How Does Dry Cleaning Work?
Normally, when you wash your clothes, they are placed in a washing machine where the water is then used as a solvent to make sure that your clothes are cleaned.
However, there are some clothes that should not be exposed to water and that should instead be cleaned using a petroleum solvent in a process known as dry cleaning.
Petroleum Solvent As An Alternative Cleaning Solvent
While other substances, such as gasoline and kerosene, have been used in the past, a petroleum solvent is the almost universal substance that is used to engage in dry cleaning today.
First, the clothing is washed using the solvent. Then, the solvent is removed using an extractor. While the solvent is a liquid, it is not water and the process is therefore considered to be dry.
The Dry Cleaning Process
The clothing is placed in what looks like a conventional washing machine. A rotating drum is used. The drum fills up with a chemical.
Then, the machine is agitated so that the chemicals can be used to scrub away the stains. Finally, the solution is drained out and stored so that it can be used for a future cycle.
Removing Stubborn Stains
Some stains that are water soluble are treated at one point. This is either done by using a steam jet or by using a special liquid that is designed to remove stains.
Even if the best methods are used to remove stains and soils, it is sometimes difficult to remove certain stains if they have remained soiled for a long time. For this reason, it is important to have dirty clothing laundered as soon as possible.
Preparing Clothing For The Customer
Dry cleaned clothing is dried in a stream of warm air that causes any traces of the solvent to evaporate. This is done at a temperature that ensures that the clothing is not damaged.
Then, an aeration cycle cools and deodorizes the clothing. After the clothing has been cleaned and dried, it is pressed to make the clothes look new. Then, the clothing is returned in a bag.
If a Birmingham dry cleaning delivery company is used, for example, they would then drive and drop off your clothes.
Alternative Dry Cleaning Methods
There have been some health concerns regarding the use of a solvent to dry clean clothes. This concern has been mitigated through the use of an alternative substance: CO2.
However, some shops do not use CO2 because it is more expensive to purchase the machines that use this option. Another choice is to siloxane. This substance is not considered to be a health risk. Finally, hydrocarbons can be used to clean clothing.
Many do not like the use of hydrocarbons though because it leaves a bad odor on one’s clothing.
While there are some challenges to choosing the right option when having clothing dry cleaned, customers should still have their clothes dry-cleaned if the clothes are listed as being “dry clean only.”
Otherwise your clothing will likely be ruined. Also, having some of your clothes dry cleaned will usually produce better results than simply having your clothing cleaned the traditional way.