inherent respiratory and dermal hazards
Affordabilitycheapertypically more expensive
Color Fadingcan cause color fadingclothes do not fade
Clothes Texturefrequent washing can affect texturedoes not affect texture
Clothes Shrinkagecan cause shrinkage depending on the type of fabricdoes not cause shrinkage 
Stain Removalcan remove tough stains but with extra effort. Also, it conveniently gets rid of the odor of sweatcan remove tough stains easily

Solvent Used

Dry cleaning uses chemical solvents such as perc or GreenEarth to get rid of tough stains.

Wet cleaning only uses water as a solvent to get rid of stains and to clean the clothes.


The dry cleaning process is more harmful to the environment. It releases toxic fumes that can cause respiratory and dermal hazards.

Laundry cleaning only uses water and detergent to get rid of stains and dirt on clothes. These are a lot less harmful to the environment and to the clothes’ wearer.


Dry cleaning services are more expensive compared to a regular laundry service. It’s because dry cleaning requires more energy during the process.

It’s cheaper to wash clothes using water and detergent as it uses less energy and resources.

Color Fading

Dry cleaned clothes do not fade.

Frequent washing can cause color fading.

Clothes Texture

The clothes’ texture does not change when they are dry cleaned.

When you wash garments often, their texture may change over time.

Clothes Shrinkage

Dry cleaning does not cause the fabric to shrink.

Some clothes made of woolen or silken fabrics can shrink during the wash. 

Stain Removal

Dry cleaning can remove tough stains, including oil stains. But, it does not do well with stains caused by sweat.

Laundry cleaning can also remove tough stains but need a few steps to do so. Yet, it can clean clothes and remove the odor caused by sweat. 

In Conclusion

Both dry cleaning and laundry washing are effective in cleaning clothes. But, it still depends on your specific needs. You may consult the advice of professional cleaners to determine the proper process. Don’t forget to bookmark our page for more tips and advice on laundry and cleaning!

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