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What is the difference between dry cleaning, wet cleaning and washing?

At Farthings, we can offer all 3 of these cleaning processes: dry cleaning, wet cleaning and washing. Which one is better?

It depends on several factors: care label instructions, type of fabric (silk, cotton, wool...), and also staining. If you are unsure which cleaning process to use, a professional dry cleaners, like Farthings Cambridge or Farthings Trumpington can assess your garments and recommend the most effective cleaning process for you.

Dry cleaning uses no water but relies on liquid solvents and specialist cleaning products. It is not a completely "dry process", but the products used in the dry-cleaning process will not penetrate the fabric preventing shrinking and swelling. Dry cleaning protects the brightness and colour of your garments. It is very effective at dissolving grease and oil; dry cleaning is superior to wet cleaning at removing oil/grease marks. Dry cleaning preserves natural fibres such as silk and wool and is excellent at retaining the garments original finish and sheen.

Wet Cleaning

The wet cleaning process uses a minimal amount of water along with cleaning detergents. Not to be confused with laundry/washing, wet cleaning is an alternative for your dry clean only garments which are too delicate to put in the washing machine. Wet cleaning is more effective and gentler than hand washing at home. Wet cleaning is useful for removing tough organic stains such as sweat and mildew. Wet cleaning will not cause the colour to fade on your garments and leaves a fresh, clean scent.

Laundry uses water and detergents, combined with the mechanical action of the washing machine. Washing/laundry is only for machine-washable items - usually, cotton and polyesters and items that require minimal finishing.

Farthings Dry Cleaners would never recommend washing wool, silks, rayon and cashmere – washing can cause shrinkage to these fabrics and pilling, also causing colour fade and a less desirable finish.

At Farthings we would happily discuss what treatment would suit your home and needs. Call us on 01223 755180 in Cambridge or 01223 625310 in Trumpington.

You are also welcome to come to our shop at 143 Milton Road Cambridge CB4 1XE and 1 Anstey Way Trumpington CB2 9JE.


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