The How Home Dry Cleaning works.

HOW HOME DRY CLEANING WORKS
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How does home dry cleaning work?



If you have ever bought clothes or tossed a load of laundry into the washing machine, you have probably seen the symbol or read the label that says, “Dry Clean Only.” This label pertains to garments that could be damaged by water and laundry detergent, the components of washing clothes in the standard fashion. Not only does having to take clothes to the dry cleaners and pick them up add to one’s forever growing list of errands but it also costs money, especially if you have many garments that need to be dry cleaned. For this reason, companies such as Dryel have come up with a product that allows someone to dry clean their own clothes at home. But just how do these products work? Are they effective? And is it really cheaper than having someone do the grunt work for you?

When you take your clothes to a dry cleaner, they are placed in a solvent solution and there is special machinery used to clean them. Except for this process, the dry cleaning kits that are available work in much the same way that the dry cleaners use. These kits will help you treat any stains with a pretreater, dry clean the garments, iron them and make any necessary repairs. They do this by using a stain remover that is often in the form of stain absorbing pads, a dryer activated cloth, and a dryer bag that can be reused.

All of the manufacturer’s instructions for the kits will ask that you pretreat the stain using the pretreater that is included in the kit. There is actually no difference between these pretreaters and the other pretreaters that you can find on the grocery store shelves. The pretreater is actually just a cleaning agent in water. The cleaning agent is generally a petroleum or detergent based ingredient and while both will work effectively on treating greasy stains, the petroleum based products work better. This cleaning agent works in several different ways. It first minimizes the tension on the surface so that the cleaning agent will be able to reach into the fabric and pull the dirt away. It then dissolves the dirt in the water so that it will not just end up back on the clothes.

Most kits supply the pretreater in a bottle along with absorbent pads that are used to take away the excess water once you have pretreated. How the process works is: an absorbent pad is placed underneath the garment, directly underneath the stain. The stain should then be gently rubbed while the pretreater is applied. The dirt is freed from the surface of the garment with the water in the pretreater. The dirt is then pushed through the garment due to the pressure that is being applied and the dirt lands onto the absorbent pad.

None of the home dry cleaning kits available will be able to remove very large stains completely. Due to the sheer mass that these stains cover on the garment, they must be placed in the industrial solvent that commercial dry cleaners have available to them. When treating a small stain, there is not enough water in the pretreater to damage the clothing, although it may seem counterproductive to place water on a dry clean only article of clothing.

After pretreating the stain, the clothes can then be placed into the dry cleaning bag that comes with the kits. One to four articles can be placed in the dry cleaning bag at one time. The dryer-activated cloth is then placed inside the bag with the clothes and the entire bag is placed into the dryer for fifteen to thirty minutes. While it is in the dryer, a combination of steam, perfume, and emulsifier will be used to clean the clothes.

It is the dryer-activated cloth that holds all of these things. The steam is produced with the trace amounts of water that are in the cloth. It begins when the dryer is turned on and the temperature inside the dryer starts to rise. As it gets hotter, the molecules begin to move more quickly and once they are moving fast enough, they leave the surface of the liquid of the three ingredients and this creates steam. The dryer bag is used to keep the steam concentrated on the clothes. All of the ingredients then penetrate the clothes within the bag. This is why clothes seem so fresh when they come out of the bag. They have been infused with perfume. For this reason, people with sensitive skin or who are allergic to perfumes, may choose not to use these self dry cleaners simply for this reason.

The steam is also useful in removing wrinkles from the clothing. It does this through a combination of the water and the heat. This combination is used as a breakdown of the fibers in the garment and that breakdown causes certain pieces of the fabric that are attracted to each other to fall away from each other, therefore taking out the wrinkles. Because heat is the primary factor in getting wrinkles out of the garments, once the dryer has stopped, the clothes will begin to cool down and wrinkles will form again. The clothes should be taken out of the dryer right away and they should at that time be ironed if needed. Because the clothes are not in the dryer for a very long time, clothes that went in heavily wrinkled will probably still have wrinkles once they are taken out and will need to be ironed. It is also at this time that you will need to look over the clothes and see if they are in need of any repairs.

There are two main advantages to these kits. The first is that they are convenient, enabling the user to do so right from their own home. And they are much less expensive than taking your clothes to an actual dry cleaner. They are also effective if you have clothes that are in good condition, are just lightly soiled, or just need some freshening up. You will rarely need little more than one of these kits if this is the case. However, the kits won’t repair the clothes for you like a commercial dry cleaner will. They also will not remove heavy stains or wrinkles. When you have a garment that needs a lot of work, it’s best just to take them to the dry cleaner and save yourself some of the hassle.


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