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What Chemicals Are Used In Dry Cleaning?
For years, people have used dry-cleaning methods to ensure that their precious garments and delicate fabrics are well protected. While doing laundry is a common procedure in most homes, it is the dry-cleaning that makes a big difference and serves as a deciding factor on whether or not your special garments and fabrics will look as good as new. The process of dry cleaning differs from laundering. Most of the Brentwood dry cleaning companies basically immerse clothing into a solvent, which then cleans away dirt, dust while eliminating germs and bacteria. The solvent used for dry cleaning has evolved over the last century and today, different chemicals are used for the process. If you are wondering what are the chemicals used for dry cleaning your garments, blankets and upholstery, then here is what you need to know.
Discovered accidently in 1885, dry cleaning initially used gasoline and kerosene as chemicals to clean clothes and fabrics. This was useful in removing dirt and stains from the garment and protected its sheen and aesthetic appeal. But in the last 75 years, these solvents have witnessed an evolution. The chlorinated solvents used in World War I paved way for newer solvents like tetrachloroethylene, which is also known as perchloroethylene, or ‘PERC’ in short. This solvent was known for its non-flammable properties, which made it a safer option in comparison to kerosene and petroleum product. At the same time, it was considered more stable and gentler option. For years, major Brentwood dry cleaning companies used this solvent.
It was only by the 1993 that ‘PERC’ usage witnessed a decline. Several studies suggested and classified this chemical as a carcinogen, which reduced its appeal in the market. And while, there are still a number of companies that use PERC for cleaning garments, most of them are in the process of replacing it with other chemicals and methods.
Today, some of the best Brentwood dry cleaning companies use PERC as well a blend of the best hydrocarbon solvents. Since PERC has side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, skin allergies and headaches (for people who work with it regularly), it is being replaced by far better, stable and relatively healthier solvents. Some of these chemicals can include a blend of camphor oil, turpentine spirits, trichloro-trifluroethane, glycol ethers and liquid carbon dioxide among other products.
A new range of chemicals and liquid solvents are also popular, such as dry-cleaning fluids made of hydro-treated aliphatic hydrocarbons and mixture of isoparaffins along with other products such as carbon tetrachloride, trichlorothrifluroethna, trichloroethane and others. Some companies are also actively advocating the use of green-earth or eco-friendly chemicals such as decamethylcylcopentasiloxane, n-propyl bromide, liquid carbon dioxide and a few hybrid detergents.
So, make sure that when you give your garments for dry cleaning you enquire about different chemicals and the overall process involved with cleaning and maintaining your garments.
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