The Closet

What is Dry Cleaning?
Written by

Arrianne Talma

dry cleaning bag

“What exactly is Dry Cleaning?” It’s likely a question that you’ve asked yourself on numerous occasions, but haven’t gone out of your way to answer… until now. We’ve heard the question quite a few times ourselves, so we decided to set the record straight and make the dry cleaning process a little less mysterious.

In the simplest of terms, dry cleaning is a process of cleaning clothes without the use of water. The absence of water in the process is where the name dry cleaning comes from (one mystery solved). Instead, dry cleaning uses non-water based chemical solvents to clean clothes.

In more complex terms, the dry cleaning process has quite a few steps to it: Inspection and Tagging, Pre-Spotting, The Dry Cleaning Process, Post Spotting, Finishing Touches.

Here are what these steps entail:

  • Inspection and tagging process: This is one of the parts that you’re likely most familiar with. You take your item into the store, and the dry cleaner creates a tag for your item/item. This is also when your clothes are examined for any stains, missing buttons, tears etc.
  • Pre-spotting: Here is where things begin to get a little mysterious for us. Once we’ve dropped off our garments, cleaners will typically go through a pre-spotting process where there’ll actually apply a chemical solvent, vacuum, or heat to stains on your garment, which can help remove the stain in the actual dry cleaning process.
  • The Dry Cleaning Process: This is the part we never see. Once your clothes have been pre-spotted, your clothes are placed into a machine and submerged into a non-water based solvent. The clothes are then rotated in a perforated cylinder where the cleaning solvent is released in a steady amount throughout the entire process. From there, the machine rapidly spins the clothes to get rid of any excess solvent and releases warm air. Your clothes emerge completely dry.
  • Post-Spotting: Here your cleaner will inspect your clothes for any remaining stains and residue and remove them using the same process they did in the pre-spotting stage.
  • Finishing: Once your clothes have gone through the complete dry cleaning process, they are pressed, steamed, or ironed for presentation. This is the part we love, because it makes our clothes look amazing, and likely the least mysterious since the equipment that cleaners use is typically at the front of the store.

dry clean clothes

Dry Cleaning can be beneficial for garments made from fibers that don’t react well when exposed to water, like silk and wool. It’s also good for garments that shouldn’t be exposed to the heat of a traditional dryer for an extended period of time.

While the Dry Cleaning process can seem a bit mysterious to many, all in all, it’s not as complex as it seems once you break down the steps. If you’re interested in having an item Dry Cleaned, schedule a Rinse and try our Dry Cleaning/Launder & Press service.

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The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Jeans

Once you’ve found the perfect pair of jeans, there’s no way you’re giving them up. Whether they’re trusty blue bootcuts or white skinnies, your jeans need proper care so they’ll look great no matter how often you wear them. You might feel a bit nervous caring for your jeans, though. After all, you’ve heard that washing denim too often can cause the color to fade. How can you ensure that your go-to pair stays clean?

Look no further than this handy denim guide. We break down everything that goes into caring for denim so you can make sure your jeans last as long as they’re in style—and a good pair never goes out of style.

Raw vs. pre-washed

Knowing the difference between raw and pre-washed will help you take better care of your denim.

Pre-washed denim: Just as the name suggests, this type of denim has been washed before you bought it. This is to help the denim maintain its original shape. With pre-washed jeans, you’ll run into fewer problems when cleaning, but it’s still a good idea to use the washing machine sparingly.

Raw denim: Darker in color than pre-washed denim, raw jeans can take months (and even years) to break in. After repeated wears, they’ll develop natural creases and snugly fit the contours of your body. This type of denim hasn’t been washed before, and may shrink slightly in water.

Pre-washed denim

Avoid washing too often

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Contrary to popular belief, jeans don’t need to be washed after every wear. In fact, as long as your jeans aren’t stained, you can wear them multiple times before they need to be cleaned. Generally, you should wash your denim after five wears

Be sure to turn your jeans inside out before you throw them in the washing machine.

