The process of dry cleaning uses solvent to remove soils and stains from fabric. The term “dry cleaning” is misleading. The cleaning is done with a liquid but the solvent contains little or no water and does not penetrate the fibers like water does in a washer.
The process begins with the pretreatment of spots and stains using special cleaning agents. The clothes are then loaded into a machine resembling an over-sized front-loading washer which uses similar mechanical action to loosen embedded dirt.
Throughout the cleaning process, the solvent is filtered or distilled to keep soil from resettling on clothes. The garments are dried in the same machine and should have no residual solvent odor after cleaning.