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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