Did you know most of the clothes that you take to the dry cleaner are actually washed?
You’ve been to the dry cleaners or sent your formalwear to a dry cleaning delivery service before, no doubt. But, do you know the treatment differences between the services offered at cleaners?
Most people don’t care. They just want their clothes cleaned, pressed, and ready to wear. But, there are a few different treatment services that traditional cleaners provide to get your clothes cleaned.
What is the difference between launder press vs. dry cleaning? Let’s break it down!
“Dry-clean only” is listed on a lot of formal, delicate, and natural fiber garments, but it looms large over most home laundry washers like a quiet threat. You want these items (usually expensive, high-quality pieces) to stay sharp, hold their color, and be handled with care.
When you send your clothes to the dry cleaner, sorted into two treatment types: launder press vs dry cleaning.
Simply put, the difference is whether the garments are washed in dry cleaning solvent or water.
Dry cleaning garments are cleaned with non-water-based solutions and remain dry-ish. They are washed in a washer that does not use water – hence the “dry” reference – but the clothes do tumble in a solvent instead of water. There’s no water involved in the dry-cleaning process. Solvents are used for stain removal, and then each piece is pressed.
The launder press process involves water, much like washing at home. Garments are washed with detergents in commercial machines and pulled out while still damp. Each piece is then pressed until crisp.
Most often, the cleaner will make the decision on which treatment each garment requires. If you have a preference, you can let the cleaner know. Sometimes customers with sensitive allergies will opt for launder press instead of dry cleaning. However, if possible, letting the cleaner make a judgment on a case-by-case basis is typically best. After all, they are the experts.
At The Folde, we do the sorting for you. Our Dry Cleaning & Launder Press Bag is for both your dry cleaning and launder press garments. These services are priced the same – even if they receive different treatment. Our team sorts by treatment type before cleaning.
Dry cleaning is ideal for garments made of natural fibers such as silk or wool. Water washing these fabrics can cause damage and even ruin the entire piece. When they come in contact with water, these fibers become rigid, which can cause the fabric to fade, shrink, or become misshapen.
When you have a garment dry cleaned, it also goes through the “pre-spotting” stain treatment process which is sometimes the only way to remove certain stains. Each garment is examined to find any stains and figure out what caused them in order to apply the appropriate solution. Some experienced pros have decades of experience in pre-spotting and stain treatment and are in high demand!
One of the most valuable tips you can arm yourself with before using a dry cleaner is to tell them in advance of any stains and what the source is. Grime, mustard, wine, and pasta sauce could all be treated differently and require a specific approach.
The launder-and-press process is more gentle on fabric than the chemicals used for dry cleaning. These harsh solutions can cause fabrics to break down more rapidly, shortening the lifespan of your clothes. The launder-and-press process will remove everyday grime, as well as tough stains, but with gentler solutions.
Traditional laundering is more effective at removing sweat and oil from garments than dry cleaning. The launder-and-press process would be the best option for cotton tops, blouses, or polos. You still get that fresh off-the-rack look after clothes have been washed when they go through pressing and hanging.
Read your labels! If the care instructions don’t explicitly say to “dry-clean only,” your wardrobe will last longer with launder and press.
Premium laundry services like The Folde take the time to check labels on your clothes to ensure your garments are treated properly, helping you maximize the longevity of your wardrobe. It’s okay to skip laundry day and get fresh, clean items delivered right to your door!