Article By: Best Naples Dry Cleaner
Have you ever wondered what happens when you drop off your clothes at your dry cleaners? Have you ever contemplated how strange the idea of cleaning something without water seems? The actual process is a little less complicated and a little more misleading than you would think. It actually uses a liquid solvent but is called ‘dry’ because it involves no water.
As all ingenious inventions involve an element of the accidental, dry cleaning was no different. In the year 1855, the curiosity of a Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Jolly was piqued when he noticed how clean his table cloth became when his maid accidentally dropped a kerosene lamp on its surface. And so dry cleaning, one of the most inventive contributions of the French (and believe it or not, they did not invent French Fries) was born.
The process of dry cleaning has evolved since then, replacing the original materials of kerosene and gasoline with newer, safer solvents to clean clothing items. Following the Second World War, synthetic solvents such as carbon tetrachloride and trichloroethylene were replaced by perchlorethylene.
The dry cleaning industry took off, as this solvent not only provided a safer cleaning process, it did not require significant capital investment, took up less factory space and was fast and thus convenient.
Your dry cleaning is dealt with in the following way:
The employees attach small tags or labels to some part of your clothing, usually the shirt collar, to make your clothes identifiable from other customers’ clothing. The tag may also include the date the clothes were brought in and the date they will be ready to be picked up.
The items are also inspected for pre-existing holes, rips and missing buttons so that the dry cleaner is not blamed for something that is not their fault. Sometimes special labels are attached with clothing that requires special attention, such as for clothes that are especially sensitive or have stains that require extra cleaning.
The pre-treatment process begins, and this involves a check for stains on the clothing and for marks that are treated so that they are easily removed during the actual cleaning process.
The dry cleaning begins. The clothes are put in a machine and the solvent is added. This cleaning machine is a specially designed washer and dryer that runs on a motor and can hold up to 45 kg of weight.
Following the dry cleaning process is the post spotting process, which like the pre-treatment process deals with stains. This time though, the stains are after the actual cleaning, so the lingering stains that prove to be more resilient are the ones that have to be removed.
The dry cleaning process then involves a post dry cleaning finishing process in which the clothes are pressed, folded, packaged, steamed, wrapped and other finishing touches are applied.
This process is how you get the crisp, fresh, perfectly pressed laundry at the end. The freshness, odor and quality of your dry cleaning depend on the expertise of your cleaner and how he controls the solvent and the moisture in the actual process.