Cleaning Processes & Clothing Care

There are various processes that can be used to clean clothes. The basics are hand washing, machine washing, and drycleaning.

Hand Washing involves soaking the item in water and detergent to gently remove soils from the fabric. This method is very restrictive, and has very little or no agitation.

Machine Washing garments are cleaned in a machine with water and detergent. Bleach and/or other laundry additives may be used. The garments are subjected to mechanical action by an agitator. Although there are several different cycles available on most washing machines, they are not as gentle as hand washing.

Wetcleaning is the profession­al process of removing soils from garments and other textile items through the use of water in specialized equipment. This equipment allows the precise control of additives (such as detergents) water level, temperature and rotation speed. Careful control of these factors is necessary to prevent shrinkage, loss of color, and fabric distortion.

Drycleaning uses fluids to remove soils and stains from fabric. The term “drycleaning” is misleading; it is called drycleaning because the fluid contains little or no water and does not penetrate the fibers like water. Common solvents currently used for drycleaning include perchloroethylene (“perc” for short), GreenEarth, Solvon K4 and petroleum or other hydrocarbon based solvents. In most cases, garments are cleaned and dried in the same machine — they go in dry and come out dry. This process is followed by finishing procedures using special equipment, such as presses and puff irons.