Confused between washing and dry cleaning? Here's how to decide
To wash or not, that is the question! Seriously, this is one question that bugs us almost every time we think of doing laundry. Some fabrics make it easy to decide, but that is not the only consideration while choosing between washing and dry cleaning. Several clothes come with clear instructions on what to do, but this is not always the case.
Difference between washing and dry cleaning
Washing and dry cleaning involve different steps, products, and machines. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some materials can both be washed and dry cleaned depending on the fabric, design, color. The most basic difference between washing and dry cleaning is that laundry uses water while certain solvents are used in dry cleaning. Some of these solvents are also toxic.
Handwash over machine wash works for most clothes
Cotton clothes can usually be washed in a machine. However, if a label says "dry clean only," you can opt for handwashing over dry cleaning. The same is true for fabrics like polyester, linen, nylon, wool and cashmere. However, you might not want to take a chance with expensive clothes and it is probably best to hand them over to the dry cleaner.
Head to the dry cleaners if you want these cleaned
There are some clothes that shouldn't be washed at all. Silk is one such fabric that can be ruined if put in water. Rayon and other acrylic clothing might shrink if washed and are best handled at the dry cleaners. Clothes that have leather or suede on them can lose their shiny finish if washed. Never take a chance with fabric that looks unfamiliar.
Trying to get rid of strong stains?
If your clothes have organic stains from substances such as food coloring, tea, coffee, or urine, a simple cold wash in water might do the trick. Although your wash technique also matters. However, if your clothes have a strong stain, such as grease or chemical stains, then dry cleaning is recommended. But beware, dry cleaning chemicals can also leave a stain on your clothes.
A few more things to keep in mind
Washing requires no chemicals, while chemicals are used in dry cleaning that can sometimes leave a weird odor on your clothes. Dry cleaning increases the longevity of your clothes, while washing could lead to shrinkage or early damage. Washing clothes at home is less expensive than dry cleaning. Since no water is used, dry cleaning greatly reduces the chances of color bleeding.