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How Dry Cleaning is Done?

We all know how laundry is done, just put water, detergent, or a little bleach or fabric softener and it’s done. But have you ever wondered how clothes are dry cleaned? How they can be “dry” cleaned, anyway? Here’s how it’s done!

When you visit a dry cleaner, he/she sees your items, counts them, and documents each piece (shirt, skirt, blouse, pants, etc.). He/she then asks you if there are any obvious spots/stains that require special attention. The dry cleaner then attaches a small tag with your name on the item to identify it as yours. Items that require special attention, a special colored tag is attached to them. These tags stay on your item throughout the dry cleaning process. An invoice containing drop off and pick-up dates are generated; you get one copy of it while the other stays with the dry cleaner.

Dry cleaning’s first step involves the pre-treatment of stains/spots. This process is not very different from the normal stain removal process that you do at home. The goal of this step is to get rid of the stain/spot before the actual dry cleaning starts. Keep in mind that you are more likely to get effective results if you remove the stains as soon as they happen otherwise they might get stubborn.

Once the pre-treatment process is done and stains are removed, the clothes are then ready to be dry cleaned. The dry cleaning process takes place in a single machine. The clothes are placed in a large basket (having perforations) that rotates and in the meanwhile, it is sprayed and submerged by constant flows of cleaning solvent. Most commonly, Perchloroethylene is used as a cleaning solvent. As in this process, no water is used, it is known as “dry cleaning”. After this, the clothes are gently dropped and strike against baffles in the basket, which’s just like your washing machine’s agitation.

The good dry cleaning companies also do a post-cleaning “spot removal”. In this step, special equipment, chemicals, along with air, steam, water, and vacuum are utilized for removing stubborn stains/spots from your clothes. Stubborn stains/spots of soil and blood are removed by this procedure. Long-time stays cannot be removed by this procedure that’s why it’s important to remove stains/spots as soon as possible so they don’t get permanent.

The last step of dry cleaning involves “finishing.” In this step, your dry cleaned clothes are steamed, pressed, and repaired. Once your items are done, they are folded and wrapped in a plastic bag to ensure their safety and cleanliness during the delivery.


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