These marks are usually caused by the build-up of lint and debris between the inner and outer cages of the machine. This accumulates over a period of time and can cause severe marking if the operator forgets to clean the button trap or if the machine is greatly overloaded.

Either fault can result in a large volume of solvent being retained in the cage when the machine goes on to high-speed extract.

The high levels of turbulence created by the retained solvent then remove the debris and flush it though the textiles in the cage leaving the characteristic cage patterns. In the worst cases the flushed through debris can cause irreversible fabric damage.

Drycleaning operators should realise that while the button trap may not contain a lot of lint it may still hold enough accumulated debris to cause the fault.

Remove the basket regularly and hold it up to the light to check the perforations. If they are blocked with dirt this can be removed with the steam or air gun provided that the basket has not retained any solvent. Play safe and get into the habit of checking the button trap and removing any debris before processing each load.

The risk of cage marks can be substantially reduced by carrying out the following procedure every six months or so.

Operate the machine in manual mode with a low dip of solvent in the cage. Then operate at high-speed for a short time before draining the solvent to the still. This will usually remove any build-up between the inner and outer cages.