Chemicals assist cleaning
The chemicals used in addition to solvent in drycleaning have been developed over many years to improve the results.

Detergents are essential as drycleaning uses only use two baths (compared with three or more for washing).The detergent helps to remove soiling and suspends it in the solvent so it is safely transferred with the solvent that goes goes to the still, and will not re-deposit on the load to cause greying.

Spotting chemical formulae are designed to remove water-based soiling and staining such as blood, foodstuffs, drink marking, or sweat.

Drycleaning solvent does not usually dissolve Inks and glues completely and these stains will need softening with a “dry-side” spotter formulated for solvent-based stains. Once the stain has been softened it should usually be flushed from the fabric before cleaning.

Skipping the stain pre-treatment stage often results in the marks setting onto the fabric and they then become virtually impossible to take out in post-spotting.

The only stains that should be removed by post-spotting are those that are invisible prior to cleaning and that “develop” (darken) during the tumble dry stage of the first cleaning process. Lemonade, champagne and perspiration marks often fall into this category.

Sometimes drycleaning chemicals can be used innovatively to cure problems for which they were not actually designed. Leather oil may be used to restore the sheen to a heavy silk, at the same time removing the dry, cloudy white “bloom”. A waterproofing agent may be employed as an inexpensive protection against stain damage.

Static makes skirt cling
Fault: After drycleaning, this polyester-blend skirt clung to the owner’s legs and was unpleasant to wear.

Cause: Cleaning and tumble drying will probably remove the surface finish and any moisture in the garment.As a result, the friction that occurs during tumbling will generate a static charge and the fabric will cling.All good drycleaning detergents have a component that dissipates static. In this case the cleaner either failed to add detergent, or did not use enough.

Responsibility: The cleaner should take the blame here.

Rectification: The garment should be re-cleaned correctly

A case for pre-treatmen
The grimy patches on the collar of this jacket looked worse after professional leather cleaning.

Cause: This leather probably acquired plenty of skin oils during wear. As a result it should have been carefully pre-treated with a general leather detergent to increase the detergent action on the collar. This would have improved the removal of the water-based soiling.

Responsibility: The cleaner should be taking at least some of the blame here. While it may not have been possible to remove the grime completely, a better result could have been obtained.

Rectification: It is virtually impossible to post-treat this area, without leaving a worse mark. It should be left alone now.

White coat turns grey
Fault: After this white cotton, woman’s coat had been drycleaned, it had local grey patches all over. The only part that had escaped was the front edge, which was concealed when the coat buttons were fastened.

Cause: The coat was almost certainly slightly damp when it went into the drycleaning machine. The trace of moisture has attracted all the soiling from the cleaning fluid and re-deposited it over the outer surface. The solvent did not have enough dispersal power to solubilise this soiling, and this implies that the cleaner did not use enough detergent and may not have used any,

Responsibility: The blame here lies with the cleaner. A well designed process, using distilled solvent and the correct charge of a good detergent, will avoid any risk of greying. Airing a potentially damp garment will also improve the chances of avoiding the greying found here.

Rectification: Re-cleaning with the maximum charge of detergent might produce some improvement. A wash with a white-work detergent would be better, but there is a risk of shrinkage and delamination.

Static: The static in this skirt makes it cling WWW – chemicals Static PRE-TREATMENT: Collar grime must be pre-treated Grimy leather collar GREY ALL OVER: This white coat needed a well-designed wash process with a good detergent charge to avoid greying seen here White coat Turned Grey