What Is The Difference Between Dry Cleaning And Laundry- Secret Unveiled

So, what is the difference between dry cleaning and laundry? This question might puzzle some of you because the ways dry cleaning as well as laundry works are different. 

The final result is always to clean up the dirt and mark on your clothes whatever ways they are. However, there are times when applying one of the methods that can damage your clothes and take you a long time to wash.

So here are some differences between laundry and dry cleaning. Let’s kick in.

What Is The Difference Between Dry Cleaning And Laundry?

To help you gain a thorough understanding of this topic, we will break it down into four small parts following: the basic difference, process difference, cost difference, and the result difference. Let’s get started.

Basic Difference

The essential difference between the two methods of cleaning lies in the solvent application. Laundry is all about water because water is used as a solvent in which the detergent dissolves. On the other hand, dry cleaning relies more on liquids than water to wash away dirt on clothes, bedding, and different fabrics.

In the early dry cleaning times, people used flammable and toxic solvents, such as gasoline-based, benzene- based. However, in the 1930s, people discovered a couple of new friendly chemicals- something people still use. These solvents include perchloroethylene( PCE or mostly known as “Perc”) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane( also known as GreenEarth). 

Process Difference

The second difference between laundry and dry cleaning is how they work in terms of process. Firstly, let’s have a look at the dry cleaning process.

Dry Cleaning Process

Dry Cleaning Is Suitable For All Kinds Of Clothes, Especially Suites

Tagging The Clothes

The first thing the dry cleaning staff do is tag and examine the clothes you bring to. This process’s objective is to avoid any errors in clothes owners, mold clothes, and torn garments.

Dirt Pre-treatment

The next step is when the inspections happen. At this time, the cleaner will check if there is any stubborn dirt or stain on your garment that needs to be treated beforehand.

Dry Cleaning

Here is where you will notice the main difference between laundry and dry cleaning. In the dry cleaning process, the cleaner will put your garments into the dry washing machine, and the machine will use a water-free solvent. Then, the engine will gently agitate the clothes in the solution.

The water then is pumped out and recycled, leaving the clothes in a rinsed process for a couple of minutes to remove any remaining dirt.


This step is optional because, in most cases, the clothes after the main cleaning step are spotless. If there are any remaining stains on your garments, the post-cleaning step comes into play to remove any possible dirt.


After all these steps, here we are. By dry washing, the clothes rarely wrinkles. But you can press them if you notice any wrinkles there. That is why after dry cleaning, people often reckon that the clothes are like the new one.

Also read: Find out Ideal Answer: Is Dry Cleaning Really Clean?

Laundry Process


We have just run through the main process of dry cleaning. Now is the time to look at the laundry process to see what is different. 

As said, your clothes in the laundry process are washed completely in water and detergent. But before putting the garments into the washing machine, there are a few steps to notice.


This step is all about mending your clothes if there is any tear. The clothes with holes and scars will be fixed and then be ready for the next step


This stage works in the same manner as it does in the dry cleaning process. The cleaners tasks are to identify any hard-to-remove dirt and then clean them in advance. 


In this stage, the cleaners divide the clothes into different categories based on the types of fabrics, the colors of clothes,…This is a must to sort them out because, in the laundry process, the colors from the clothes can mix, making your clothes so “ colorful.” Moreover, sorting clothes out also helps you maintain the durability of the fabrics.


Now, the cleaners put the garments into the washing machine with water and suitable detergents. The tasks now belong to the laundry machine.


The washing machine spins around its core to remove water from clothes. After that, the clothes are hung and dried completely.

Finishing and Packaging

The last step is to iron the clothes, reattach any buttons, or anything that the laundry process removes. Then, the clothes are ready to be packed and give back to their owners.

Read: What Would Happen If You Washed Dry Clean Only By Mistake

Cost Difference

As you can guess, the price you have to pay when using dry cleaning is higher than laundry. That is because the chemicals used in dry cleaning are much more expensive than detergents. 

Moreover, dry washing shows superior results than laundry as its advantage- something we will discover in the next part. Often, the price of dry cleaning is $5 to $10 higher than laundry.

Result Difference

Firstly, let’s talk about dry cleaning. By applying dry washing, your fabrics are much softer, and the garment colors are hard to fade away. One disadvantage of this is the high cost you have to pay.

Laundry, on the other hand, is much cheaper and faster. So if you look for a budget cleaning service, you should go for laundry. However, the clothes washed in the laundry can face shrinkage and color fading.

Water Washed Can Cause Wrinkles On The Clothes

In A Nutshell

So, that is the answer from Clairoliviawayman to the question, “ What is the difference between dry cleaning and laundry?”.

Hopefully, you have taken away some key differences between the two cleaning methods and came to a suitable choice.

Thanks for reading!

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1 thought on “What Is The Difference Between Dry Cleaning And Laundry- Secret Unveiled”

  1. When you stated that dry cleaning is much safer and easier on the colors of clothes when washing them, I thought of all the expensive suits and garments that my father passed down to me. He told me that these are only to be used when going to special events since they cost so much, so I wanted to make sure that when I clean them, I take just as much care as he did. With that in mind, since we’ll be having a lot of occasions this winter holiday season, I’ll look for any place that can offer me some dry cleaning services when I need them.


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