Dry Cleaning is a process that cleans clothes without water. The cleaning fluid that is used is a liquid – most commonly perchlorethylene (perc). All garments are immersed and cleaned in a liquid solvent — the fact that there is no water is why the process is called “dry.”

The process involves using a dry to dry machine like a home washer and dryer both in one machine.

The garments are put in the machine’s basket, immersed in the solvent. The solvent passes over and in the basket cleaning the garments within, several cycles, passing through filteration devices built into the machine, and then the basket rotates fast extracting all the solvents back into the machine’s tank or the distillation device.

Then the basket rotates while heat is injected into the sytem, causing the solvent to evaporate reaching the top of the machine where a refrigeration coil is situated. When the hot solvent vepor hits the very cold refrigerated coil, it recondenses (like how rain is made) back into the sytem passing through a water separator removing any ambient moisture that had been transfered from dry garments into the solvent that they were cleaned with.

This process of drying takes 20-30 minutes, and the garments are returned to a clean dry but usually wrinkly state. This is the end of the cleaning process. from here the garments are moved to the pressing stations, where the wrinkles are removed, and fabric is pressed to a level of perfection varied by the dry cleaner involved.

Alex Najafi