Tag Archives: the difference between dry cleaning a garment and spot cleaning it

Dry cleaning or Spot cleaning: what’s best?

Are the terms dry cleaning and spot cleaning getting you confused? You are surely not the only one wondering about the difference between these two cleaning methods, so here is the basic explanation – and what you can try at home:


The conservative approach

Dry cleaning is often recommended as an overly cautious precaution from clothing manufacturers. If you only use dry cleaning, you will be sure to never end up with a clothing item that has been damaged by washing or drying. It’s therefore a very safe option for clothing manufacturer to recommend dry clothing for buyers. Dry cleaning is essentially the cleaning of clothing or garments without the use of water, but rather  chemical solvent. Under normal washing processes, water acts as the solvent that cleans away dust and dirt.

Dry cleaning means that sensitive or delicate garments are thoroughly cleaned without the effects of water and soaking. Various home dry cleaning kits are available these days, making use of the same chemical solvents used at dry cleaning houses. This gives you the very handy – and less expensive – option to dry clean your own clothing at home.

Spot cleaning – does it work?

Sometimes as an alternative to dry cleaning, people will spot clean their garments. It is not uncommon to buy clothing with a “spot cleaning only” care label instruction. Are you perhaps one of the spot cleaning sceptics? Basically as the term suggests, spot cleaning means that you are attempting to clean a stain without washing or cleaning the entire garment.

There are different ways of spot cleaning: you can either scrub at the spot yourself or take your garment to a dry cleaner for professional clean. The key benefit? Your garment will not need to go through a rigorous wash to clean a single stain. The disadvantage? The stain may be cleaned, but the rest of the garment will still need to be washened and freshened – eventually. Also, because spot cleaning focuses on a single spot without drenching the garment, it can sometimes be difficult to rinse out the cleaning agent used.

The short end of the story: if you want your entire garment clean and fresh, opt to have it dry cleaned. If you only want to clean away yesterday’s tomato sauce stain, opt for spot cleaning as an interim measure before either sending your garment to the dry cleaners, or washing it with the rest of the laundry pile if the garment allows.

And if your laundry pile is too much to bear, why not call on us here at Budget Maids? We offer professional maid services throughout Maryland and VA, including home cleaning services in Vienna, cleaning services in Potomac and house cleaning in Rockville.