Does frequent dry cleaning shorten the life of a garment?
No, unlike washing your clothes in water, dry cleaning does not cause the fabric to slowly fade and does not shorten the life of a garment. On the contrary, frequent dry cleaning actually extends the life of a garment for the following reasons.
1. Dirt Removal – Frequent dry cleaning removes ground in dirt that acts like abrasive sand paper and causes rapid wear to the fabric’s fibres. As it wears down, the fabric becomes thin, weak and vulnerable to rips and tears. The damage usually shows up first in the crotch area of pants and under the arms of blouses and jackets.
2. Stain Removal – Frequent dry cleaning removes certain stains that, if left untreated, could oxidize and cause yellowing. With the passage of time, stains from food, beverages, and oily substances can oxidize and turn yellow or brown. Known as “tannin” stains, once they become yellow or brown, these stains often cannot be removed.
3. Prevent Insect Damage - Frequent dry cleaning prevents moth and other insect damage. Insects are attracted to soiled clothes. Usually appearing as small holes, damage is caused when insects feed on spilled food or perspiration on the fabric. A good “full service” cleaner can mothproof your garments. Mothproofing is a chemical treatment that provides protection from insects without making your clothes smell like mothballs.
4. Restoration & Preservation - A good full service cleaner will offer Restoration & Preservation service. Often done for antiques or family heirlooms, through a special restoration process, dry cleaners can restore very old garments to like new condition. It’s not uncommon, for a cleaner to restore a wedding gown originally worn by the bride’s grandmother well enough that the bride can wear it in her wedding. After the wedding, the cleaner can then provide preservation service to the gown. Preservation is a special type of storage that helps prolong the life of a garment. Cleaners often say that they aren’t just preserving a customer’s garment, they’re preserving a memory.