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What Happens to Formalwear at the Dry Cleaners?

Selecting a suit in Los Angeles for the homecoming dance or any other event is an exhilarating experience. After the fun is over and everyone has gone home, quickly changing back into normal, more comfortable clothing, what happens to the suit?

Clothes should always be washed even if they were just worn once. Clothes need to be washed after being worn because unless a thorough inspection was undertaken, or absolutely no food was consumed while wearing them, or if one can guarantee that they didn't sweat at all during the day, then they will most likely have stains on them.

So how does one wash formal wear? Can a fancy suit just be thrown into the laundry with all the other clothes? To almost everyone, even a person who does not know anything about laundry, this should sound wrong, and in fact, treating one’s formal wear like ordinary clothing would be a grave mistake.

Washing a formal suit in the laundry is a sure way to ruin it completely. It was an expensive purchase, so it should be treated respectively. Most people already know that the normal laundry cycle can destroy formal wear, so they opt to send their clothes to the dry cleaners. What exactly do the dry cleaners do that is different from what one does at home?

The biggest difference between home laundry and the dry cleaners is that dry cleaners do not use water to clean the clothing.

After the clothes are dropped off at the dry cleaning facility, they are shipped to the actual cleaning factory. In the cleaning factory the clothes are tagged and sorted according to the type and severity of their staining.

After they have been sorted, they are placed in a drum and lightly turned in a potent solvent. This potent solvent (usually perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene) is able to dissolve most stains off of the clothes immediately. The solvent works well enough that a lot of water does not have to be used.

After the clothes are taken out of the solvent, they are spot treated with steam in order to further clean out stains.

There is also a method of green dry cleaning which is less dangerous for the cleaners who work there. This green dry cleaning method uses a detergent based on carbon dioxide and is currently used in some dry cleaning facilities in Los Angeles.

Professionals can spend thousands of dollars on dry cleaning their suits a year. it can be done at home but the results won't be as good. There is a higher risk of damaging the clothes and it is a long, time-consuming process.

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