23rd March 2015
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Question: Does dry cleaning procedure purify impure stains on the clothes?
الجواب حامداً و مصلياً
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
In reference to your query, dry cleaning is a process of cleaning clothes through the use of chemical detergents known as solvents before drying. In dry cleaning, giving the apparent impression of no usage of any liquid, clothes are actually washed in solvent liquid before being jet steamed or pressed with an iron. The dry cleaning method is used to clean delicate fabrics clothes that are unable to withstand normal washing machines that could potentially damage the clothes. The procedure is that dry cleaners place the clothes into a huge rotating dry cleaning drum (similar but bigger than the standard washing machine). Solvent chemicals are then added in which the clothes are washed to a certain temperature. During the process, the solvent passes through a filtering tank and then poured back into the drum for distillation to remove any impurities on the clothes. After the washing cycle, the clothes are then dried in the same chamber before they are taken out and thereafter, steamed and pressed. The solvent is recycled and refined before every wash of new batch of clothes.
From the Islamic viewpoint, to use anything that is pure and has the capacity to remove impurity from the clothes whether it is water or any other liquid substance is permissible. The jurists state a person’s clothes becomes pure if he uses vinegar to remove an impure stain because it is a detergent substance. The similar case can be applied to the solvent chemicals used in dry cleaning also in that, the clothes become pure if the effect of the impure stain, i.e. colour or smell, don’t remain on to the clothes.
[Allãh Knows Best]
Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed
Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam
JKN Fatawa Department
 Haskafi, Durrul Mukhtar Kitabut Taharat, Babul Anjas p. 46
يَجُوزُ رَفْعُ نَجَاسَةٍ حَقِيقِيَّةٍ عَنْ مَحَلِّهَا) وَلَوْ إنَاءً أَوْ مَأْكُولًا عُلِمَ مَحَلُّهَا أَوْ لَا (بِمَاءٍ لَوْ مُسْتَعْمَلًا) بِهِ يُفْتَى (وَبِكُلِّ مَائِعٍ طَاهِرٍ قَالِعٍ) لِلنَّجَاسَةِ يَنْعَصِرُ بِالْعَصْرِ (كَخَلٍّ وَمَاءِ وَرْدٍ) حَتَّى الرِّيقُ
Ibn Nujaym, Bahr Raiq Kitabut Taharat, Babul Anjas, vol 1, p.384
(قَوْلُهُ: وَبِمَائِعٍ مُزِيلٍ كَالْخَلِّ وَمَاءِ الْوَرْدِ) قِيَاسًا عَلَى إزَالَتِهَا بِالْمَاءِ بِنَاءً عَلَى أَنَّ الطَّهَارَةَ بِالْمَاءِ مَعْلُولَةٌ بِعِلَّةِ كَوْنِهِ قَالِعًا لِتِلْكَ النَّجَاسَةِ وَالْمَائِعُ قَالِعٌ فَهُوَ مُحَصِّلُ ذَلِكَ الْمَقْصُودِ فَتَحْصُلُ بِهِ الطَّهَارَةُ