3 Convenient Locations to Serve You
Crescent Springs, KY
Erlanger, KY
Florence, KY
613 Buttermilk Pike Crescent Springs, KY. 41017
(859) 341-2532
4224 Dixie Highway Erlanger, KY. 41018
(859) 727-6211
8211 US Route 42 Florence, KY. 41042
(859) 746-3033
Erlanger, KY
Earlanger Store
 
Crescent Springs, KY
Earlanger Store
 
Florence, KY
Florence Store
 

DRY-CLEANING

You come into A+ Dry Cleaners, drop off your clothes, get your ticket, and then drive away, the next day, you return, pick up your clothes, talk to our service representative, and drive away again.

But, do you know what happened to your clothes while they were at A+ Dry Cleaners? Do you know what dry cleaning is and how it works?

Dry-cleaning
Dry-cleaning is termed so because water is not the primary liquid used in the process. Garments are, however, fully submerged in a solvent that contains little or no water.

Dry-cleaning solvents remove soil and stains from fabrics without penetrating the fibers as water does. Solvents are not harmful to most fabrics and compared to water, cause less shrinkage, color fading or other issues that can occur during the cleaning process. Overall, solvents provide better cleaning potential than water.

Detergents are utilized in dry-cleaning solvents for enhanced cleaning capability. Sizing is also added to restore garment shape, body and texture.

Solvents long utilized in dry-cleaning include perchloroethylene and petroleum-based solvents. Recent development of C02 as a dry-cleaning solvent has introduced yet another potentially effective solvent.

Not all garments require dry-cleaning and can be laundered with water. Manufacturer labeling that is required on all garments indicate which type of cleaning is best for the garment and at A+ CLEANERS, we follow the manufacturer labels to determine the best way to clean the item.

A Brief History
Dry-cleaning dates back to ancient times, probably beginning with the advent of textile clothing itself. The ruins of Pompeii gives a record of a highly developed trade of *fullers* who were professional clothes cleaners. Lye and ammonia were used in early laundering, and a type of clay known as *fuller*s earth* was used to absorb soils and grease from clothing too delicate for laundering.

There are many stories about the origin of dry-cleaning, all centering on a surprise discovery when a petroleum-type fluid was accidentally spilled on a greasy fabric. It quickly evaporated and the stains were miraculously removed. The firm of Jolly-Belin, opened in Paris in the 1840s, is credited as the first dry cleaning firm.

Solvents
In spite of the name, dry-cleaning is not completely dry. Fluids are used in the dry-cleaning process. In the early days, garment scourers and dryers found several fluids that could be used as dry-cleaning solvents, including camphene, benzene, kerosene, and gasoline. These fluids are all dangerously flammable, so dry cleaning was a hazardous business until safer solvents were developed. There are lots of old stories about laundries burning down, which explains why solvents have changed over the years.

In the 1930s, percholoroethylene or *perc*(a nonflammable, synthetic solvent) was introduced and is used today in many dry-cleaning plants. Other cleaning solvents have been added, and even more are currently being tested.

Dry-cleaning is not the answer to all soil and stain removal concerns. Stains, sometimes,can become permanently embedded in the fiber, or fabrics cannot withstand normal cleaning and stain removal procedures. Some decorative trim and deads or plastics are not compatible with dry-cleaning solvent. It is important that consumers as well as dry-cleaners read all care labels and follow the instructions.

Dry cleaning Machines
There are various makes/models of dry cleaning machines. Despite the differences, all dry-cleaning machines work on the same principle. A+ CLEANERS has separate dry-cleaning machines, one for light-colored items and another for dark articles to provide a better quality service than most dry-cleaners that have a single unit that mixes all colors together or use the same solvent for lights and darks.

A dry-cleaning machine consists of four basic components:

Holding or base tank
Pump
Filter
Cylinder or wheel


The holding tank holds the dry-cleaning solvent. A pump is used to circulate the solvent through the machine during the cleaning process. Filters are used to trap solid impurities. A cylinder or wheel is where the garments are placed to be cleaned. The cylinder has ribs to help lift and drop the garments.

The operation of the dry-cleaning machine is easy to understand. The solvent is drawn from the tank by the pump. The pump sends the solvent through the filters to trap any impurities. The filtered solvent then enters the cylinder to flush soil from the clothes. The solvent leaves the cylinder button trap and goes back to the holding tank. This process is repeated throughout the entire cleaning cycle, ensuring that the solvent is maintained to give effective cleaning at all times.

After the cleaning cycle, the solvent is drained and an *extract* cycle is run to remove the excess solvent from the clothes. This solvent is drained back to the bare tank. During extraction, the rotation of the cylinder increases in order to use centrifugal force to remove the solvent from the clothes

Once the clothes have finished being extracted, the cylinder stops. At this time, clothes are either transferred to a separate dryer or, on most machines, dried in the same unit, a closed system. The drying process uses warm air circulated through the cylinder to vaporize the solvent left on the clothes. The solvent is purified in a still. Here the solvent is heated. The vapors are then condensed back to a liquid leaving behind all impurities in the still. This clean solvent is then pumped back into the holding/base tank.

Dry-cleaning machines are rated in pounds of fabric (dry weight) the machine can hold. Machine sizes vary from very small (20 pounds) to large (100 pounds) capacity of clothes cleaned per cycle.

Before cleaning, garments are inspected and classified. The length of the cleaning cycle is dependant upon the type of article cleaned and the degree of soiling.

Some heavily stained garments may go through a stain removal process prior to cleaning to aid in better soil and stain removal. A stain removal technician will treat specific items just prior to cleaning.

A lot of effort goes into the dry-cleaning process, and there are many skilled technicians involved in caring for your garments.

Now, when you visit A+ Dry Cleaners, you will have a better understanding of this *magical process* of dry-cleaning. In fact, if you would like to schedule a visit to see how we are unique from other dry-cleaners, just give a call and we'll demonstrate how all of this work. Has anyone else ever made that offer?

 
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