Dry cleaning is the use of organic solvents to remove soil and stains from fabric. It is called dry cleaning because the process contains little or no water. When washed in water, natural fibers such as wool and silk can shrink, distort and even lose color. Because the drycleaning process does not swell the fibers, these problems are unlikely to occur.
Dry cleaning solvents actually dissolve and remove grease and oil stains. Water by itself cannot do this.
Other stains require specialized treatment, known as spotting to remove them. Whilst many can be removed quickly with steam, others require a high level of professional expertise from the cleaner.
Dry cleaning does not cause creasing or distortion, neither does it remove unwanted creases or restore the loss of shape caused by wear. The skilled dry cleaner, by steam pressing, will be able to re-shape the garment, replace the required creases and eliminate unwanted wrinkles.
The term ‘drycleaning’ is generally understood to cover the whole process of cleaning in solvent, spotting and pressing, carried out in sequence.