For blue denim: Use cold water on the gentle cycle.

For white denim: Use warm water on the same cycle and avoid bleach, which can cause your denim to turn yellow over time.

Always air dry After washing your jeans, make sure to air dry them. This will prevent the denim from shrinking and fading in color. While you’ll want to dry your blue denim away from sunlight, the reverse is preferred for your white jeans. Sunlight serves as a natural bleaching treatment so air dry your white denim out in the open.

Raw denim

Freeze the bacteria away

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Raw denim hasn’t been exposed to water before, so soaking it can cause the material to shrink. As a cleaning workaround, you can kill any bacteria by placing your raw denim in the freezer. Follow these instructions for a crisp, clean feel to your jeans:

  1. Fold your jeans and place them in a large ziplock bag.
  2. Seal the bag and store it in the freezer overnight.
  3. After you’ve removed them from the freezer, let your jeans warm up a bit before you wear them—unless you like feeling chilled.

Keep in mind that the freezer treatment isn’t intended for cleaning stains. If you find that you’ve spilled something on your favorite pair, rub a small amount of water and liquid detergent onto the stain. Leave it for a few minutes, then wash it out and let your jeans air dry.

Spot clean stains

Here’s how you can remove common stains from your jeans.

  • Mud and grass: Wait until the stain dries, then wipe away any excess dirt. Mix some water and soap, and use a toothbrush to scrub the cleaning solution into the stain.
  • Grease and oil: Blot with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Wipe the stain with a cloth dipped in soapy water.
  • Red wine: Pour a bit of white wine over the stained area and then blot with a clean cloth.

Afterward, be sure to rinse with cold water. These stains are likely to happen while you’re on the go—have a stain remover on hand so you can pre-treat right away.

Keep these DIY denim care tips in mind next time you’re cleaning your favorite pair. Taking proper care of your jeans means you can wear them as long as you’d like.

Photos: Unsplash, PDPics, Chay Talanon / Shutterstock.com

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How Often Should You Clean Your Coats and Jackets?

Think of your favorite coat or jacket. Now, try to think about the last time you had it cleaned. It’s easy to forget to care for outerwear as the seasons change and your wardrobe staples rotate, but just like your trusty pair of blue jeans, your coats and jackets needs regular care to keep looking good.

We’ve outlined basic guidelines to help you decide when to clean your outerwear, so you can give these pieces top-notch treatment.

Consider the fabric

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The fabric of your coat or jacket is one of the key factors in deciding how frequently it needs to be cleaned.

  • Down jackets, leather jackets and wool coats: Once a season, if worn sporadically; twice a season, if worn regularly.
  • Suit jackets and blazers: After four to five wears.
  • Fleece jackets: After six or seven wears.
  • Rain jackets: Once a month, if worn infrequently; twice a month, if worn regularly. You should also use a durable water repellent finish to ensure the jacket’s waterproof coating is doing its job.

By the end of the season

In order to prolong the life of your coat or jacket, don’t forget to tend to your outerwear during the off season. Before storing it at the end of the season, make sure your jacket is clean—even if you don’t see any visible traces of dirt or stains. Moths are attracted to perfume and food odors, so if your coat or jacket isn’t freshly cleaned, it can end up with pesky moth holes.

While many coats and jackets can be hand washed or machine washed, dry cleaning is ideal for wool coats or ones with embellishments. Keep in mind that leather jackets

require special care; leather can’t be exposed to water, but bringing it to a specialty cleaner will ensure your jacket gets professional treatment.

Storage considerations

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Clean outerwear and appropriate storage go hand in hand. In order to ensure your outerwear is in excellent condition for the following season, you want to make sure everything is taken out of your coat or jacket pockets. Besides that, check that the zippers are zipped, buttons are buttoned and snaps are snapped. This will help your coat or jacket maintain its original shape.

