Ever wonder, what happens to your stained clothes, after you drop them at the dry cleaner? Is there any magic provided to the dry cleaning store owners or workers? Or is there any product that does the work?
Many questions pop up in the mind when you receive the new-like apparel in two-days (which was ugly stained before). Also, it is a dry process, like if they don’t use water, then what is used? How does that happen?
Okay! It’s definitely not magic, but you could say a technical prodigy. However, how does dry cleaning work, anyways? Let’s get you an answer to this and rest the questions.
The origin of dry cleaning dates back to 1821 when Thomas L. Jennings invented this process known as ‘dry scouring’ back then. At that time, Mr. Thomas was the sole patent owner of the dry cleaning.
As time went by, other people came up with new solutions for the same. Fast forward to the year 2020, now we have environment-friendly solvents and dry cleaning machines. Let’s talk about the dry cleaning process in detail.
What is Dry Cleaning?
Laundry is the most common household chore that everyone follows. Also, it involves water, but dry cleaning is something that no one tries at home. Why? (You will learn about it in the next section.) when laundry is consuming water, dry cleaning isn’t!
However, I would like to clarify that ‘dry cleaning’ is a misnomer. It doesn’t use water, but the cloth is anyway soaked in chemical solvents, which works on the stains. So by dry, it is claiming of no usage of water.
In short, dry cleaning is a process where clothes get cleaned without the usage of water.
How Does Dry Cleaning Work?
This is the exact question, for which you are looking for the answer. Firstly there are two types of stores, first is a local dry cleaning plant and the other is a drop shop. In a local dry cleaning plant, the clothes are directly dry cleaned, whereas drop shops collect the apparels and send them to the plants.
After the clothes are received, they are put into the dry cleaning machine (which somehow looks like a normal washing machine only). The difference is instead of water in a rotating drum, there is a chemical solvent.
The most common dry cleaning chemical solvent is tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene (Perc). This chemical is used worldwide, but recently dry cleaners are shifting to the siloxane, as it is more environment-friendly.
After the clothes are washed in the machine, they are pressed for the newer look. The chemical released is collected in an extractor for the reuse.
How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take?
The dry cleaning time somewhat depends on whether you have dropped the apparel at local plant or drop shops. Usually, a shirt takes around 90 minutes for laundering. The process can take more time depending upon the stubborn stains, and type of material.
So the precise answer to the question is dry cleaning can take minimum of 90 minutes and a maximum of 3 to 4 hours.
What Kind of Fabrics Should You get Dry Cleaned?
Before dropping your garment at the dry cleaner, you should note what kind of fabric needs dry cleaning. Some fabrics can get rid of the stains with regular washing as well. Just like them, some fabrics require special treatment. The reason for this can be anything from reacting poorly with water to stubborn stains that gets weird or spread with the water contact.
If your wardrobe is filled with natural fabric garments, then you won’t need to visit the dry cleaners more often. However, if you are a fan of delicate fabrics like silk, cashmere, or suede, you will have more frequent visits to dry cleaners.
Here is the list of fabric with extra care properties;
- Or any fabric with detailed embroidery or beading.
How Much Does Dry Cleaning Cost?
On average, every household spends around $500 for dry cleaning. The pricing of the dry cleaning process is based on the type of garment and its delicacy. You won’t see any store hanging perfect pricing board for the dry cleaning service.
The minimum costing starts at $4 and can go up to $18 to $20, approximately. The charges can increase depending upon the fabric and how early you want. Yes, if you want immediate delivery, the shop will charge extra for it.
There is a question that frequently emerges in mind (probably from nowhere land), is it possible to do dry cleaning at home?
Everything has evolved efficiently, so there are chances of doing dry cleaning at home! (*Thinking*)
Yes, you can! For that, you will have to invest in a dry cleaner, get your hands on an ideal chemical solvent, and most importantly, take care of their draining process. There are many dry cleaning kits available in the market, which eases your work.
Dry Cleaning Mystery Cracked:
So now, do you believe that there is no magic behind stain-free clothes in two days? It is totally a technological sheath. As said, you can try dry cleaning at home, but remember before you invest, calculate the per garment cost. Whether investing in one is profitable to you or not?
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