You’ve likely visited your local dry cleaners on more occasions than you can remember. But have you ever thought about how the entire process of dry cleaning occurs? Did you ever give it a thought that how your local cleaners are able to get rid of some of the most intense stains from the most delicate clothes? If no, then you might want to know what happens with your clothes at the local dry cleaners. In this article, you’ll understand the complete dry cleaning process followed by most dry cleaners.
As the name suggests, dry cleaning is a process that works without water. The process involves the use of chemical solvents such as perchloroethylene, supercritical CO2, hydrocarbons, trichloroethylene, etc. There are different variants of dry cleaning machines that all work on the same principle.
Any dry cleaning machine consists of four basic components:
Holding or base tank
Cylinder or wheel
The holding tank holds the dry cleaning solvent. The pump is used to circulate the solvent through the machine during the cleaning process. Filters are used to trap solid impurities. The cylinder or wheel is where the garments are placed to be cleaned. The cylinder has ribs to lift and drop the garments. Let us now understand the step-by-step process of dry cleaning.
Garment Inspection: Before starting the cleaning process, clothes are thoroughly inspected for missing buttons, tears, faded patches, and items left in pockets. In case there are any pre-existing defects in clothes, they are brought to the notice of the customers so that they don’t accuse the dry cleaners later.
Garment Tagging: Garments are tagged with an identification number. Some cleaners use paper tags that are stapled or pinned to the garment, while some use an iron-on strip with a permanently assigned barcode for regular customers. Similar soiled garments from different customers are cleaned together, and tagging ensures that you get your lot back.
Stain Pretreatment: This is an optional step done for intense stains and heavily soiled clothes. Soils are primarily treated with stain cutter chemicals before putting them in the dry cleaning machine. Many cleaners remove or cover delicate buttons so that they don’t get dissolved in the solvent.
Machine Cleaning: All the garments are then put into a machine’s large and perforated drum, and cleaned with a water-free chemical solvent. The chamber is filled approximately one-third full of solvent, and its temperature is set to 86°F as the drum begins to rotate, agitating the garments. Throughout the 8-15 minutes process, the solvents are sent to the filter and back to the chamber for fresh “rinse.”
Drying and Finishing: Clothes are tumbled in a stream of air that is 140-145°F. Once complete, a deodorizing cycle removes any remaining solvent traces from the clothes by circulating cool air over the garments. The final step includes getting the garments ready by steaming or pressing out wrinkles and reattaching buttons. Items are then hung or folded to return to you.
You can count on our local dry cleaners at Riverbend Cleaners as we use high-quality solvents and handle every garment with top care. This is how we deliver fresh and clean clothes everytime you leave them with us for dry cleaning.