There are certain fabrics wherein water and your detergent are not enough to remove stains. A good example of this is wool. Wool cannot handle water very well. Other fabrics such as rayon and silk may shrink or become misshapen when washed with regular water and laundry soap. These special fabrics require special stain removal treatment such as that of dry cleaning.
Instead of water, dry cleaning uses a substance called petroleum solvent. In the past, the solvent used in dry cleaning is kerosene or gasoline. Dry cleaning is a treatment process that works as effectively and as gentle as hand washing. It is called “dry” cleaning only because it is not “wet” with water.