The Basics of Dry Cleaning, Steam-Cleaning and Spot-Cleaning

Cleaning your clothes is more than just laundering them in soap and water. Different kinds of fabrics require different kind of washing, depending on the delicateness of the material.

So, before throwing your garments into the washing machine, make sure to read the care label if you want to keep your clothes in their best condition for longer.

Here, we’ll tackle the most common cleaning methods you might have encountered in some of your clothing pieces’ care labels: Dry clean, steam clean and spot clean.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is often recommended by the best laundry services from Singapore for removing stains from detailed or decorated fabrics, sensitive materials, and heavily-stained clothing. Like most laundry service in Singapore that primarily use washing machines, dry cleaning shops also have wash and fold services and the machine used looks similar to a regular washer. The cleaning material used in called the dry cleaning solvent (usually perchloroethylene, glycol ethers, liquid carbon dioxide, and liquid silicone) which is stored in the holding tank.

The dry cleaning machine pumps the solvent during the cleaning process, while filters trap the impurities from the fabric. Once the cleaning is done, the solvent is drained, and extraction of the excess chemical is performed. Next, the clothes are transferred to a dryer to vaporize the solvent. Any remaining stain will be treated, and if there is any damage to the clothing, the staff will repair it.

Steam-Cleaning and Spot-Cleaning

Steam-cleaning is another option for fabrics that cannot be easily hand-washed, machine-washed or dry-cleaned. However, you can also pick steam-cleaning for fabrics such as silk, wool, cotton, and others. Remember not to use steam-cleaning when cleaning suede, chiffon, silk, waxed fabrics, velvet, sheer, and leather, or any other material that is highly-embellished or printed. That’s because steam uses both heat and water to remove stains.

Heat can melt other materials, while water can shrink or stretch other fabrics. Steam-cleaning is useful mostly in linens, upholstery, and other heavy fabrics that are very difficult to dry. It can also be used for heavily-soiled items such as towel washing because the steam acts as a sanitizer, but make sure to check the care label instructions first. Generally, steam wash can help lessen allergies, kill germs in the fabric, removes wrinkles, and keeps the items fresh and clean.

Spot-cleaning is a type of laundry method used by in Singapore when the care label instructions say that the material can be damaged with both water and solvent-based cleaners. If this is the case, how will you remove stains from the fabric? Spot-cleaning is used primarily in flock fabrics that are very sensitive to rubbing and distortion when cleaned. If there is a stain, the laundry service will recommend vacuuming and brushing.

However, you can blot stains that are still fresh or use a foam upholstery cleaner and a water-based shampoo if it’s stubborn. To avoid damaging the material, remember the following care label codes: S for spot-clean only; W/S for spot-clean with upholstery shampoo; W for spot-clean with water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner; and X for vacuum and light brush only.