What’s The Difference Between Dry Cleaning And Laundering?

 As the leading Chicagoland environmentally-friendly dry cleaning service, the experts at Greener Cleaner are here to help you with the great debate: dry-cleaning vs. laundering. We’ve broken it down for you so you can easily decipher which one is best for your garment and lifestyle.

The Basics

The fundamental difference between dry cleaning and laundering is water; dry-cleaning does not use water while laundering does.

Most dry cleaners use chemical solvents like perchloroethylene (PERC) to get rid of stains like pen ink while the process of laundering uses gentler soaps and detergents.

Solvents in dry cleaning are normally recycled, so almost green right? Not really. Most solvents used are extremely toxic and dry cleaners must hire a hazardous waste company to dispose of the solvent after they are finished with it.

Laundering, on the other hand, uses no chemicals, but the water and soap cannot be reused from garment to garment and the process may not be able to remove those persistent stains.

Pros and Cons

Ultimately, the advantages and disadvantages of each option are:


  • Better at removing oil stains and grease
  • Helps to increase the longevity of your clothing
  • Likelihood of bleeding, shrinking, and distorting in greatly reduced (due to the absence of water)
  • Use of hazardous chemicals
  • Chemicals can stain or leave a noxious odor on your clothing


  • No harmful chemicals, free from chemical odor.
  • Less expensive
  • Energy efficient, normally using up to 50% less energy than traditional dry cleaning.
  • May not get that stain off your shirt
  • Possibilities for shrinkage

Still can’t decide? At Greener Cleaner, we offer environmentally friendly versions of both traditional dry-cleaning and laundering. However, we’ve also revamped the methods to give you all of the benefits without having to choose from the undesired cons listed above.

The Greener Cleaner Dry Cleaning Difference

While 85% of dry cleaners use perchloroethylene (deemed by the EPA as a toxic air contaminant, and possible carcinogen), Greener Cleaner is completely PERC- free in its dry cleaning methods. We are essentially able to give you the normal dry-cleaning experience without the undesired odors and toxins.

The Greener Cleaner Laundering Difference

Greener Cleaner also offers professional “wet” cleaning, which like laundering, utilizes water to remove stains. Compared to laundering, “wet” cleaning can be used on 99% of fabrics and is able to give clothing the same longevity that traditional dry cleaning does.

Greener Cleaner will even pick up and drop off your clothing for you for FREE. Our vans have almost double the fuel efficiency as other models, so we really don’t mind making the trip.