We used to think that the only way to clean clothes is by washing. However, there are things that cannot be washed. To remove the dirt, you have to take them to dry cleaning, the cost of which is often too high. You can remove dirt on products yourself at home using special tools. We tell you how to dry clean clothes at home and what you need for this.
All about dry cleaning clothes
What it is
Designation on the label
What can be cleaned
How to clean your home
What is dry cleaning
The dry cleaning method was invented by a French tailor in 1849. It did not need to use water, the cleaner was soap and liquid solvents. In practice, this method was introduced only in 1886 in Great Britain. Now in modern dry cleaners, the removal of dirt from things takes place according to the same, but more advanced principle.
For dry chemical cleaning, non-flammable solvents and specialized machines are used. First of all, the clothes are treated with a dirt-dissolving composition, then they are placed in the drum of the machine and dried under warm air currents. However, this procedure can be carried out at home.
Home dry washing differs from wet washing in that instead of water, special cleaning compounds are used in it. Spots on the product are treated with a specially selected chemical agent, allowed to act, and then the item is dried. The chemical solution does not harm the fabric, while it copes well with dirt.
Dry cleaning has a number of advantages over conventional washing.
- It does not change the shape of things. When washing with water, the likelihood of damage and deformation of the product is much higher.
- Waterless cleaning methods can be used on delicate fabrics such as cashmere.
Removes tough stains that are difficult to remove with conventional products.
- Before it, you do not need to remove complex details, for example, tear off shoulder pads or buttons, and after the procedure, sew them on again.
What does the «dry clean» sign say?
On labels sewn onto clothes, among other symbols, you can see a drawn circle. It indicates that dry cleaning is recommended for cleaning. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to wash a thing at all. Most likely, the product can be treated with cold water, but the manufacturer believes that this method will greatly reduce the life of this item.
The «dry cleaning» icon can be presented in different variations, each of them represents a different process. They usually help dry cleaners determine which substances can and cannot be used. If you are going to clean the product at home, you definitely need to decipher the symbols.
- Empty circle. It means that dry washing is allowed using any professional means suitable for the procedure.
- A circle with the letter A. It says that you can use suitable products when washing, but you need to be careful.
- A circle with the letter P. With this designation, it is allowed to remove contaminants by all means, except for those that have trichlorethylene in their composition.
- Circle with letter F. Indicates that there are special restrictions: you can only use chemistry with a mild composition, for example, with a hydrocarbon or trifluorotrichloromethane. It is also important to consider that this mode implies gentle cleaning and a certain temperature during drying.
- A circle with any letter and a stripe at the bottom. He says that it is necessary to use only gentle means and carry out the procedure carefully.
- Crossed out circle. The symbol prohibits chemical exposure. This means that the product cannot be dry-cleaned, and also treated with various solvents.
What fabrics can be cleaned
Dry wash is suitable for most fabrics, but it was originally designed for delicate materials.
- Different types of silk: natural and some artificial ones, since such fabrics can shrink when treated with hot water.
- Woolen items, such as cashmere or angora.
- Fine products made of linen and cotton.
- Things made of leather and suede, as well as those made from a different mixture of fibers. However, you need to be as careful as possible with them, many stain removers can ruin them.
- Clothes decorated with complex decor, such as embroidery, beads, lace, rhinestones.
- Rigid things treated with special compounds, which after normal washing will lose their shape.
How to clean your home
For the procedure, you will need special chemicals and a washing machine with a drying function. You can also use a tumble dryer. Home cleaning products can be found as a set or purchased separately. You will need a solvent (stain remover) as well as scented dryer wipes and a mesh laundry bag. These are all easy to find in hardware stores.
To make the procedure more effective, it is worth preparing things in advance. First, remove dust, debris, adhering villi from them. Apply the solvent from the kit to the stains. Test the product on a small piece of fabric first to make sure it won’t damage your clothes. It is also important to note that the stain remover should be used locally, soaking the item in it is completely prohibited. This may damage the structure of the material. With very strong pollution, you should not experiment, it is better to immediately take the item to dry cleaning.
Turn delicate items inside out. Then sort by color, material type, and weight. They should be placed in bags so that there is little space left in them. It’s not worth hitting it all the way. The same applies to the drum: you need to leave free space in the car.
Put napkins in bags with clothes. They contain scented fabric softener and some water. The dryer heats them up, the water turns into steam, which straightens the clothes and leaves a pleasant smell on them. Without the use of the product, you will get a wrinkled fabric that is saturated with the metallic smell of the typewriter.
The bags should be placed in the drum. Then turn on the delicate drying mode on the device. Enough to run things for half an hour. Take them out immediately after finishing the procedure. If they lie in the drum for a long time, they will be very crumpled.
After cleaning, check items for stains. If they remain, the procedure can be repeated. If not, then they should be ironed or steamed. It is not necessary to process by other means. For example, dry cleaning uses chemicals to starch the fabric and stay smooth for a long time. This is not necessary for home cleaning.
Natural cleaning products
If you don’t have a tumble dryer or tumble dryer, you can try alternative cleaning methods. Also, the following methods should be used if you have an allergic reaction to solvent components and other chemicals.
Sticky roller. It removes lint, dust, hair and dirt from clothes. For example, it can be used to keep a work suit clean, which is difficult to wash regularly, and it is expensive to give it to the dry cleaner all the time.
- Scotch. An alternative to the roller can be ordinary tape. It also easily removes stains on leather products.
Food soda. This white powder is a versatile sorbent that will easily absorb dirt and grease. Plus, the tool is very budgetary and is in almost any kitchen. You can clean them not only clothes, but also, for example, furniture upholstery or a mattress. In this case, a gruel is made from soda: add a little water. Then applied to the stain, allowed to dry. And then remove it with a powerful vacuum cleaner.
- Starch. Another substance that easily absorbs dirt.
- brush. With a regular clothes brush, you can remove dried dirt on the fabric. For example, cleaning mud-stained trousers. This is especially true during periods of rain or sleet. She is also allowed to clean dirt from suede and products made from similar materials.
- Fine sand. It is used to process things made of fur. First, it is recommended to calcine it at the maximum temperature in the oven, then sprinkle it with dirt. After that, the thing should be taken out to the balcony or street and shaken well. You can also do this over the bath.
- Petrol. It is a good solvent, which is a way to remove very old and stubborn stains. However, it has a drawback — a very strong smell. Plus, be careful: the composition is flammable.
- Turpentine. This is another solvent that is used for very difficult contaminants. It is less dangerous than gasoline. It is used to remove stains from paint or varnish. Choose only purified turpentine, it does not contain resins that can easily ruin products.