Company Blog

What Fabrics Have to Be Dry Cleaned?

Anyone who has ever pulled a garment out of the wash and been horrified by shrinkage, loss of shape, or some other damage—for example, beading or sequins that have fallen off or colors that have faded—understands the importance of having certain items professionally dry cleaned.

We know life is busy and challenging enough without having to worry about your dry cleaning. That’s why we strive to make the process as simple and as painless as possible.

We know life is busy and challenging enough without having to worry about your dry cleaning. That’s why we strive to make the process as simple and as painless as possible.

Some types of fabric just do not respond well to being submerged in water or tossed around in the intense heat of your dryer. Dry cleaning is crucial to both extending the life of and maintaining the appearance of certain items of clothing.

Beyond following cleaning suggestions on your garment’s tag (and note that vintage clothes will not have dry clean tags, though many vintage pieces should strictly be dry cleaned), here are some basic rules of thumb for which items of clothing should be handled by a pro and which will likely make it out of your washer and dryer in tact just fine.

Fabrics That Must be Dry Cleaned

Before we tell you which fabrics should always go to the dry cleaner, let us explain the basics of dry cleaning. In a nutshell, dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent (perchlorethylene [commonly referred to as perc] or DF2000) to gently cleanse your garments. It runs through the garment and is then extracted, bringing with it dislodged soils, stains, and odors, including grease and oils. Finally, special pressing equipment returns garments to a “like new” appearance. Because soap and water is not used at any point in the cleaning process, it is called “dry” cleaning.

These are the fabrics that respond most beautifully to dry cleaning:

  • Silk
  • Cashmere
  • Acetate
  • Velvet
  • Wool
  • Taffeta
  • Lace
  • Angora
  • Leather

Fabrics That You Can Wash at Home

  • Cotton
  • Polyester blends
  • Synthetic materials such as PVC, polyurethane, or plastic

More Important Considerations

Beyond the fabric composition of your garment, you will also want to consider the type of garment in question. For instance, men’s and women’s suits should always be dry cleaned—no matter what the fabric—to reduce the risk of losing shape. Many people also like to have their button-up shirts dry cleaned, as it helps to achieve the desired level of “crispness.”

The same goes for any article of clothing that has intricate detailing like metallic threads, appliqués, or beading—either take it to an expert for cleaning or run the risk of damaging it permanently. Furthermore, any item made from two different types of fabric should likely be dry cleaned as well. When in doubt, always seek the expertise of a dry cleaning professional.

Located in Brentwood, Tennessee, at 5012 Thoroughbred Lane, we hope you will choose Pure Green Dry Cleaning to care for your clothes. We service customers throughout the greater Nashville area, including West End, Brentwood, Green Hills, Bell Meade, Cool Springs, Franklin, Elm Hill Pike, and areas around the airport.

What are you waiting for? Call Pure Green Dry Cleaning at 855-998-7873, or sign up for our pick-up and delivery service here so that you can start enjoying a little more “me time”!

How Dry Cleaning Works

How Dry Cleaning Works

Have you ever wondered what happens to your clothes after you drop them off at Pure Green Dry Cleaning? Dry cleaning is a special process that cleans your clothes without water — hence the name “dry” cleaning. There is an entire process we follow that we would like to share with you, with the help of the website HowStuffWorks, to inform you of exactly what happens to your clothes once you leave them in our care.

What goes on behind the counter at the dry cleaner? Now you know.

What goes on behind the counter at the dry cleaner? Now you know.

  1. Tagging and Inspection The very first thing we do is identify your order by counting the items and describing them, recording the drop-off and pick-up dates, and then tagging each item of clothing with a small tag that will stay on through the entire process. We also inspect each piece of clothing for stains, and if you have requested special attention, we attach another colored tag to that item to be sure that attention is addressed.
  2. Pre-treatment This is when we pre-treat stains, and we try to remove all stains without using chemicals. If you catch a stain early, you can help us by pre-treating the stain yourself. Use water for wet stains (a stain that had water in it) and a stain-removing solvent for dry stains (a stain with grease or oil). Tap and blot both sides of the fabric with a soft cloth, then rinse the fabric, and let it dry. We will do the rest.
  3. Dry Cleaning Your clothes are placed in a cleaning machine, a motor-driven washer/extractor/dryer that can hold 20 to 100 pounds of clothes in a rotating, perforated stainless steel basket. As your clothes are rotating in the basket, a constant flow of clean solvent is pumped in through the pump and filter system. With solvent being sprayed constantly into the basket, your clothes are immersed and are dropped and pounded against baffles in the cylinder. The dirty solvent is pumped continuously through a filter and is recirculated free from any dirt and grime. In the next cycle, your clothes are drained and spun rapidly to expel the solvent and go into a dry cycle with warm air circulating through the basket. Any remaining fumes and solvent are then vaporized by warm air and then condensed over cooling coils.
  4. Post-spotting Using steam, water, air, and vacuum, post-spotting is a fairly simple process for removing a stain. Your clothes are inspected after cleaning to see if any stains remain. If it is a water-based stain, it takes water or wet-side chemicals to clean the stain, and if it is a dry stain, solvents or dry-side chemicals must be used to remove the stain. The majority of stains can be removed; however, some stains can be stubborn, and as hard as we try, the stain cannot be entirely removed.
  5. Finishing In the final stage of the dry cleaning process, we finish the garment by applying steam to soften it, re-shaping it through quick drying, removing the steam with air or vacuum, or applying pressure to it.

If you have any questions about the dry cleaning process, contact Pure Green Dry Cleaning. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you to learn about how we dry clean your clothes.