How Dry Cleaning Works? – 5 Stages Of Dry Cleaning

Jean Baptiste Jolly, a French gentleman, discovered the dry cleaning in the mid-19th century. It was discovered accidentally when his maid spilled kerosene on the tablecloth. He was surprised when he noticed the tablecloth became clean. He subsequently started this cleaning process for people’s clothes. But, the problem with kerosene was its flammable property. With the passage of time, the less-flammable solvents were used to reduce physical risks.

You may be wondering why dry cleaning is called “dry cleaning” though the clothes get wet during the process. Well, dry cleaning is done by the chemicals rather than water. The reason behind the term “dry cleaning” is the clothes go in dry and come out dry. Here, we will show you exactly how dry cleaning works.

How Dry Cleaning Works? – 5 Stages Of Dry Cleaning

Stage: 1 Tagging and Inspection

After you handover your clothes to the laundry service provider, they will inspect for any missing buttons or tear and type of stain, and tag your clothes indicating the cleaning process. You can also give them note if your garments need special attention. They will provide you the receipt mentioning your contact details, garments quantity, type of garments, type of cleaning and delivery date & time. This helps them identify the owner and can be used for future references.

Stage: 2 Sorting of Garments

All the garments gathered during the day are arranged and separated based on the type of garment, their color and nature of the stain. Some affordable dry cleaning services in Manhattan also undergo pre-treatment like prewash or spot cleaning on the strong stained garments to make dry cleaning more effective.

Stage: 3 Dry Cleaning

Now, the garments are sent to dry cleaning machine that looks similar to huge washing machine. This machine can hold up to 25 to 40 kg of garments. Instead of water, a popular non-flammable chemical solvent named perchloroethylene (perc) is used. Some detergents can also used to remove stains. The spin cycle starts after 30 minutes where your clothes are actually being washed. The dirt ends up in the filter. After 40-50 minutes, the clothes are exposed to high temperature to vaporize the solvent. The perc is reused after each wash, converting from liquid to gas and back again.

Stage: 4 Post Dry Cleaning Examination

The garments come out dry and clean. The workers will check for embellishments or any loose buttons that might come off during the cleaning process. If there is any, they will fix them. Sometimes water-resisting property of the perc does not remove water-soluble stains completely.  Hence, garments are examined thoroughly for any lingering stains and are removed if found any. The garments are then sent for ironing. Usually, the clothes are pressed with industrial press, but certain delicate fabrics are pressed by hand.

Stage: 5 Ready to Dispatch

As soon as the clothes are pressed and packed, they are ready to dispatch. New tags matching to original ones are attached to the clothes and are then hanged on conveyor. After you handover the receipt to the cleaners, they will deliver your clothes back in the garment bags.

Dry cleaning is usually required for stains occurred by cosmetics, paints or waxes on wool, silk or synthetic clothes. This is the general dry cleaning process. However, different dry cleaners may incorporate additional techniques for better and effective results.