Does Dry Cleaning Remove Stains? (Detailed)


Dry cleaning is a process that uses no water and relies on solvents, like perchloroethylene, to dissolve and remove oil-based stains from clothes. This solvent is toxic, although it’s safe if handled properly. In this post we are going to discuss if dry cleaning removes stains or not!

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Stains?

Dry cleaning removes oil-based stains (such as food and makeup) easily. It will also remove dye stains (such as those caused by spilled berries or red wine), ink, or permanent marker stains. If you have small children, you may be surprised to find that dry cleaning can remove some of the stains they cause!

A History of Dry Cleaning Chemicals

It has been estimated that there are about 1,000 dry-cleaning chemicals on the market, primarily designed to remove grease and grime (such as soil) from clothes. Some of these chemicals are harmless; others can be toxic.

The first dry cleaning chemical was caustic soda (potassium hydroxide), which was used in the 1800s to remove grease and grime from textiles. The first commercial dry cleaners started in 1883, when a German manufacturer began selling a non-volatile solvent marketed as “dry cleaners.” The substance is now known as perchloroethylene (PCE). Later, other formulations of the PCE-based solvents were created for home laundering.

Can Dry Cleaning Remove Old Stains?

Dry cleaning can remove some old stains, but not all of them. If you have a large, old, oil-based stain on your dry cleaned clothes or upholstered furniture, chances are that it’s still there after dry cleaning.

What Type Of Stains Can Dry Cleaning Remove?

Natural oil and grease stains, such as salad dressing, butter, and butter substitutes can be removed with a pre-spotting agent and a good soak in the solvent. Dye stains from food and drinks, such as coffee, tea, berries, wine, or berry juice – will all generally come out during normal dry cleaning.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Oil Stains?

You can remove oil stains from clothing with dry cleaning. Although the process is slow, dry cleaning will eventually remove most oil-based stains from clothing. Oil-based stains are things like food, oil, grease, and cosmetics. The best solvent to use is perchloroethylene and it’s what the professional dry cleaners use. It is the best one that can remove oil-based stains from clothes on its own without any pre-treating and no heat required.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Grease Stains?

Grease stains can be removed from clothing with dry cleaning. The solvent used for dry cleaning (perchloroethylene) is effective at removing grease stains, as long as the stain hasn’t been allowed to set for too long. Grease stains include stains from fatty foods, grease, and oils.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Ink Stains?

Yes, dry cleaning will remove ink stains and permanent marker stains. It will also remove alcohol-based ink stains if the stain was left in a stain-free area of the clothing before washing. However, if a stain is on the inside of your garment (such as from blood or vomit) then do not dry clean it.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Red Wine Stains?

Depending on the type of stain and fabric, you can remove red wine stains with a pretreatment for laundry and dry cleaning. The best solvent to use is perchloroethylene because it cleans up the stain quickly. It’s safer than other solvents, which makes it the best choice for removing red wine stains and is more effective than oxygen bleaches in many cases.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Pet Stains?

Dry cleaning will remove pet stains from your clothes and furniture. If you have clothing with pet urine on it, you can use a pretreatment cleaner. A pretreatment is a protective, spot-free treatment applied to an item before it goes to the dry cleaner. It comes in powdered form and should be mixed with water. Just add the amount of powder you need and then add water as instructed on the package. It acts like a temporary protectant that reduces stains as they set in, but it won’t remove them completely.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Mascara Stains?  

Dry cleaning can remove mascara stains from clothing. If you get mascara on your clothing you should pretreat the stain with a spot removal product. The spot removal product you choose should be designed to remove makeup easily. The spot removal products you use must be rinsed out of the clothing when it is dry cleaned.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Makeup Stains?

Dry cleaning can remove makeup stains from your clothes. Makeup comes in many forms, some of which are permanent. Most makeup comes off with a pretreatment for laundry.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Ink Stains?

Yes, Dry Cleaning will remove ink stains and permanent marker stains. It will also remove alcohol-based ink stains if the stain was left in a stain free area of the clothing before washing.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Bubble Gum From My Clothing?

Yes, Dry Cleaning will remove Bubble Gum from your clothing. However, you must pretreat the Bubble Gum stain to speed up the removal process. Inhibition from the pretreatment will help to absorb any remaining Gum. The best spot removal product that can do this is a Gum & Stains Patch.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Tomato Sauce Stains?

Dry cleaning can remove tomato sauce stains from your clothing. You will need to use a pretreatment product in the area of the stain or over all of the garment.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Grass Stains?

There are special pretreatments for dry cleaning that can remove grass stains from your clothes. The best solvent is perchloroethylene, which is what the professional dry cleaners use.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Blood Stains?

Dry cleaning can remove blood stains from your clothing. For best results, pretreat the blood stains before taking your clothes to the dry cleaner. Pretreatments for laundry and dry cleaning are designed to work best on blood, making them an excellent choice for fast removal.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Water Stains?

Although dry cleaners use lots of steam in their process, this does not remove water stains from clothes. The steam is used to loosen the soil and help the solvent penetrate it. The solvent dissolves the oil-based soils and removes them, but it cannot affect water-based soils. Water-based soils are removed by a prewashing solution or by hand washing with detergent and warm water.

Does Dry Cleaning Remove Permanent Marker Stains?

If you have permanent marker stains on your dry cleaned clothes, the chance is good that they will come out during dry cleaning. However, they may not come out as easily as you would like them to.

Is Dry Cleaning Better Than Washing?

The short answer is yes. Dry cleaning is the best choice for most dirty clothes. Machine laundering can be very hard on clothes and can permanently shorten their lifespan, especially when they come in contact with the hot water and drying process. There are some good laundry products out there, but if you’re not sure how to use them properly, you are better of with a professional cleaner who has the proper equipment and experience to perform a thorough cleaning job.

How Long Does It Take To Dry Clean Clothes?

The time it takes for an item to dry depends on the type of solvent used by your cleaner since different solvents will evaporate at different rates. The time can range from a few hours to several days depending on the item and the type of solvent.

How Does Dry Cleaning Remove Odors?

The answer to this question will depend on why you need to have your clothes cleaned. If you have body odour, it will not all be removed, but the odour will be greatly reduced. If you need the clothes cleaned because they smell of smoke or have cigarette odours, then most likely they will not be completely removed at all. You would be best to try and remove the odour before you have your garments dry cleaned.

What Is The Cost Of Dry Cleaning?

The cost of dry cleaning depends on the kind of cleaner used, the time and labor costs, as well as other factors that are specific to your situation. Price ranges from $5-$20 USD per item. In some regions it can be up to 3 times more expensive than other countries due to different pricing structures.

How Can I Dry Clean My Clothes At Home?

The chemicals used by dry cleaners that are added to the water to dissolve stains will not be safe for you and your family. The same goes for other chemicals that are used during the dry cleaning process. There are some items available to you that will allow you to dry clean your clothes in your home. Some items that are available is steam, spray, or dry cleaners.

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