Basic Facts about Dry Cleaning

  • Contrary to popular belief, dry cleaning is not a 100 percent dry process at all. It does not use water, but it does use cleaning solvents to get rid of dirt and stains from clothing items. It is the preferred cleaning method for objects that will get damaged by water.
  • To know if a clothing item should be dry cleaned, check its care label. Dry cleaning is represented by a circle, which is its international laundry symbol. If the circle has an X over it, it means the clothing item is not suitable for dry cleaning.
  • The use of dry cleaning is believed to have started in France in the year 1828. It was discovered by accident, when a factory employee spilled lamp oil on a dirty tablecloth. The result was the spill was removed as the cloth dried. Since then, flammable petroleum-based solvents were used in dry cleaning. However, this often resulted in fire incidents. As a result, experts researched and developed non-flammable solvents.
  • The dry cleaning Dubai residents choose for their clothes uses a cleaning solvent called tetrachloroethylene. It is also known as perchloroethylene, which earned it the nickname “perc” in the industry. Since it was first used in the 1930s, perc has been the most commonly used solvent, but there are other alternatives, such as trichloroethane.
  • Dry cleaning has had its fair share of controversy throughout the years, as it involves the use of chlorocarbons, which have toxic potential and can cause negative environmental impact. However, more environmentally friendly solvents are being discovered, tested and introduced to the market in recent years.
  • Among the more eco-friendly solvents used in dry cleaning is decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, which is commonly shortened and referred to as D5. This solvent is able to decompose within a few days. However, it is more expensive than perc and other traditional dry cleaning solvents.
  • Brominated solvents are approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which ascertain their “eco-friendliness.” It also cleans faster and dries more quickly, compared with other solvents. The best dry cleaners in Dubai who know how to use this solvent will apply extra care and caution when using brominated solvents, because these may damage synthetic beads and sequins if not handled properly. This type of solvent can also pose health risks, though it is not evident in small amounts that are used in the dry cleaning process.
  • The general rule is to opt to dry clean these types of fabrics: acetate, silk, suede, taffeta, velvet, and wool. Other fabrics such as cotton, linen, polyester, acrylic and nylon can be washed by hands or machine using regular detergent.