How Dry Cleaning Works and Are Your Clothes Really Dry Cleaned
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How Dry Cleaning Works and Are Your Clothes Really Dry Cleaned

How Dry Cleaning works and are your clothes really DRY cleaned?

It is accepted today that Jean Baptiste Jolly was the inventor of dry-cleaning, as is with many innovations and inventions it came about by an accident.

The story go’s that Jean Baptiste Jolly who ran a dye company knocked over a can of kerosene in his workroom the liquid spilled onto some oily rags, he noticed the kerosene had removed a lot of the oil.

The dry-cleaning industry has come a long way

After many experiments Jean Baptiste Jolly had in 1845 started offering a ‘DRY’ cleaning service ‘nettoyage à sec‘ as an extra service to his customers, he called it dry as no water was used.

The dry-cleaning industry has come a long way since those early days, most cleaners use perchloroethylene now, and even today most people have no idea what go’s on in a dry cleaners.

So let me try to show you what happened’s after you ‘drop off’ your clothes for cleaning?

At the counter the assistant issues you with a numbered ticket, the till or book that the ticket is taken from has duplicate numbered tickets one as the master ticket and one each to pin on your clothes.

Solvent is passed into a still

After your items have been ‘ticketed up’ the clothes are sorted into loads of dark, light and fluffy loads, a typical load is around 13 kilos, when its time for them to be cleaned the loads are put into a ‘Dry-cleaning’ machine this is similar to a washing machine but a solvent is used instead of water, also in a washing machine the spent water is drained off, but in a ‘Dry-clean’ machine the solvent is passed into a still, and there distilled back into pure solvent again.

A load takes around 35 minuets to complete after that is taken from the machine and sent for pressing, there are usually three kinds of presses first the clothes are put into a steam cabinet to remove most of the creases, remember there is no need to dry the clothes as they came out of the Dry clean machine dry.

After the cabinet the clothes are then sorted into those that can be Hoffman pressed and those that need to be ironed.

Clothes are Hoffman pressed

Usually the trousers and skirts are Hoffman pressed and the rest are finished on the iron, when the presser is satisfied that clothes are pressed correctly they are placed on a line ready to be ‘pieced up’ this is where the numbers come in, the packer can see by the ticket pinned on the garment how many pieces are in the order, also he or she can check on the master ticket.

The pieced up garments are then packed (usually in polythene) and placed on the finish line ready for you the customer to arrive with your ticket to pick up.

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Comments (2)

highly useful

So, that's how it's done.