Difference Between Laundry and Dry Clean

Laundry vs Dry Clean

We all need to clean our clothes and furnishing on a frequent basis to get rid of all the dirt and dust that accumulates with regular use. Laundry is the word used for the process of cleaning clothes using soaps, detergents, and water. On the other hand, many people get their expensive garments cleaned by sending them to shops that specialize in dry cleaning. Dry clean is a process that is carried out in the absence of water and hence it is dry clean. There are many people who do not know the real difference between laundry and dry cleaning. This article attempts to highlight the differences between these two cleaning processes.


Launder is a verb that has been used since time immemorial for washing of clothes. Laundering also includes starching and ironing of clothes though the word laundry has come to mean washing of clothes using soap and water. All households across the country have washing machines that used for the purpose of laundry and allow people to wash and even dry the clothes inside the washing machines. These dry clothes are, however, hung on ropes in open to let them become totally dry of any leftover moisture before they are ironed to be ready for use again. Many people still like to rub clothes with their hands in a bid to clean them as they are not satisfied with the laundry done by washing machines. This is done either by soaking dirty clothes in detergent and water or by rubbing soap bars against the spots and stains on garments.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is a process of cleaning clothes without using water. It is a mysterious art as most people do not know what actually goes on to clean their clothes when they hand them over to a shop specializing in dry cleaning. Dry cleaning is one of the many activities that humans have learnt by accident. Dry cleaning service was started by a man upon seeing how his table cloth became clean when his maid overturned kerosene over the cloth. In the early phase, petrol and kerosene were the solvents mainly used by dry cleaners to get rid of dirt and dust from clothes. Perc, a volatile solvent that is called perchlorethylene by the industry is the preferred choice of most drycleaners today. Before immersing in this solvent, the dirty spots are pretreated with a stain remover. Afterwards, clothes are again inspected to remove any stains. Lastly garments are pressed and folded to be returned to the customers.

Laundry vs Dry Cleaning

• Laundry refers to traditional washing of clothes as well as cleaning them using water and detergent in washing machines.

• Dry cleaning refers to cleaning of clothes in the absence of water and hence dry cleaning.

• While dry cleaning was done with gasoline and kerosene in the initial phase, perc is the volatile liquid in which dirty garments are immersed for cleaning nowadays.

• Though the solvent used in dry cleaning is still a liquid, it is not water.

• Some fabrics lend themselves more suited to dry-cleaning than laundry as dry-cleaning is considered gentler.

• Dry cleaning is more expensive than laundry.

• Dry cleaning leads to reduced wrinkage and shrinkage of cotton fabrics.

• Men’s suits and expensive woolen garments are dry cleaned rather than laundered. 

• Dry cleaning reduces fading and wear and tear of garments.

• Delicate garments can better be dry cleaned.