Making a Spotless Decision: To Dry Clean or to Wash?

Dry Clean

Making the decision to either dry clean or wash an article of clothing can be difficult. There are a few things you should consider before making your decision, and depending on your choice, your clothes could either look new or tattered.

That said, below are just a few pointers that may help you make the right decision.

Weighing Your Decision

There are pros and cons to both professional cleaning and doing it yourself, so it really depends on what you’re looking for. Professional cleaners are probably your best bet if you want your clothes to be cleaned quickly and efficiently. However, if you’re looking to save some money, then doing it yourself might be the way to go. To ensure your clothes last longer and stay in good condition, always follow the care label instructions. These instructions are there for a reason and help preserve the quality and colour of your clothes. If an article of clothing is labelled as “dry clean only,” take it to a professional dry cleaner.

The thing is, you can definitely wash “dry clean only” clothes at home. There are different kits you can buy that will allow you to do this.

Washing “Dry Clean Only” Clothes

1. Use the Proper Detergent and Water Temperature

For clothes that are labelled “dry clean only,” it is best to use cold water and a gentle detergent. Hot water can cause these clothes to shrink, and using a harsh detergent can damage them.

2. Consider Hand Washing or Setting Your Washer to Gentle Cleaning Mode

You can use your washer to clean clothes, but it is not guaranteed that they will not be damaged in the process. To be safe, consider handwashing your clothes to avoid any potential damage.

3. Wash Clothes Separately

The best way to prevent dye-transfer stains is to wash your clothes separately. This means washing each piece of clothing one by one.

4. Air-Dry Your Clothes

Drying your clothes in a dryer can cause them to become damaged. Therefore, it is best to air-dry clothes that are labelled as “dry clean only.”

The thing is, it is possible to wash “dry clean only” clothes at home, but there is no guarantee that your clothes will come out in good condition. Clothes can still be damaged when washing them at home. The best option is to bring them to professional dry cleaners.

The Process of Dry Cleaning Your Clothes

1. Tagging the Clothes

Tagging clothes is a way of identifying similar fabrics so they can be cleaned together. This is usually done by looking at the type of fabric the clothing is made of and matching it with other clothing made of the same fabric. This helps to keep clothes from being damaged during the cleaning process and ensures that they come out looking their best.

2. Inspecting the Clothes

Professional dry cleaners check clothes for damage after they have been tagged. This includes looking for ripped seams, missing buttons, or tears. The cleaners will take note of any damages to your clothes and will let you know if they are able to be dry-cleaned or not.

3. Pre-treating Stains

If your clothes have stains, it is best to let the dry cleaner know what caused the stains. This will help them choose the best way to remove the stains.

4. Dry Cleaning the Clothes

After the stains have been removed, the clothes will be cleaned using a water-free chemical solvent. This will help to remove any dirt that may be on the clothing. After removing the chemical, the clothes will be rinsed with another solution. This will ensure that the clothing is thoroughly cleaned.

5. Checking for Stubborn Stains

Dry cleaning with chemical solvents usually gets rid of most stains, but sometimes there are tough stains that don’t come out. After the clothes have been through the dry cleaning process, trained professionals will check to see if there are any stains or dirt that still remain. This means that if there are any stains on the item being dry cleaned, the staff will treat those stains specifically so that they are removed.

6. Preparing the Clothes for Return

After the clothes have been washed and dried, the next step is to get them ready to be worn. This may involve steaming, repairing, or reattaching buttons. Once the clothes are ready, they are hung or folded and returned to the owners.


Making a decision on whether to dry clean or wash your clothes can be difficult. However, by taking into account the type of fabric, the care label, and the severity of the stain, you can definitely make an informed decision. Dry cleaning is generally best for delicate fabrics and severe stains, while washing is best for most other fabrics and stains. By following these guidelines, you can keep your clothes looking their best for longer.

If you are looking for reliable dry cleaners in Ottawa, ON, look no further than our services here at Goodfellow Cleaners. With over 25 years of serving Ottawa residents and businesses, our team is experienced at dry cleaning even your most valued garments like your wedding gown or expensive suit. Visit our nearest branch today and let us deal with your clothe stains in no time!

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