Uses for Wire Hangers

Jul 10, 2023Uncategorized0 comments

Dry cleaning all began with Jean-Baptiste Jolly, a French dye-works owner, who discovered that kerosene could efficiently remove stains from clothing without causing damage. But the breakthrough came when Thomas L. Jennings, an African-American tailor and inventor, patented a dry cleaning process called “dry scouring” in 1821, which was indeed very effective.

Fast forward to today, dry cleaning continues to be a highly sought service worldwide due to its reliability in removing wrinkles and stains and preserving delicate fabrics. However, while certain facts about this ingenious approach are clear, you may still have lingering questions, and we know precisely what those are.

In this article, we explain what happens to your clothes the moment you drop them off at your nearest dry cleaners in Middle Tennessee, what solvents are used, and the many benefits you can enjoy from opting for this method over traditional laundering techniques.

Why It’s Called Dry Cleaning?

You might wonder why it’s called ‘dry’ cleaning when there’s clearly liquid involved. The term ‘dry’ in dry cleaning refers to the absence of water in the cleaning process. As opposed to wet cleaning which uses water and detergent to clean clothes, dry cleaners use specialized solvents instead to remove stains and dirt. These solvents effectively dissolve grease, oil, and even mold, urine odors, and allergens without saturating the fabric with water.

Thus, delicate fabrics that can be easily ruined by the fast spinning of a washing machine and dryer or immersion in water can be safely and effectively cleaned through dry cleaning. While the process may not be entirely ‘dry’ in the literal sense, it’s called dry cleaning to distinguish it from wet washing methods.

How Commercial Dry Cleaning Process Works

Many professional dry cleaners adopt a meticulous, multi-step procedure to ensure the highest level of care for your items. While the specifics of the dry cleaning method can differ between cleaners, there are common industry standards that encompass the following steps:

Step 1: Garment Inspection

The dry-cleaning process begins with a thorough inspection of each garment to identify stains, damages, or specific cleaning requirements. This also gives the dry cleaners a chance to inspect broken zippers, missing buttons, or other pre-existing damages that your items may have.

Step 2: Pre-Treatment or Spot Treatment

Stubborn stains are pre-treated using specialized spotting agents to help break down and lift the stains before the cleaning process begins.

Step 3: Cleaning

The garments are placed in a large dry cleaning machine resembling a front-loading washing machine. However, instead of water, a chemical solvent, usually perchloroethylene hydrocarbon, is used as the cleaning agent. The machine agitates the solvent along with the garments to loosen dirt and stains.

Step 4: Rinsing and Extracting

After the cleaning cycle, the solvent used is drained, and the garments are rinsed with fresh solvent to remove any remaining dirt or detergent residue. Then, the machine spins the garments to extract excess solvent.

Step 5: Drying

The garments are transferred to a separate drying machine where warm air circulates to evaporate any remaining solvent.

Step 6: Finishing and Final Inspection

Once dry, the garments undergo a finishing process that includes steaming, pressing, and any necessary repairs or alterations. A final inspection is then carried out to ensure that each garment meets quality standards before being packaged and returned to the customer.

Commonly Used Dry Cleaning Solvents

Dry cleaning fluid or liquid solvent is a specialized cleaning agent used in the dry cleaning process to clean different types of stains. It’s designed to effectively clean clothes and fabrics that are not suitable for water-based washing methods. This unique ability, combined with its stain-removing power, makes it indispensable for maintaining the quality and appearance of various garments and textiles.

Within the industry, different types of dry cleaning chemicals are employed, each offering distinct properties and benefits. Your choice of solvent, therefore, depends on factors such as the fabric type, environmental concerns, and cleaning efficiency. Here are some of the most commonly used dry-cleaning solvents:

