Dry Cleaning at London Cleaners02/10/2020Dry cleaning is a necessary, yet mysterious, process. While we all know that going to the dry cleaner with our delicate clothing is a crucial part of life, do we actually know much about the process? Here we will take a closer look at what dry cleaning is, how it started, how the procedure works, and how it is adapting to the future:What Does it Mean to Dry Clean, and How Does it Work?To dry clean is actually a way to clean garments without the use of water. That's where it gets its name. It’s still a misnomer, however, because the items are instead washed in a liquid cleaning solvent.The procedure has multiple steps. However, here at London Cleaners, your nearby dry cleaner in Cleveland, we follow an almost identical process to nearly all other cleaners which hasn't really changed over the years.The first step is inspection. Each item is quickly inspected to note any missing buttons or tears that were there when the item came in. This is so the dry cleaner cannot be blamed after pickup.Afterwards, the garments are tagged or labeled with the customer’s name and any special instructions. For example, “remove the pasta sauce stain on the sleeve.”Then, each item is logged and described on the client’s invoice, along the date dropped off and the date the load is expected to be finished.Next, the dry cleaner will check for any stains on each garment and will pre-treat them with a stain remover chemical to ensure easy removal during the cleaning process.Stains that are water-based will be treated with water-based cleaners, while dry, or non-water-based stains, such as oil or grease, will need to be pre-treated with a solvent. A rag is used to blot away the stain, which should bleed into the cloth.Afterwards, the clothes are placed in a large machine that doubles as both a washer and a dryer. The items are drenched in solvent and agitated in the motor-driven apparatus.The machine's stainless steel basket can hold between 20 and 100 pounds of clothing or linens. Like regular washing machines, it is perforated to allow fluid to drain so it can spin effectively.Unlike a wet washer, however, the machine doubles as a dryer. This is done to recover all the solvent used to clean the items. Not only does this practice save the business money, it is also much better for the environment.When the items are dried, the cleaner will look thoroughly at each item to ensure there are no lingering stains. This is referred to as post-spotting.Post-spotting incorporates the use of professional equipment to remove stubborn stains. Again, solvents are applied for dry stains and wet-side chemicals are used for wet stains. Machines will utilize steam, vacuum, and air technologies to get even the toughest stains out.Finally, the dry cleaner applies to finishing touches to the clothes. He or she will steam garments in order to soften them and then vacuum the moisture out. He or she may also make minor repairs, such fixing a hem or a loose button. The cleaner will then gently press dress shirts, and fold sweaters and other items not prone to wrinkling.A Brief History of Dry CleanersIt may sound strange, but like many great inventions of our time, this cleaning concept was actually invented accidentally.In France, in the mid-19th century, a dye-works owner named Jean Baptiste Jolly had a maid that spilled kerosene all over his table after accidentally dropping a lamp. Surprisingly, the kerosene cleaned the tablecloth beautifully, and Jolly took notice. He decided to operate a “dry cleaners,” or a water-free cleaning service, through his dye company.Following in Jolly's footsteps, fellow dry cleaners opened shops and utilitied kerosene as a solvent, along with other chemicals, such as gasoline.Surprisingly, the idea is fairly new in the United States, having only been popular for approximately the last 75 years.Since it’s humble beginnings during the 1940s, the American dry cleaning industry has steered away from the harsh chemicals that its contemporaries used unwaveringly in Europe for years.Dangerous carbon tetrachloride and trichlorethylene were exchanged for perchlorethylene, or “perc,” as it became known. It was the prime choice for most of the industry since it worked faster, safer, and much better than its predecessors. Perc allowed for the phenomenon known as one-hour cleaning to become a reality.What Items should be Dry Cleaned?When determining whether or not an item should be dry cleaned, the first place you should check is the label on the clothing. Almost all clothing or linens will have some type of care instructions attached.However, there are some materials that should be dry cleaned no matter what.For example, leather and suede should never be washed. Doing so will destroy the natural form and luster of the material and lead to staining due to permanent damage. Suits, especially those made from wool, should also be entrusted to a professional dry cleaner. Some high-end jeans also deserve the same care. When in doubt, pretty much any delicate or pricy material should probably be dry cleaned. It is better to be safe than sorry.For example, other materials that should never be washed at home include silk, velvet, chiffon, merino wool, taffeta, and acetate. This also includes silk and rayon blends.Why are Dry Cleaners Transitioning to Less Harsh and More Eco-friendly Solvents?The customer demand for environmentally-safe products has increased drastically in recent years. Of course, government regulations have had a hand in these kinds of decisions as well.It has recently come to the attention of governmental health officials that some cleaning chemicals may be hazardous to humans’ health. Some of these chemicals have been thought to be carcinogenic, although nothing has been proven. As such, the cleaning industry has looked for alternative cleaning solvents that are not only green, but also much healthier choices.Studies have been conducted that show that these hazardous chemicals remain on clothing days after they've been picked up from the dry cleaners. The same studies have also shown that 50% of these chemicals remain weeks after they have been picked up, even when left in the plastic bag. The worst thing about these studies is the fact that 50% of those potentially harmful chemicals have now evaporated into the air, permeating the customer’s home.Fortunately, a new cleaning system based on carbon dioxide has been devised as a safe alternative to such solvents.Because carbon dioxide is a substance that occurs naturally, it is not considered a chemical. It does no damage to the environment, and, because it is part of the atmosphere in which human beings exist, it also is a safe and healthy alternative.In its liquid form, carbon dioxide is added to detergent and becomes an effective solvent that dry cleaners can use with a clear conscience.What are the Benefits of a Pick Up and Delivery Dry Cleaner?Pickup and delivery dry cleaning is a service with a great amount of value to people who are constantly on the go. And, really, who isn't these days?Today’s world is one of convenience. We have so many things to do and so many places to go that is impossible to think of mundane things like cleaning your clothes on a daily basis. With pickup and drop-off delivery dry cleaning services, customers don't have to think of these things. All they have to do is simply call the shop and they'll come get their dirty clothes and return them completely cleaned and sparkling fresh.Without having to worry about dropping their garments off and picking them up, consumers will have more free time on their hands to enjoy in the way that they choose. Instead of spending all afternoon traveling back and forth to the dry cleaners, they can spend that time off from work with their family and friends. They can simply let the dry cleaners worry about their dirty clothes while they take it easy.In conclusion, cleaning your clothes is a necessary evil, but it doesn't have to be a bother. At London Cleaners, your local dry cleaner in Cleveland, you don't have to worry about making the trip to our shop and coming back in a few days. We will do the traveling for you. Just let us know when you want us to come and get your clothes and linens and we will be there quickly and with a smile. As soon as they're ready, you can arrange with us a time for us to bring your items back. At London Cleaners, you can count on us everytime for fantastic customer service and our excellent, professional work.