When it comes to storage, your outerwear, especially a leather jacket or down jacket, needs to be given breathing room. This means you shouldn’t store your coats or jackets in plastic garment bags but rather in fabric storage bags. Plastic bins are also acceptable, but only if you don’t store too many coats and jackets in one bin.

By following these cleaning and storage guidelines, you can continue to wear your coats or jackets in the years to come. After all, they keep you warm and cozy through cooler weather, so they deserve a little TLC in return.

Photos: progressman / Shutterstock.com, Dmitry_Tsvetkov / Shutterstock.com, topnatthapon / Shutterstock.com

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Complete Guide to Caring for Cashmere

Soft, luxurious and high maintenance—these are the first few of the things that come to mind when people think of cashmere. While this delicate fabric does require a bit of attention, don’t let that stop you from upgrading your wardrobe with a few cozy cashmere pieces. If you clean, dry and store your cashmere properly, it’s easy to keep it in excellent shape.

Take a deep breath and let us guide you through the process—it’ll be pain-free, we promise.

Washing and drying: by hand, machine or professional

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Yes, it’s possible to clean your cashmere at home. Whether you’re washing a sweater, dress or scarf by hand, these steps will help you keep your cashmere fresh.

  1. Fill your basin with cold water, and add a mild detergent such as Woolite, baby shampoo or dish soap.
  2. Let your cashmere soak in the basin for five minutes, before rinsing thoroughly.
  3. Take out your clothing and fold it up into a ball to get the excess water out. Don’t wring your cashmere, which can stretch out the delicate material.
  4. Place your clothing flat on a towel, and roll it up to remove any remaining water.
  5. Lay your clothing on a drying rack. If you don’t own a drying rack, place it between two towels to dry.

Don’t have the time to wash by hand? This might surprise you, but you can use a washing machine to clean cashmere. Put the garment in a laundry or mesh bag before you place it in the machine, and select the gentle cycle on cold water. If you’d rather have a professional do the job, dry cleaning is always a good option for your cashmere.

Care tip: Ideally, you should clean cashmere after two to three wears. In between washings you can remove any fabric pills with a cashmere comb or bristled garment brush. Pills don’t mean the cashmere you purchased is cheap—they’re simply a sign of friction from wear.

Stain removal: food, drinks and cosmetics

No matter how careful you try to be, you might end up with a small stain on your sweater. Your initial urge might be to panic, but you can keep your cool—and your cashmere—by following our handy stain removal advice.

  • Makeup or grease-based: First blot the stain. Then, pre-treat by soaking the cashmere in mild shampoo.
  • Chocolate: Dip a cloth in liquid detergent and lightly rub the stained area, taking care not to scrub too hard.
  • Red wine, tea or coffee: Gently rub the stain with a cloth dipped in a mix of cold water and dish-washing liquid. Avoid soap or machine detergents, which can set red wine stains rather than remove them.

Afterwards, rinse your garment in cold water and let it dry on a rack. Your cashmere should be as good as new!

Storage: long-lasting care

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To keep your cashmere looking its best, keep these tips in mind.

  • Don’t hang your cashmere sweaters or dresses. A hanger will distort the shoulders, and the garment will lose its original shape.
  • Instead, fold your cashmere and keep it in a drawer or on a shelf away from moisture.
  • When you’re putting your cashmere away for the season, place it in a breathable garment bag or storage box in a cool, dry area. To prevent wrinkles, you can wrap each piece of cashmere clothing in acid-free tissue paper.
  • Remember to make sure your cashmere is washed before you store it for the offseason. Moths are attracted to human scents, so you’ll want to get rid of any perfume or food odors prior to storage. As an added precaution, place some cedar wood moth repellents with your cashmere.

Now that you’re fully equipped to care for cashmere, go ahead and stock up on this comfy and luxurious fabric in time for sweater season. You’ll look good and feel good!

Photos: Tamarcus Brown, Ann Haritonenko / Shutterstock.com, tomertu / Shutterstock.com

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