Drying cleaning is a cleaning process for clothing and textiles using a chemical solvent other than water. I literally just read that on Wikipedia. I’m a little embarrassed I just Googled dry cleaning, I almost used an incognito window. Did you know what it was? (Don’t say yes, that will make me feel worse).
Going to the dry cleaners used to be part of everyone’s weekly errands, ask your mom. But nowadays, you see the “dry clean only” label less often. I think it’s because retailers know the second we see that symbol we run. Ain’t nobody got time for the dry cleaners.
So according to this random site I found, dry cleaners do everything from cleaning to preservation to restoration. Plus they know their shit. I have still yet to be defeated by a red wine stain, but dry cleaners understand the chemistry behind each textile, which can be a lifesaver for those vintage silks and furs.
Bottom line, if your garment says dry clean, dude, dry clean it. Trying to clean it with water could compromise the fabric and the money you spent on that lovely piece.
Also, I feel like that act of going to the dry cleaners is very ’90s New York chic.
Here are the symbols to look out for, courtesy of Wikipedia. There we other symbols with lines and letters. They scared me so I decided to leave it out, but they’re basically for specific solvent instructions and often not seen on labels.