Doing laundry has been a common household activity for years. Whether the technology was beating the garments on rocks by the river or pushing buttons on programmed washing machines, this process depends on water and a mechanical action usually assisted by soap. Dry Cleaning uses the same washing machine principle but replaces the water used at home with a cleaning solvent.
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.”
The modern dry cleaning machine is generally a “dry to dry” machine like the one above. That means the clothes go in dry, are cleaned as in your home washer and then dried as in your home dryer. The primary difference is that as the cleaning solvent evaporates during the dry cycle it is condensed and returned to the storage tank at the bottom of the machine. The solvent is continuously filtered to remove soil, dye, oils and other “dirt” from the clothes.
A variety of solvents are used. At Marky’s of Denton Texas we use a petroleum solvent. Safe, gently and environmentally friendly it cleans well without the health risks of other chemically engineered solvents.
Dry cleaning allow us to cleaning many natural and synthetic fibers without the risk of damage or shrinkage that would otherwise occur if washed in water. It is generally much gentler and keeps your clothes looking new much longer. A real benefit when you find something that you really like to wear and want to keep it around for a while.