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104 Clinton st Brooklyn NY 11201

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Dry Cleaning in Brooklyn

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Ever Wondered How Dry Cleaning Works ?

Is dry cleaning actually dry? Well, not exactly. Instead of using water to clean fabrics, the dry cleaning process uses chemical solvents to remove stains from clothing. Clothes are soaked in a liquid solvent, rotated in a perforated cylinder, and spun to remove the solvent. This process is best-suited for special fabrics that don’t react well with water, especially hot water that is often needed to lift pesky stains.

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What Items Should Be Dry Cleaned?

For delicate and expensive pieces, dry cleaning is optimal to preserve the fabric’s construction and the way it fits. Dry cleaning is preferred for special fabrics that morph after exposure to water and high heats from the dryer. These fabrics include:

  • Silk
  • Wool 
  • Suede
  • Leather
  • Linen
  • Rayon
  • Denim

Dry cleaning is also recommended for expensive items that you wish to prolong, like suits, coats, dress pants, dress shirts and couture pieces. However, not all clothing is suitable for dry cleaning, like fabrics containing or composed of plastic, PVC, or polyurethane.

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The dry cleaning process comprises several steps:

  • Inspect and tag: once your article of clothing is tagged, it’s examined for stains, rips, holes or missing buttons, etc.
  • Pre-spot: the cleaner will apply a chemical solvent, vacuum, or heat to pre-treat stains.
  • The dry cleaning process: garments are submerged into a non-water based solvent in a machine. The machine rotates clothes in a perforated cylinder where the cleaning solvent is released. Afterwards the machine quickly spins the clothes with warm air to remove the excess solvent. 
  • Post-spot: clothes are reviewed for any remaining stains/residue and re-treated when necessary.

Final touch: clothes are pressed, steamed and ironed. 

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The Science Behind Dry Cleaning

Water just won’t cut it when dealing with greasy, oily and protein-based stains. Although water is a universal solvent, it’s not enough to extract these stubborn stains from fabrics. 

Water is a polar molecule. It interacts with polar groups in fibers, which causes fabrics to expand. After the water is removed during the drying process, not all fabrics return to their original shape. Hot water is often needed to dissolve tough stains, which can also damage delicate fabrics. 

On the other hand, dry cleaning solvents are nonpolar molecules. These molecules don’t impact the fibers. This process better preserves clothing, so your favorite suit or blouse will remain intact for many years to come. Special garments can even be passed down to younger generations and family members.