Dry cleaning is a method of washing fragile clothes that would not stand the torments of a conventional washing machine. This type of washing is opposed in all points to cleaning with water, replaced by liquid solvent. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn something everyone should know about dry cleaning.
What is dry cleaning?
Because they are too fragile, some garments- such as suits or cashmere, or silk pieces- cannot be washed in a traditional washing machine. The same goes for clothes that have been inadvertently stained. That’s why it’s a good idea to take them to a dry cleaner. Although it looks like a traditional washing machine, this machine is larger and works differently.
First of all, it is not water that is used for washing, but an organic solvent of which the most known is perchloroethylene. It may seem strange to wash clothes without water, but its use has a drying effect on fragile materials, unlike this type of solvent.
The cleaning also works in a closed circuit. In other words, the solvent used during the cleaning of clothes is recovered, filtered, and reused for the next cycle of washing instead of being rejected in the drains, as is the case when we launch a machine at home. This cleaning process is done in two successive baths: pre-wash and wash. These are followed by a soft and gentle drying, which will not damage the fibres of the clothes.
Dry cleaning by hand
It is possible to dry clean your clothes at home without using a dry cleaner. However, different precautions must be taken to handle the products safely, starting with ammonia. Indeed, alkali (or ammonia) is an ideal product to renovate the colors of certain fabrics, carpets, and rugs and eliminate grease.
However, it gives off harmful vapors and can, by simple contact on the skin or eyes, become very irritating. Therefore, be sure to use gloves when handling ammonia; NEVER smoke around it and never breathe its fumes. Soda crystals (or soda ash) can also be irritating to the skin.
Dry cleaning with a dryer
Your dryer can also provide a convenient way to dry and clean your clothes. To do this, you need to invest in a single-use kit, usually consisting of a bag to put the clothes in and cleaning wipes. Place your clothes to be washed and a wipe in the bag provided with the kit, and place it in the machine. Then set the dryer to a gentle, short, low-temperature cycle. Take the clothes out quickly at the end of the cycle and place them on hangers to smooth them out.
Dry cleaning in a dry cleaner
If you don’t have a dryer at home and don’t want to do your dry cleaning, you can always go to the dry cleaners! Your clothes are cared for and treated within 48 hours by professionals, and a rigorous quality process is ensured throughout the treatment of your laundry.
How to clean a garment that cannot be washed?
Among the garments that cannot be washed are acetate, leather, fur, certain velvets and wools, cashmere, ties, and other silk garments and accessories. To maintain this part of the wardrobe, there are solutions. The most common solution, especially for delicate clothes, is to take them to the dry cleaners, but it is also possible to wash them by hand with a little detergent or shampoo and cold water. Finally, the “streamer”, the steam defroster, is ideal for sanitizing the clothes.
Can we replace the traditional dry cleaner?
For the last ten years, in addition to the substitution of perchloroethylene with other solvents, new cleaning solutions have been developed, such as water-based cleaning or “aqua-cleaning”. They are called “ecological dry cleaners,” and in recent years, they have become so popular that many brands have developed. This technique consists of using water, detergents, and special additives to avoid damaging the fibers of fragile fabrics such as silk or linen. This system requires the use of a specific washer and dryer.
The machine contains several programs which allow personalizing the washing according to the nature of the linen so that the speed of rotation of the drum, the temperature, the quantity of water, and the products of detergent are chosen by adapting to its needs. The dryer is equipped with a specific program that allows it to adapt the drying temperature according to the nature of the garment.
Looking for help?
Are you in Ottawa? Looking for someone to alter your clothes or to dry clean them? Then look no further than Star Fashion Cleaners. They have over 3 decades in this industry, and this is why they are the leaders in dry-cleaning in Canada. They also take an eco-friendly cleaning practice, and they take this to the next level. So, what are you waiting for? Give them a call today and let them help you out with your dirty work.