Can Dry Cleaning Shrink Clothes?
Dry cleaning consists of using special chemicals to clean items instead of washing them with water. It is a popular method used to clean delicate fabrics and items that can’t be laundered in a washing machine. But can it shrink clothes?
How Dry Cleaning Works
Dry cleaning works differently than washing clothes in a washing machine. Heat and water are replaced with a special chemical solvent, like perchloroethylene, which is gentle on delicate fabrics but still tough on dirt and particles. It is also flammable and should be used with caution.
Will It Shrink my Clothes?
It is possible for dry cleaning to shrink garments, however it is usually not a problem if the dry cleaners use the appropriate cleaning method for the item. Clothes labelled as “Dry Clean Only” typically have shrink risk lower than clothes labelled “Hand Wash Only.” The most common cause of shrinkage after a dry cleaning is when the item is exposed to high heat during the drying process. To prevent this, knowledgeable dry cleaners take several precautions when selecting the best cleaning and drying methods.
Reducing Shrink Risk
To reduce the risk of shrinkage you can:
- Check the label: Check the tag of the garment to find out what cleaning method is recommended by the manufacturer.
- Check the cleaner: Ask your dry cleaner what cleaning methods they use and if they offer a low-heat option for delicate fabrics.
- Check the temperature: Ask the dry cleaner what the temperature setting of the dryer that your garment was put in was.
In conclusion, Dry cleaning has the potential to shrink clothes but with the right precautions and proper care it can be prevented. Talk to your dry cleaner about what cleaning methods they use, and communicate any concerns you may have about shrinkage or other risks. Following the suggestions above should help keep your clothes looking like new.