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The Basic Facts About Dry Cleaning

By Adriana Noton

The process of cleaning textiles and clothing through the use of a chemical solvent rather than water is known as dry cleaning. A solvent that is in common use is what is known as perc, or perchloroethane. It is often the solvent of choice because of its ability to be recycled. The items composed of delicate fabrics or your garments that you entrust to your dry cleaners have to go through a bit of preparation before they are sent to be cleaned by immersion in the solution.

The advantages attributed to dry cleaning usage are many. Fabrics that are often harmed by water are not harmed. Many difficult stains and oil spots are quickly removed. Stretching and shrinkage rarely happen. The original texture of the fabric is left intact to a significant degree.

Many though are curious as to what happens to a rug, garment, or other item that they have left at the cleaners. Are you? The prior processing begins with an inspection and a marking. Then if it is needed the item is pretreated for any stains that need removing and then mended. After that it is sorted in order to be sent to undergo the cleaning process.

The process of cleaning itself involves many steps. It begins when garments and other kinds of items made from fabric have been placed inside a machine that has been described as being a combination of a washing machine and a dryer. The actual core of this particular machine where the actual cleansing is to take place is called the washing or extraction chamber. This chamber is also called the basket or drum.

A washing chamber that consists of an outer shell and an inner rotating perforated drum is what is used in order that the cleaning process takes place. After the garments and other fabric items have been loaded into the inner drum and the solvent is loaded into the outer chamber up to a third of its capacity then cleaning begins. This is accomplished through the agitation by rotation of the load inside the machine.

The solvent itself is maintained at a temperature that is low enough that it will not cause damage to the clothing inside the machine. During the wash cycle the solvent in the chamber, or cage, is fed into a filter then passed back into the chamber. This alternating cycle continues throughout the cleaning process, or wash duration.

After the washing cycle has stopped and the clothes have been cleansed the solvent is recycled. It is put through a distillation unit that is made up of a condenser and a boiler. Once the solvent has finished the condensing process it will be sent through a separator that will take any remaining foreign substances. Then it will be stored in the tank labelled clean solvent for use at another time.

Before your item is returned to you and after it has been cleansed there is a process it must go through. First it is checked for any remaining stains and if found they are removed in a process known as post spotting. Then it is packed up after some other finishing touches have been applied.

The use of dry cleaning is beneficial when the garments in in question may not be able to stand up to the normal way of cleaning. Other advantages are that the process that is used avoids quite a few of the pitfalls that are a common occurrence when using the ordinary washing machine.

Looking your best is always important, no matter where you are. So contact your local dry cleaners to service everything from normal laundry to your new suits!

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Noton, Adriana "The Basic Facts About Dry Cleaning." The Basic Facts About Dry Cleaning. 25 Jun. 2010. 6 Feb 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Noton, A (2010, June 25). The Basic Facts About Dry Cleaning. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Noton, Adriana "The Basic Facts About Dry Cleaning"

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