Dry Cleaning

Dry Cleaning

Drycleaning

Quality Cleaners has been offering Award Winning dry cleaning services to the Greater Harrisburg for over 55 years. We are a third generation, family owned business operating from the same location since 1958.

We offer Pickup & Delivery service to your home or office to save you time and money. Take advantage of this convenient service by clicking here (link delivery page).

We dry-clean our garments in a GREEN solvent called SolvonK4. This organic and bio-degradable solution replaces the most commonly used solvent for dry cleaning, PERC (perchloroethylene). Greater than 85 percent of the 35,000+ dry cleaners in the United States use PERC in their dry-cleaning process. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has identified PERC as a toxic contaminant. K4 is GREEN, organic, biodegradable, and safe for skin, air, and water.

SOLVONK4 has very different properties from conventional solvents in dry-cleaning. It is a halogen-free, organic solvent with a pureness of > 99 % and excellent cleaning performance. The innovative solvent is not only able to dissolve and absorb lipophilic (fats, greases and oil) but also hydrophilic soil (water soluble soil).

Here is a link to a Pennlive.com article on 10/10/2011 featuring Quality Cleaners and our move to our GREEN solvent.

Here is a link to a Keystoneedge.com article on 11/29/2011 featuring Quality Cleaners’ move to a organic, biodegradable cleaning solution.

Dry Cleaning facts:

What is dry-cleaning? Strictly speaking, dry cleaning is any cleaning process for clothing and textiles using a chemical solvent other than water. We use SolvonK4, an organic and biodegradable solvent.

How does dry-cleaning work? Here is a quick step by step process for most dry-cleaning setups:

  1. Clothing is sorted into light and dark loads, just like laundry at home, and pockets are checked. Checking pockets is extremely important. Aside from finding important valuables or other keepsakes the customer may have left in their pocket, we also are looking for pens, lipstick, lighters, markers, or other items that could damage the machines or the clothing in them.
  2. A ‘load’ of garments is put in the basket of a dry-cleaning machine. Here is a picture of ours. Our machines are made by Multimatic, and run using SolvonK4.
  3. A program is selected based on the type of clothing, soil level, and cleaning length of time.
  4. The machine will now start the cleaning process. The first step is bringing solvent into the basket, or wheel. This is similar to a washing machine at home. The solvent enters the wheel and the garments are spun around the basket, using gravity to drop the garments down into the solvent. This is called mechanical action. Mechanical action is as simple as rubbing clothing on a wash board or the agitator in your washing machine. It is a necessary step in cleaning garments.
  5. Once the cleaning step is finished, the solvent is drained from the basket. The solvent is most often sent to a distilling unit, called the still. The still ‘cooks’ the solvent at a high temperature, evaporating the solvent and any water in the wheel, and leaving behind the solubles (dirt, soap, etc.) from the clothes.
  6. The solvent then goes through a cold coil, condensing it back into purified liquid solvent that can be reused many times over.
  7. While this purification is occurring, the clothes are being dried, evaporating more solvent, and eliminating any odor or residue on the garments.
  8. The system then cools down, and the garments are ready to come out.

Dry-cleaning machines today are called dry-to-dry machines because they go in dry and come out dry. Years ago the industry used transfer machines that had a washer and a dryer. Dry cleaners actually had to take the ‘wet’ with solvent garments out and put them in a drying machine.

What should and what shouldn’t be dry-cleaned? Mostly everything can be dry-cleaned. Those that can’t can usually be wet-cleaned.

Did you know how dry-cleaning was invented? In 1855, Jean Baptiste Jolly, a French dye-works owner, noticed that his table cloth became cleaner after his maid accidentally overturned a kerosene lamp on it.

History also tells us that Ancient Romans used ammonia (derived from urine) to ‘dry clean’ their woolen togas. We don’t recommend this method.

Want more on how dry-cleaning works? View our #drycleaning101 posts on Facebook or Twitter to find out more.

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