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The Beginner’s Guide to Dry Cleaning

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Dry cleaning. Some love it; others fear it. It is perceived to be complicated, thus intimidating people who want to try it. But dry cleaning is more than meets the eye. To understand it, we must first go back to its roots and determine what materials to use should you decide to do it yourself.

An Accident Leading to More Accidents

While there are stories on what made dry cleaning happen, its origin is more likely an accident that happened to a French tailor. Jean Baptiste Jolly was doing some work when his gas-powered lamp was upturned on his tablecloth. Turpentine spilt out, and he observed how it seemingly cleaned the cloth. A wise businessman, he devised a cleaning method that did not utilize the traditional soap and water. Developments from his original turpentine method followed. However, they were also petroleum-based solvents and used kerosene and gasoline. This made the dry cleaning method dangerous and extremely flammable. Today, a much safer solvent called perchloroethylene (or perc) is in use, although there are some contentions on it being an environmental hazard.

Dry Cleaning as a Home Method

The general rule of thumb in dry cleaning is “follow manufacturer’s instructions.” Since you are more likely not to have the same machinery as professional dry cleaners, you would be using your dryer. A review we’ve found in Yahoo! Singapore sings the praises of using Dryel, a known American home dry cleaning brand. If you’re in Singapore, it can be quite challenging to find it in your neighbourhood grocery store. However, it is readily available in Lazada.

But what if you are a bit more the type of person who prefers natural ingredients? Not to worry, we’ve also found the perfect dry cleaning kit for you! The Laundress, a New York-based company, sells what they call as a “Dry Cleaning Detox Kit”. What’s more, they also deliver internationally!

Now we must address the question of what you can or cannot dry clean. Clothes with the label “dry clean only” are safer if sent straight to your trusted laundry professionals. Delicate fabrics such as silk and leather will most likely have this classification, so be vigilant! If it says something like “Machine Wash AND Dry Clean”, then it’s safe for your DIY dry cleaning. But what if it has stains? Well, let the professionals do their work, of course! Stain removal can get quite tricky and is better if done by experts.

So, now let’s say you’ve got the hang of it. You might think, “Hey, I can do this all the time!” You can’t. Dry cleaning causes stress in the fabric and therefore recommended only to happen sparingly. It must be as needed, or two times a year, at most. Since the clothes that you as a homemaker can dry-clean are also machine or hand wash safe, use those methods to clean your clothes more regularly. Check out this article for some tips on how not to damage your clothes.

Got Questions? Ask the Experts!

Of course, you may feel a tad bit confident now. But what if some questions and concerns are lingering at the back of your head? Well, no worries. We got you! You can contact us, and we are ready to ask questions that you may have. And if something goes amiss, we at Eazihome are prepared to save the day- if you’re in Singapore, of course!

(Read: Dry Cleaning Service and Services & Prices)