Saint’s play tonight. Don’t forget to bring us your dirty clothes tomorrow if you celebrate the game too much!
What is an “Invisible Stain”?
As unlikely as it sounds, there are a group of stains known as “Invisible Stains”.
Most of them are caused by either; food, oily substances, or beverages. Although quite visible while wet, once dried it becomes invisible. Hence the name, Invisible Stain! Later on, with exposure to heat or time, a yellow or brown colored stain will appear. This is caused by the oxidation or caramelization of the sugar in the substance that has stained your clothes. It is the same process that makes an apple turn brown after being exposed to air.
Oil stains can be particularly challenging. Dry cleaning can successfully remove most oil stains, unless they are left to oxidize. Once oxidized, they turn yellow or brown, and become much harder to remove. This type of stain can be distinguished by the irregular “cross pattern” the oil makes along the edge of the stain as it follows the fabrics fibers.
If you know about an invisible stain on your clothes, be sure to point it out to the cleaner when sending in your garment. The cleaner will need to treat these stains prior to cleaning, since the heat of drying or pressing may set the stain in.
Dry Cleaning is not at all like the laundry done at home. Instead, it involves cleansing clothes without using water. A liquid cleaning fluid is used, however, so it is not exactly dry. Everything is submerged in a liquid solvent. Here we will look at the process.
Dry Cleaning Process
Nearly all dry cleaning companies work the same way. This is a typical process:
Inspection and Labeling
Clothes are identified with tags or labels to keep them separate from other people’s clothing. They will also be checked over for potential damage or weak points.
Any stains on the clothing is treated beforehand. This makes it easier to remove later.
At this point, clothing is washed in a solvent mixture in the dry cleaning machine.
In some cases, not all stains will have been removed. The cleaner will treat these after to ensure the clothing is stain free.
Clothes are ironed and folded and packaged for pickup or delivery.
Most machines for this type of cleaning are very similar in the way that they work. The machine holds anywhere from 20-100 pounds of clothing in a stainless steel basket that rotates. The machine includes a range of parts to wash and clean the clothing.
The basket is perforated and as it rotates, fresh solvent pours into the basket and then is pumped out immediately, removing any and all dirt as it goes. The solvent also pummels the clothing gently to clean it.
Most machines pump around 1,500 gallons per hour. It is 75% heavier than water and during a 8 minute cycle, around 200 gallons of solvent pass through the clothes and is filtered to be reused.
After the solvent cycle is complete, the basket whirls the clothing to remove excess solvent and then pumps warm air through the clothing to dry them. Any remaining solvent is vaporized this way and condensed via cooling coils. The now clean solvent is returned to the tank once water is separated.
The cleaner must maintain his filter and solvent in order to ensure the clothing being cleaned comes through bright, fresh smelling and clean. Quality control is very important in this type of business.
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This was voted the worst song ever… But hey, it’s Friday!!
Have a great weekend everyone. Come and see us tomorrow between 9:00am-2:00pm to pick up and drop off your clothes.