For the naked eye, the dry cleaning process appears similar to using a regular washing machine except for the machine being much larger. The process is gentler, uses less heat, replaces water with a chemical solvent, and will also dry its contents. After the load has been washed in the chemical solution, it is then rinsed, and the chemical solvent is removed from the fabrics. When all of the solvent has been removed, the machine will then dry the textiles using a lower heat than traditional machines.
Before the actual cleaning process, workers ensure that all garments are free of pens, lipsticks, and other objects that could damage the fabrics. While dry cleaning cannot remove every stain, it will remove a larger amount of dirt and residue than traditional washing.
Most clothing and linen items will indicate whether or not they need to be dry cleaned. Often times, a label will say 'Dry Clean Only'. This seems like a very strict warning that not doing this with your clothing could potentially ruin it by either shrinking or stretching the material. In case you are wondering, there are many reasons this label might be found on your clothing. The main reason is that common detergent and water could ruin the fabric to alter. Different dyes could leak onto other clothing as well.
If you're trying to save money, perhaps you could try gently washing your garment by hand. On the other hand, if you have wool or silk clothing, it is always best to take it to a cleaner. The potential to ruin these valuable items is high if you wash them in your home washing machine. Other articles of clothing, like dresses and suits, should be taken to the local cleaners. These are more expensive items and usually require the best care. Mixing them in with other clothes is not the best thing for them. Knowing that you don't wear these items on a daily basis, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you don't always have to take them in for professional care.