Drycleaning is the process of cleaning clothes/fabric and removing stains without using water. It is used to clean fabrics that degrade in water, and delicate fabrics that cannot withstand the rough and tumble of a washing machine and clothes dryer
Unlike what its name implies, dry cleaning is not a ‘dry’ process. Clothes are soaked in a solvent other than water. Various solvent such as Perchloroethylene (PERC), Tetrachloroethene, Mineral Turpentine oil (MTO) Petroleum spirits are used to remove stains from fabric.
In earlier times drycleaning was done only with petroleum products, which left a pungent smell after the finishing of garment. But with advancement in research drycleaners now use chemical solvent like PERC, MTO or hydrocarbons which not only give better drycleaning quality but also don’t left any smell after drycleaning process.
Drycleaning is basically a four step process which is as follows:
1)Tagging and inspection: A drycleaner first inspects properly the fabric for any wear tear, damage, specific type of stain or missing buttons and chains. After this the fabric is tagged with customer ID.
2)Pre-spotting: In this step the fabric is treated with specific solvent depending on the type of stain. The stains can be of various types such as Tea, Coffee, Blood, Rust, Ink, Oil, color bleed by another fabric etc. The drycleaner applies chemical solvent, vacuum or heat on stains which help in removing stains during the actual drycleaning process.
3)The Drycleaning process: After pre-spotting the fabric is put into machine and treated with a non-aqueous solvent. The clothes are then rotated in a perforated cylinder where the cleaning solvent is released in a steady amount throughout the entire process, there the machine rapidly spins the clothes to get rid of any excess solvent and releases warm air.
4)Finishing: Once the cloth goes through entire dry-cleaning process, it is steam ironed to remove any wrinkles from it. The temperature in ironer is set depending upon type of fabric, whether it is cotton, silk, polyester or wool. After ironing the fabric looks crispy and brighter.
Dry Cleaning can be beneficial for garments made from fibers that don’t react well when exposed to water, like silk and wool. It’s also good for garments that shouldn’t be exposed to the heat of a traditional dryer for an extended period of time.
While the Dry Cleaning process can seem a bit mysterious to many, all in all, it’s not as complex as it seems once you break down the steps. Generally drycleaning is used for expensive and delicate fabrics while laundry is used for daily wear clothes.