How does a Dry-Cleaning Machine work?


A dry-cleaning machine consists of the following systems:


1. Storage Tanks, which may contain detergent-charged, distilled or virgin solvents.

2. A pump, which circulates the solvent from the tanks throughout the machine.

3. Filters, which remove impurities from the solvent during cleaning.

4. A Drum (wheel), which turns to tumble the clothes during washing or drying.

5. A Still, which distills the solvent and purifies it for further use.

6. A Drying System, which consists of a heating coil to heat air entering the drum and a

             cooling coil to cool the air leaving the drum in order to condense and recover the  

             evaporated solvent from the air.

What happens to my garments after I drop them off for dry cleaning?


1. Each garment is recorded on an invoice and an I.D. tag is attached to it.

2. Each garment is inspected for spots, defects, etc., and all the pockets are emptied.

3. Upon delivery to the cleaning technician, the garments are sorted to color and fabric.

4. The cleaning technician then examines them for possible cleaning problems and pre-treats

             all of the spots.  Sometimes spots and stains will be removed manually before a garment

             is put into the dry-cleaning machine. 

5. Your garments then go through the appropriate cleaning and drying cycle.

6. After cleaning, your garments are sent to the appropriate pressing station for finishing. Here 

             they are again examined for any remaining stains and, if necessary, returned for re-cleaning.

7. After finishing (pressing), they are re-inspected for the quality of the cleaning and pressing.

8. Upon passing inspection, they are re-assembled to the original invoice according to the I.D.

             tag which was attached to each garment in step #1.

9. When re-assembly is complete, your garments are bagged to protect them and the order is put on

             the conveyor for pick-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dry Cleaning a “Dry” process?


             No, it is not.  The term “Dry” is a literal term meaning, “absent of water”.  Dry Cleaning is a liquid process that uses a solvent-based liquid rather than water.  In many ways it resembles washing, as it uses a large, front-loading machine that tumbles the clothes in a wheel filled with liquid.

             100 years ago dry cleaners used solvents such as, camphene, benzene, kerosene and gasoline.  These were extremely flammable solvents and made dry-cleaning a risky business. 

In the 1930’s a synthetic solvent was developed, called perchloroethylene (perc), which is non-flammable and much safer to use.  While there are a few other cleaning solvents available (and new ones being developed), “perc.” is still used by the vast majority of cleaners.





5416 Highway 12,

Maple Plain, MN  55359