When it’s time to clean dressy blazers, silky blouses, and wool trousers, dry cleaning is often the go-to choice. But what exactly are the advantages of sending your fine fabrics to a professional dry cleaner? Read on to understand the key benefits you can expect from dry cleaning certain high-maintenance garments and textiles.

What is Dry Cleaning?

First, let’s quickly review how dry cleaning works:

  • Uses chemical solvents, not water, to clean clothes
  • Gentler on fabrics than home washing machines
  • Cleaning solutions dissolve oils, grease, and stains
  • No shrinkage, bleeding, or wrinkling of fabrics
  • Special equipment with moderate agitation to clean delicates
  • Expert cleaning agents and spot treatments
  • Pressed and finished with professional equipment

The dry cleaning process allows deep cleaning of delicate items without the risks of water.

Key Advantages of Dry Cleaning

So what are the major benefits you can expect from dry cleaning clothes professionally versus washing at home?

Preserves Shape and Structure

The controlled motion avoids stretching, distortion and misshaping – especially key for tailored clothing like dress suits and coats.

Protects Delicate Fabrics

Gentle solvents clean delicates like silks, cashmere, and lace without damage from home washing.

Retains Color Vibrancy

Without risk of fading, running, or bleeding, fabrics maintain their rich colors.

Prevents Shrinkage

Fabrics prone to shrinking like wools and linens retain their dimensions when dry cleaned.

Minimizes Wrinkling

Precision pressing and finishing yields wrinkle-free results better than home ironing.

Loosens Embedded Stains

Powerful solvents and spotting agents lift stains water cannot touch.

Neutralizes Odors

Solvents effectively remove odors from fabric rather than just masking them.

Reduces Pilling and Damage

Minimal abrasion prevents fine fabrics from deteriorating compared to frequent home washing.

The dry cleaning process keeps your finest garments looking new and vibrant.

Fabrics that Benefit Most from Dry Cleaning

Here are some fabrics that gain the biggest advantages from professional dry cleaning:


Dry cleaning preserves silk’s luxurious drape and sheen without risk of water spots or shrinking delicate fibers.

Cashmere and Merino Wool

The gentle tumbles retain the soft, fluffy texture of fine wools vulnerable to felting and shrinkage when washed.

Rayon and Viscose

Heat and detergents cause rapid shrinking with rayon and viscose. Solvents clean with no distortion.


Dry cleaning provides wrinkle-free crispness for linen while avoiding problems with excessive wrinkling and limpness from frequent washing.

Velvet and Corduroy

Dry cleaning maintains the plush pile without crushing the fabric surface like home washing does.

Beaded and Sequined

Gentle motions prevent intricate decorations from getting ripped off during cleaning.

Leather, Suede, and Fur

Specialty solvents clean while retaining the supple hand and sheen of leathers.

If you invest in high-end fabrics, trust them to dry cleaning for the very best care.

Dry Cleaning Tips for Best Results

Follow these tips to maximize the benefits of dry cleaning:

  • Read labels carefully – if unsure about an item, call the manufacturer
  • Close all closures like zippers, hooks, and snaps to prevent snagging
  • Check inner linings – remove them if they seem too delicate for cleaning
  • Hand wash new items first – some dyes run the first time when dry cleaned
  • Use same cleaner consistently – switching locations can lead to fabric damage over time
  • Point out stubborn stains – for best results, pre-treat spots at home first
  • Hang delicates in laundry bags – prevents tangling with agitation
  • Store cleaned clothes properly – light, pests, dust and humidity all still damage dry cleaned items
  • Inspect items closely before paying – make the cleaner aware of any lingering issues

With some special handling, your most prized garments get the pampering they deserve.

Dry Cleaning vs. Hand Washing

Many delicates and specialty fabrics require extra care beyond machine washing. So how do you choose between dry cleaning and hand washing?

Dry clean when:

  • Item is very heavyweight like a coat or formalwear
  • Fabric is extremely delicate like silk charmeuse
  • Construction has bulky details like shoulder pads
  • Care label specifies “Dry Clean Only”
  • Stains are heavy and embedded

Hand wash when:

  • Item is a small accessory like a scarf
  • Fabric is lightly soiled with water-soluble stains
  • You want full control over the process
  • Item has decorations that may snag like beading
  • Fiber content is unclear or unknown

Assess size, fabric, and care labels to decide between the two meticulous cleaning methods.

Dry Cleaning FAQs

Let’s answer some other common questions about professional dry cleaning:

Can you dry clean at home?

Home dry cleaning kits are risky since the chemicals are toxic and flammable. Best to have clothes professionally cleaned.

How often should you dry clean an item?

As infrequently as possible – maybe every 5-10 wears for delicate fabrics if worn gently. Too much dry cleaning wears out clothes prematurely.

What if care labels conflict on an item?

Defer to the more delicate instruction. So if the fabric says dry clean but decorations say hand wash, hand wash separately.

Can you put dry clean only clothes in the washer?

Only as a last resort with great care on the delicate cycle in a mesh bag. Do not machine dry. This voids garment warranties.

Why shouldn’t you dry clean rubber, plastic or latex?

The chemicals break down the polymers in these materials causing them to disintegrate or become gooey and stuck together.

How soon can you dry clean new clothes?

Pre-wash at home once in case dyes bleed or decorations are loose. Then dry clean should be safe.

What if clothes are still dirty after dry cleaning?

Inform the cleaner and pre-treat stains at home before bringing item in next time. For tough stains, additional cycles may be needed.

Get all your pressing questions answered about dry cleaning with our laundry experts! Bring your delicate designer garments into Laundry Pile in Austin, TX for specialized dry cleaning. We take the time to inspect each item and determine if dry cleaning or hand washing makes the most sense based on fabric content and construction. Trust Laundry Pile to handle the most luxurious silks, cashmeres, sequined dresses, leather goods and tailored pieces with the utmost care.

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