How Clothes Are Dry Cleaned

Many special occasion clothes as well as comforters are dry clean only. Dry cleaning is a process that cleans fabric with a chemical solvent instead of water. From washing to the dry cleaning conveyor, here is how the process works.

Wash It Up

Before clothes are dry cleaned, the pockets are gone through to remove random objects before they damage the clothes. Fragile fabrics are put in a bag to keep them intact. If there are stains, a stain treater is applied to the spot. All the clothes are tossed into a washing machine and a chemical solvent, typically perchloroethylene, is added to the machine clothing. The temperature is kept consistent because if it gets too hot it can damage the fibers. Since there are concerns that these solutions contribute to polluting the planet, many dry cleaners are turning to environmentally safe products. Once everything is combined, the unit agitates the laundry until it is clean.

Squeeze It Out

Once the clothes have been washed and rinsed in the solvent, the chemical is drained from the machine. The drum then spins the rest out until it is almost gone. The solvent is recycled for reuse in another washing. When the spin cycle is finished, a warm blast of air is sent into the drum to dissolve the last remnants of chemical. That steam is collected and chilled to extract the last bits of detergent out of it.

Hang It Out To Dry

When the clothing is clean, they are deodorized to cool them and to wring the very last trace of solvent from them. The articles are hung up until they are completely dry. They are then pressed and hung up again on a conveyor system. The customer is called to tell them that their item is ready for pickup.