Dry cleaning refers to cleaning clothes and fabrics using a chemical solvent instead of water. Cleaning is done with a liquid, but the solvent contains little or no water, does not penetrate the fibers like water in a washing machine and preserves the desirable properties of many fabrics.
The dry cleaning process is usually used on clothes and materials that cannot withstand the rigors of a standard home washer and dryer and eliminates the need for extended hand washing. That's why you should choose professional services like green cleaning in Chicago to do the job right for you!
Dry cleaning has been around since Roman times when ammonia was used to clean woolen weights to prevent any shrinkage that occurs when wool is exposed to hot water. Next, cleaners moved to petroleum-based solvents, such as gasoline and kerosene, that proved highly flammable and dangerous.
The commercial dry-cleaning process
The commercial dry cleaning process begins at your local dry cleaning store. There are several steps for each cleaned item:
- Marking of clothing: each item is marked with an identification number. Some cleaners use paper tags that are stapled or attached to clothing. Others use a wire strip with a permanently assigned bar code for regular customers. Similar soiled clothes from different customers are cleaned together, and tagging ensures that the clothes are returned to you.
- Examination of clothes: Before cleaning clothes, they are examined for items left in pockets, butts, tears, and missing buttons. These items are returned to customers and are noted as known issues before cleaning.
- Stain Pretreatment: As part of the inspection process, the cleaner checks for stains on the garment and treats them before the solvent cleaning process. This is also when a good cleaner removes or covers delicate buttons and trim to prevent damage.
- Machine dry cleaning: Soiled clothes are loaded into a large drum machine and cleaned without water solvents. The clothes are slightly agitated in the solution, which causes the soil to relax. The solvent is then dried and recycled, and the clothes are "rinsed" in fresh solvent to remove the last traces of dirt.
- Post Spotting: The dry cleaning process removes oil-based stains due to the chemical solvent. However, other types of stains need to be removed effectively. So, all the clothes are checked for any remaining stains. Stains are treated with steam, water, or even a vacuum to remove all remaining traces.
- Finishing: The final step involves getting the garment ready to wear by either steaming or pressing wrinkles, re-buttoning, or mending. The items are then hung or folded to be returned to the customer. NOTE: These plastic bags are only there to help you separate your clothes back home without more stains. TURN them OFF, or you risk damaging your clothes from trapped moisture.
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