Laundry vs. Dry Cleaning: What’s the Difference?


Laundry and dry cleaning are different from one another, but both have their uses. Sometimes, putting your garments through a typical laundry process may not be a good thing, which is where dry cleaning might be the better option. Knowing the difference between the two will help you decide which one to use to clean your clothes.

The Basics

Laundry is essentially washing garments with water, soap and any other cleaning products. Some garments can be put through a dryer cycle, while others need to be hung dry. An electric dryer is used to dry clothes when it’s a rainy day or if you don’t have the time to hang them dry.

While laundry can be helpful to clean clothes, it can also damage some fabrics. For example, putting wool clothing in a washing machine might make the wool shrink. Even fabrics such as silk, satin and lace may get damaged with laundry. With that, you’ll need to be careful about what kinds of fabrics you wash in your washing machine so as not to damage them.

Dry cleaning is essentially the process of cleaning clothes without water or using water sparingly. Dry cleaning can be done at home, or you can take it to the dry cleaners. However, it is essential to note that not all garments are fit for dry cleaners.

For example, garments with zippers, sequins and other delicate fabrics may not be able to be dry cleaned.

The Process

Dry cleaning uses solvents or a solvent-based product that removes stains from garments. There are several ways to dry clean your garments, such as using dry cleaning fluid and a brush, using dry cleaning fluid and a hand machine, and using steam.

The dry cleaning solvent is typically removed through the use of a hand machine, which helps remove stains and residues. When you take your garments to the dry cleaner, you can ask them to use a solvent-based product, or you can do it yourself.

On the other hand, laundry uses water and soap to clean your garments. The soap removes the stains and contaminants from your clothes. Again, the water is an essential part of the cleaning process and can help clean the clothes.

Laundry is typically done at home, but you can bring your garments to a laundry service to wash your clothes. At home, you can simply wash your clothes in the washing machine.

The Cost

Dry cleaning is usually a more expensive process than laundry. Why? Because dry cleaning uses a solvent or solvent-based product to get rid of stains and other contaminants. The dry cleaning process can remove stains that water and soap may not be able to remove.

While both processes require a washing machine, laundry tends to be more time-consuming. Some garments can be put in a dryer, while others have to hang dry. This process can take a while and require more effort than dry cleaning.


In conclusion, laundry and dry cleaning are different cleaning processes. Both processes have their own uses, and some garments may be better off with one than the other. It is important to know which kinds of fabrics can be washed with laundry and which require dry cleaning.

Now that you know the difference between laundry and dry cleaning, it’s time to leave your precious clothes in the hands of a capable Ottawa dry cleaning company. Goodfellow Cleaners has been in the industry for more than 25 years and is considered the best dry cleaners in Ottawa. Our family-run establishment will make sure your clothes and garments are clean and in pristine condition. Try our same-day dry cleaning services today!

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