It all started when a Parisian by name Jolly Belin spilled some kerosene on some dirty laundry. The mixture of hydrocarbons removed the stains that were on the fabric. After testing out his discovery, he opened a kerosene backed cleaning service in Paris.
Some fabrics are sensitive to water and because kerosene doesn’t contain water, it can handle sensitive fabrics like wool or silk. But Kerosene is extremely flammable, and besides personal safety, dry cleaners turned into time-bombs as they stocked so much of it.
Cleaners adopted a non-flammable organic halogen compound called perchloroethylene(perc). The liquid chemical lifts dirt from most common fabrics, doesn’t cause clothing to shrink or dyes to fade, and it can be reused.
Dry Cleaning Process: The dry cleaning machine looks like a front load washer, but its different in the fact that it doesn’t use water , it uses solvent, as the drum rotates, the solvent that loosens the stain. The solvent is not all perc though, it’s also got a mix of other chemicals which help it remove other stains that perc can’t remove.
The dirt is separated from the solvent through a distilling process. The perc is sealed up in the machine and reused with each wash, transforming from liquid to vapor and back again. And when all is done, these washers take care of the drying.
But these machines might not catch everything, as expected, the dirt that needs water, will remain, the laundromats, usually use special solutions to rid these stains.
The clothes are then pressed to removes all the wrinkles, and viola, clean and pristine shirt.
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