Dry cleaning is simply the act of cleaning fabrics without the application of water. Despite the name, however, the technique is not entirely dry; instead, certain fabrics are soaked in a solvent such as perchloroethan, tetrachloroethan, triclosan or petroleum spirits, and are then brushed and steamed dry to remove the solvent from the fabric. Dry cleaning is used in commercial as well as residential printing shops and clothing boutiques. This technique as explained by dry cleaning at giant eagle allows fabrics to be cleaned without the dampness associated with other cleaning methods.
Dry cleaning can be performed on a variety of fabrics. Cloth and plastic are some of the most frequently washed materials, though cotton and silk are also commonly cleaned. Dry cleaning helps to remove dirt, dust, debris, grease, soil, oil, grease, dirt, perspiration, mildew, and even stains.
The most common dry cleaning machine is a rotary bottle brush that is set on a rack that holds a rotating solvent. The fabric to be cleaned is placed inside a holding tank that contains the solvent, and the cleaning solution is circulated through the fabric on a low rotation. Depending on the solvents used, some fabrics may need to be cleaned a few times before the cloth feels clean. After the first few times, the cleaning solution will most likely build up in the holding tank and should be drained prior to the next cycle. Most rotary bottle brushes have a small hole at the bottom to allow the solvent to escape. The solvents are removed by wiping or using a wet towel while the cleaner is spinning.
Most dry cleaning machines are equipped with a scrubbing pad or a sponge attached to the brush. A detergent-based cleaner is added to the cleaning solution, and the fabric is scrubbed until it is thoroughly clean. Depending on the amount of stain, the solvents may need to be added according to the manufacturer instructions. After the scrubbing is complete, the cleaner is rinsed off with warm water.
Other dry cleaning equipment includes dry cleaning solutions, such as acetone and propylene peroxide, and steamers with either hot or cold water for the smaller jobs. The size of the job usually dictates which solvent will be used. Solvents are either airless or liquid, either contained in a spray bottle, or carried in a cylindrical container.
The primary use of dry cleaning machines is on extremely dirty and stubborn stains. Some types of stains, however, may not be able to be effectively removed by this method. Fabric softeners, which are often used to make delicate fabrics soft, can also cause problems when dry cleaning certain fabrics. Solvent extraction is also often used for removing grease and oil from a variety of types of textiles, including denim, silk, and cotton. There are two basic types of solvent extraction: hot and cold.
Hot solvent extraction uses a higher temperature than cold solvents, so clothes are usually pre-treated prior to being placed into the machine. The clothes are put into a pre-treated holding bag, which helps keep them from absorbing the solvents, while they are being washed. Most clothes can safely be laundered at lukewarm water, without fear of absorbing any of the cleaning agent. Cold solvents remove more stains from fabric, but at a lower rate. Laundered garments should always be stored away from direct sunlight or heat, as both can cause damage to the fabric.
The type of dry cleaning machine that is right for your clothing depends on the type of clothing you are cleaning. Those with delicate or colorful clothing may do better with a dry cleaning system that features an air dryer, instead of an electric one. Clothing needs to be washed carefully and dried carefully in order to avoid ironing, wrinkling, stretching, or mildew. If you have had your clothing to dry cleaned before, you can put it through an automatic dryer cycle for an even cleaner appearance.