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Saturday, January 11, 2014

How Dry Cleaning Works

How Dry Cleaning Works

Dry Cleaning Evolution

Like many inventions, dry cleaning came about by accident. In 1855, Jean Baptiste Jolly, a French dyeworks owner, noticed that his table cloth became cleaner after his maid accidentally overturned a kerosene lamp on it. Operating through his dyeworks company, Jolly offered a new service and called it dry cleaning.

Early dry cleaners used a variety of solvents including gasoline and kerosene to clean clothes and fabrics. In the United States, the drycleaning industry is fairly new and has developed only during the past 75 years. Since World War II ended, the volatile synthetic solvents carbon tetrachloride and trichlorethylene gave way to a product known as perchlorethylene perc, which became the overwhelming solvent choice for the industry. It was not only safer and faster, but did a much better job of cleaning, required less massive equipment, less floor space, and could be installed in retail locations offering excellent quality onehour service.

As a result of this innovation, the majority of clothes today are cleaned by perc. A proliferation of cleaning franchises and drycleaning businesses offering fast service from convenient, clean, and attractive locations evolved to change the industry into what we see today.

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