The dry cleaning process is as intricate as it is fascinating. Dry cleaning is designed to clean clothes without water. This, of course, differs from laundry and washing machines. The latter utilizes both water and detergents to effectively clean clothes. They also incorporate fabric softeners to fluff up and make clothing more comfortable. While the science is similar, dry cleaning relies on special liquids to clean garments and comforters. These are known as liquid solvents, which immerse all the clothing in special dry cleaning machines. While liquids are used, not a drop of water is utilized in the dry cleaning process. To understand the complexities of dry cleaning, you need to know which chemicals and liquids are used on a daily basis.
In the dry cleaning industry, perchlorethylene is the preferred solvent for many establishments. Known as perc, this solvent is safer and faster than other liquids on the markets. The solvent was also spawned from past liquids, such as trichlorethylene and carbon tetrachloride. Perc is designed to dry clean clothes in a timely and efficient manner. In fact, it requires less equipment and floor space as well. It can easily be installed at most dry cleaning locations, and guarantees one-hour cleaning services for most customers. When a customer drops of his or her clothes, chances are this solvent will be used to clean them.
According to cleaning experts, there are several steps in the dry cleaning process. The first step, of course, is to tag and inspect all incoming clothing from customers. This is done by customer service associates at nearly all locations. The inspection process is also highly organized and detailed. This includes checking garments for stains and tears, as well as missing buttons and other issues. This is to protect the establishment from being blamed by the customer upon pick up. Once the customer agrees with the service associate’s inspection, the associate will use small tags or labels to identify and separate your clothing from others. They then give you an approximate time for when your item or items will be ready.
The next step in the process is called pre-treatment. The cleaner will look for stains on your clothes, while treating them to make removal easier. Once this is done, the clothes are ready for dry cleaning. They are placed in dry cleaning machines, and doused with the Perc solvent. After the cycle is finished, the clothes are removed and inspected by the cleaner again. He or she will remove any lingering stains. The final step in the process is pressing, folding, and placing the clothes in acetate sheets for customer pick up.