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Hangers – Dry Cleaning
What Is Dry Cleaning, Anyway?
Despite its name, dry cleaning is actually performed with a variety of liquids to clean bedding, clothes, upholstery, and other types of fabrics – there is just no water involved. This is because water can damage certain types of fabric like wool, silk, and leather. Likewise, washing machines can destroy lace, buttons, sequins, and other delicate accouterments.
Dry cleaning works by removing solids and dissolving stains and soil with the use of solvents. Often detergents are added to the solvents. Detergents help by:
- Carrying moisture which helps remove water-soluble soils
- Suspending soil once it’s removed by the fabric so it can’t be reabsorbed
- Penetrates the fabric and acts as a spotting agent for solvents can remove stains
How Does Dry Cleaning Work?
A dry cleaning machine usually consists of four parts:
- A holding or base tank to hold the solvent
- A pump to circulate the solvent throughout the machine
- Filters that trap solid impurities
- A wheel or cylinder where items being cleaned are placed
During the dry cleaning process, the pump pulls the solvent from the tank and pushes it through the filters to remove any contaminants. The filtered solvent enters the cylinder where it interacts with the fabric and removes any soil. Then the solvent travels back into the holding tank and starts the process again.
Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the machine runs through an extraction cycle to remove excess solvent. The rotation rate of the cylinder increases during this process – much like the final spin cycle of your at-home washing machine
Once the cylinder stops moving, the clothes are either transferred to a separate dryer or are dried inside the same machine.
What Does the Dry Cleaning Process Look Like?
The commercial dry cleaning process begins when you drop off your dirty clothes and ends when you pick them back up, sparkling clean and looking like new. But what mysterious processes are taking place inside that make this miracle of modern cleaning technology possible?
You’ve likely received your dry cleaning on hangers with numbered ID tags attached. Sometimes they may be pinned to your garment. That’s because all of your garments must be identified as belonging to you so they’re not misplaced or mixed up with the clothing of other clients.
Before your clothes are cleaned, your dry cleaner will inspect each individual garment for rips, tears, items left in pockets, or loose or missing buttons. These items will be returned to the customer and note will be taken of any damage before the garments are cleaned.
Part of the inspection process includes checking for any stains and treating them before the solvent cleaning process. If you know what caused the stain, please let us know – different stains respond best to different chemicals and removal methods. So let us know if that’s a spot of oil, blood, or ketchup for the best results.
During this stage in the dry cleaning process, we also remove or cover delicate trim, buttons, embroidery, etc. to ensure it’s not damaged during the cleaning process.
Machine Dry Cleaning
Now your clothes are ready to be run through the machine! We gently agitate them in a water-free solvent until they are completely clean and soil-free.
While dry cleaning is excellent at removing oil-based stains thanks to the chemical solvent, other types of stains are not always so easily removed. That’s why we pre-treat and do an inspection to look for any lingering stains post-dry cleaning. We treat these stains with steam, water, and sometimes even a vacuum to remove any traces of them.
Please be aware that while dry cleaning can seem miraculous, there are some stains that are simply impossible to remove due to age, severity, or the delicacy of the fabric. But always bring it by and we’ll see what we can do!
The last step in the process is making the garment presentable and ready-to-wear. This can include pressing, starching, steaming, making minor repairs, or reattaching buttons. Then we hang or fold your garments. The plastic bags we provide for your dry cleaned garments are only there to prevent any incidental damage or staining on your way home – you should always remove the plastic when you hang the garments back in your closet or you risk damaging your clothes with trapped moisture.
If you have any questions about dry cleaning, contact Hangers! We’re happy to help you find a convenient location and give you an estimate on pricing.
Never Do Laundry Again.
We know that your life is busy. We try to make things a little bit easier for you by offering free dry cleaning delivery and pickup. Yes, that’s right. We even include pickup. If you are a returning customer, login here. If you are a new customer, click below to sign up.