  1. Perchloroethylene (PERC)
    PERC is one of the most widely used dry cleaning solvents due to its effectiveness in removing stains and its relatively low cost. It evaporates quickly, leaving behind minimal residue on garments. However, PERC has been associated with environmental and health concerns, leading to its regulation and gradual phase-out in some regions.
  2. Hydrocarbon Solvents
    Hydrocarbon solvents, such as DF-2000 and SolvonK4, are considered environmentally friendly alternatives to PERC. They come from petroleum and have a lower environmental impact compared to PERC. Hydrocarbon solvents are effective in cleaning a wide range of fabrics and are often used as a safer alternative in modern dry cleaning operations.
  3. Green Solvents
    Green solvents, also known as silicone-based solvents, represent the latest innovation in dry cleaning technology. One of the key advantages of green solvents is their effectiveness in cleaning a wide range of fabrics and garments without the use of harmful chemicals. They have excellent solvent properties, allowing them to dissolve and remove various types of stains, oils, and dirt from fabrics while being gentle on delicate fibers.
  4. Liquid Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
    Liquid Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional dry cleaning solvents. In the dry cleaning process using liquid CO2, garments are placed in a specialized machine where they are cleaned using pressurized CO2 in a closed-loop system.
  5. Glycol Ethers
    Glycol ethers are occasionally used as a dry-cleaning solvent. They are known for their versatility and effectiveness in removing stains and dirt from fabrics. However, their use may be limited compared to other solvents due to specific regulatory and safety considerations.

When Is Dry Cleaning Service Your Best Option?

Because many clothing items represent significant financial investments and are beloved closet staples, opting for home remedies or standard laundry procedures might not seem worth the risk.

Here are situations where opting for a dry cleaning service in Middle Tennessee proves to be the best choice:

  • If you have delicate fabrics like silk, wool, cashmere, and lace.
  • If you’re dealing with stubborn stains such as oil, grease, ink, or wine.
  • If you need to remove allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, or pollen.
  • If you’re short on time or don’t have equipment for at-home garment care.
  • If you’re caring for professional attire like suits, tuxedos, and formal dresses.
  • If your garment has a strong odor like smoke, sweat, or mildew from clothing.
  • If your garment care instructions recommend “dry clean only” or similar instructions.
  • If your garment has intricate embellishments or delicate decorations like a wedding dress, haute couture, or vintage heirlooms.
  • If you need deep cleaning for your household textiles like fine linens, bulky comforters, area rugs, curtains, drapes, & more!

Experience Superior Dry Cleaning with Best Cleaners & New Brand Cleaners!

Your clothes deserve special care without compromise, and you can only get that kind of dedication from us here at Best Cleaners & New Brand Cleaners. Our focus on quality, convenience, exceptional customer service, and eco-friendly practices has gained us a solid customer base in Middle Tennessee, and the surrounding areas.

Best Cleaners & New Brand Cleaners is an upscale dry cleaning establishment located throughout Middle Tennessee. Apart from Franklin, Brentwood, and Columbia, we also provide the same quality services in South Nashville, Spring Hill, and Thompson’s Station. We have 28 team members in the business whom we all consider our family, along with over 14,000 clients we aim to treat and serve like family.

We provide comprehensive garment care services, such as repairs & alterations, wedding dress preservation, leather & suede cleaning, wash & fold laundry, and more! We stand behind our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee in all our services.

Contact us today to schedule your next dry cleaning appointment or to learn more about our services!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dry cleaning hygienic?

Definitely yes as the process involves using specialized solvents to remove dirt, stains, and odors from garments without water. These solvents effectively kill bacteria and other microorganisms, making dry cleaning a sanitary way to clean your clothes, especially those made from delicate fabrics or with intricate details.

Is dry cleaning better than wet cleaning?

Both dry cleaning and professional wet cleaning have their advantages depending on the type of fabric and the nature of the stains. Dry cleaning is ideal for delicate fabrics that cannot withstand water-based washing methods, as well as for removing oil-based stains. Wet cleaning, on the other hand, uses water and detergent to clean clothes and is suitable for most everyday garments. Ultimately, the choice between dry cleaning and wet cleaning depends on the specific needs of the garment.

Is it better to wash or dry clean shirts?

Most shirts made from cotton or synthetic materials can be safely washed in a washing machine at home. However, dress shirts or shirts made from delicate fabrics like silk or wool may require dry cleaning to prevent shrinkage, color fading, or damage to the fabric. Always check the care label on the shirt for specific cleaning instructions.

What chemical is banned in dry cleaning?

Perchloroethylene, commonly known as perc, is a chemical that has faced restrictions and bans in various regions due to its environmental and health concerns. Many countries and states have implemented regulations to limit or phase out the use of perc in dry cleaning processes. This move is in response to the potential harm posed by perc to both workers and the environment.