Sometimes we take our blankets for granted. Sure, you wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week, but bulky comforters and delicate quilts get set aside and put back on without laundering for fear of unbalanced loads and damage to our favorite blankets.
Blanket dry cleaning is an excellent alternative to machine washing. It can help keep your bedding and blankets smelling fresh and looking good.
What is Dry Cleaning?
Dry cleaning practices are noted as far back as the days of ancient Rome when ammonia was used to clean garments, namely the woolen togas worn at the time. In the 1800s, dry cleaning was done using petroleum products like kerosene and gasoline. Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be quite a fire hazard.
Perchloroethylene is the most common solvent used in commercial dry cleaning today. It effectively completes a fiber-deep clean while protecting the integrity of delicate fabrics. It is not without controversy, however, as it is considered by some to be a toxicant and a carcinogen.
A green alternative is available in the form of liquid carbon dioxide cleaning, but may be more difficult to find, particularly outside of major urban areas.
How Does It Differ From Machine Washing?
As we’ve discussed, dry cleaning uses solvent rather than water and detergent to clean the fabric. Dry cleaning does not agitate or tumble the bedding as a conventional washing machine does, and there is no spin cycle in dry cleaning.
Dry-cleaned items, including bedding, are steamed and pressed for a like-new appearance. The bedding is blocked, dried, and neatly folded, which is particularly helpful if you store the blankets between seasons.
Is Dry Cleaning Better for Bedding?
Dry cleaning might be a better alternative, depending on the fabric of your bedding. Heat is vital for eliminating trapped body oils, skin particles, dirt, dust, and dust mites, but heat can also damage fibers, reducing the softness of the blanket and dulling colors. Dry cleaning can get a deep clean without the use of heat.
You may also want to consider dry cleaning bed sheets to keep your satin sheets luxurious and your microfiber bedding super soft. And don’t forget those extra blankets strewn around the house in TV rooms, family rooms, and libraries.
What Types of Fabrics Should Be Dry Cleaned?
If you have gone to your washer only to pull out a now doll-sized version of your favorite wool sweater, then you have already learned that wool is best dry cleaned. Other fabrics that should always be dry cleaned include:
Before handing over your suede and leather items, make sure your cleaner is familiar with their unique care needs.
Make the Most of Your Dry Cleaning Experience
You can take some easy steps before dropping off your blankets and sheets for dry cleaning. Make sure that you:
- Always read the labels to ensure dry cleaning is OK.
- Don’t try to remove your stains, but DO make sure you point stains out to the dry cleaner.
- Ask about special repairs needed that can worsen if not repaired before cleaning.
- Share any other special care instructions.
The Pros and Cons of Dry Cleaning Blankets
There are several positive reasons for blanket dry cleaning. Some of the pros are:
- There is no spin cycle, so less damage to fibers.
- There is no heat, so less damage to fibers.
- It maintains the shape and appearance of the blankets.
- Better for delicate fabrics like silk and velvet.
- It can provide a more thorough, deeper clean than machine washing in cold water.
- Removes stains. Make sure you point out known stains when you drop off your bedding.
- No lumps created by agitation in water causing quilt or comforter filler to bunch.
- Saves wear and tear on your washer and dryer.
- Saves you time.
The cons of dry cleaning are chemical solvents and the cost. Dry cleaning facilities recycle solvent, so there is less chemical waste, and more green dry cleaning alternatives are being researched.
So, Is It Worth the Hassle?
Yes, for the environmental health of your home and the bedding in it. For the easy maintenance of the appearance of your heirloom bedding, it is worth it. Blanket dry cleaning and dry cleaning bed sheets are worth it.
Dry cleaning is no more hassle than wrestling oversized comforters into and out of your washer. You drop them off and pick them up. Better yet, call around and find out if there is a dry cleaner in your area that picks up and delivers!