What makes "dry" cleaning dry?


Dry Cleaning is not actually dry.

Since 1886, the term has been used to describe any type of professional cleaning that uses a liquid chemical solvent instead of water. All cleaners get your clothes wet before they dry and press them.

The traditional dry cleaning solvent, perchloroethylene (perc), is a known carcinogen with long-term health effects which is why many dry cleaners are moving away from perc. But being perc-free doesn’t mean a dry cleaner is using a completely safe alternative. 

Photo: 1947 Ad for Home Dry Cleaning (Flickr: apennad-lobstar28)