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Difference between Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Difference between Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a big difference between laundry and dry cleaning. Laundry is the process of washing clothes in water, while dry cleaning uses a solvent to remove dirt and stains. Which one you choose depends on the type of fabric and how dirty it is. Here’s a breakdown of each process to help you decide which is best for your garments.

What is Laundry?

Laundry is the process of washing clothes, usually with water and detergent. Laundering can also refer to the process of ironing or pressing clothes. Laundry is typically done in a washing machine, but it can also be done by hand.

  • Clothes can be air-dried or tumble-dried. Laundry day was historically a day when all the family’s laundry was washed. This often falls on Monday because people would wash their clothes in rivers or streams, which were busiest on Mondays.
  • Laundry days are often considered a chore, but some people find them therapeutic. There is something satisfying about taking dirty clothes and making them clean again.
  • For many people, laundry is just another part of daily life. But for some, it is an opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax for a little while.

What is Dry Cleaning?

  • Dry cleaning is a process that cleans clothes and fabrics without using water. Dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent instead of water to remove dirt, stains, and odors from clothing.
  • The solvent is usually a petroleum-based liquid, but it can also be a liquid silicone. Dry cleaning is considered a gentle cleaning method and is often used for delicate items such as silk, wool, and cashmere.
  • Dry cleaning is also effective for removing heavily soiled or greasy residues that cannot be removed with water and detergent. Dry cleaning is more expensive than home laundry, but it is less likely to damage clothing. Dry cleaners typically offer a wide range of services, such as pressing, alterations, and repair.

Difference between Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Laundry and dry cleaning are both methods of cleaning clothes, but they are not the same.

  • Laundry is the process of washing clothes in water and detergent. Dry cleaning, on the other hand, uses chemicals to clean clothes.
  • Laundry is usually used for clothes that can be washed in water, such as cotton and linen. Dry cleaning is often used for delicate fabrics that would be damaged by water, such as silk and wool.
  • Laundry is also typically cheaper than dry cleaning. But because dry cleaning does not use water, it is generally considered to be a more environmentally friendly option.

When choosing between laundry and dry cleaning, it is important to consider the type of fabric and the level of care required.


The most obvious distinction is that dry cleaning uses a solvent to clean clothes while laundry detergent does the work in water. Dry cleaning is also more expensive – it can cost up to 4 times as much as doing your own laundry. But there are some key benefits to using a professional dry cleaner. They have the experience and equipment to deal with tougher or delicate fabrics, they can get rid of tough stains that you might not be able to remove at home, and their turnaround time tends to be faster than if you were to do your own laundry.

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