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Dry Cleaning

Dry_Cleaners

JUST WHAT IS DRY CLEANING ANYWAY?

The Dry Cleaning process is not as mysterious as you might believe. It is somewhat similar to washing,  in that in both processes, clothes are immersed in a solution, agitated and then tumbled dry. At least that had been the case until now. But technological advances have changed the landscape substantially.

In washing, the solution is water and detergents. The water is discarded after washing, and the drying temperature is relatively high.

In Dry Cleaning, the solution is “dry cleaning fluid”  with special additives (sizing, brightness, etc..), the fluid is filtered, distilled and reused over and over, and the drying temperature is substantially lower. Also, your dry cleaner has, hopefully,  some expertise in stain removal. Until very recently, the dry cleaning fluid of choice had been perchloroethelyne or Perc for short. Health and environmental concerns have driven the industry to look for alternative ways of dry cleaning and several new “fluids” have surfaced while some other established fluids have been given new life. There are also new technologies that allow for dry cleaning without actually soaking the garments in a solution at all.

And now there is something new: Wetcleaning.

WHAT IS WETCLEANING?

Wetcleaning is very similar to washing because both processes use water. But the similarity stops here. Wetcleaning, as done by professionals, uses equipment designed for computerized control over rotation speed, water temperature, extraction force and in the drying cycle, temperature control time of cycle to the minute. Furthermore, the cleaning industry has developed wetcleaning chemicals specifically designed to process garments in water. These chemicals are not available to the general public. They are designed to prevent shrinkage, color bleeding, felting and stiffness.

SO, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONE DRY CLEANER AND ANOTHER?

I shall not belabor the obvious differences such as same day service,  work done on the premises, friendliness of staff, general knowledge of staff, reliability, experience, fabric knowledge, etc…
The most important difference is the one not so obvious. Since the fluid solution is reused over and over again, the purity of the fluid becomes a key factor in the quality of the cleaning process. If your whites are coming back to you dingy, then you should wonder how clean is the fluid being used.
Most cleaners filter their fluid throughout the cleaning cycle. This carries away any insoluble particles so they do not re-deposit onto the garments. The soluble stains, however dissolve into the fluid and remain there until the fluid is purified by distillation.
There is the rub. While dry cleaners’ professional organizations recommend distillation based on the number of pounds cleaned, it is left up to the individual dry cleaner to decide when and to what extent to distill. Distillation does not come cheap.

It follows, therefore, that a cleaner who distills after each load would use the purest fluid for the best cleaning results. MILL PLAIN CLEANERS  distills after each load.

 

OUR POLICY ON DRYCLEANING vs WETCLEANING: To Dry Clean? Wet Clean? Wash?

It is our goal to return the garment to our customer in as “as close to new” condition as possible. We will not use a process which is contrary to the manufacturer’s care instructions unless we have asked and received permission from the customer to do so.
We shall, therefore,  use our best professional judgment, within the constraints of the manufacturer’s care label, type of stain, time available and the wishes of the customer in determining the best method of care for a particular garment at a given time.

 

 

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