Doing the laundry has been a household activity for generations, but what about Dry Cleaning?
The technology may have moved on from the days of beating your smalls against rocks by the river but even high tech washing machines depend on water and any cleaning action, mechanical or otherwise, and usually assisted by soap or an alkali. The alkali is to saponify the oils and dislodge ordinary soil and other matter. More often than not, the soapy agent holds soil in suspension as it becomes loose during the wash cycle, and is subsequently flushed away during the rinsing process.
The drying process for doing laundry at home is either hanging clothes on a clothesline or tumbling them in a dryer.
On the other hand is Dry cleaning. It’s a process that cleans clothes without water. Despite the name, it’s a wet process. The cleaning fluid that’s used is a liquid, and all your garments are immersed and cleaned in a liquid solvent. We’re about to give you some insight into the dry-cleaning process so that you can understand what happens to your clothes after we collect them.
Like many inventions, dry cleaning came about by accident. In 1855, Jean Baptiste Jolly, a French dye-works owner, noticed that his table cloth became cleaner after his maid accidentally overturned a kerosene lamp on it. Operating through his dye-works company, Jolly offered a new service and called it “dry cleaning.”
Early dry cleaners used a variety of solvents — including gasoline and kerosene — to clean clothes and fabrics. Since World War II ended, the volatile synthetic solvents carbon tetrachloride and trichlorethylene gave way to a product known as perchlorethylene or perc, which became the overwhelming solvent choice for the industry. Not only was it safer and faster, it did a much better job of cleaning, required less massive equipment, less floor space, and could be installed in retail locations offering excellent quality one-hour service.
It was as a result of this innovation, the majority of clothes today are cleaned by perc and saw a proliferation of cleaning franchises and dry-cleaning businesses offering fast service from convenient, clean, and local outlets and evolved into what we see today.