What is dry cleaning? Dry Cleaning or dry-cleaning is any cleaning process for fabric or clothing that uses chemicals other than water. It is an alternative to hand washing garments and dates back to the ancient Romans. Through the years dry clean businesses have been built on the franchise format and are considered a great opportunity for people seeking franchise ownership. Dry clean franchises offer business owners a solid opportunity to benefit from features such as great hours, no product spoilage, quick turnaround and interaction with customers.