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Cheltenham 01242 234499

Thornbury 01454 418003

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What is Dry Cleaning?



In spite of the name, dry cleaning is not completely dry. Fluids are used in the dry cleaning process.


In the 1930s, percholoroethylene or perc (a nonflammable, synthetic solvent) was introduced and is used today in many drycleaning plants.


Dry cleaning is not the answer to all soil and stain removal problems. Sometimes, stains become permanently embedded in the fiber, or fabrics cannot withstand normal cleaning and stain removal procedures, or decorative trim is not compatible with dry cleaning solvent. It is important that consumers as well as dry cleaners read all care labels and follow the instructions.

Drycleaning Machines


There are various makes/models of dry cleaning machines. Despite the differences, all dry cleaning machines work on the same principle.

A dry cleaning machine consists of four basic components:

•Holding or base tank



•Cylinder or wheel


The holding tank holds the dry cleaning solvent. A pump is used to circulate the solvent through the machine during the cleaning process. Filters are used to trap solid impurities. A cylinder or wheel is where the garments are placed to be cleaned. The cylinder has ribs to help lift and drop the garments.


The operation of the dry cleaning machine is easy to understand. The solvent is drawn from the tank by the pump. The pump sends the solvent through the filters to trap any impurities. The filtered solvent then enters the cylinder to flush soil from the clothes. The solvent leaves the cylinder button trap and goes back to the holding tank. This process is repeated throughout the entire cleaning cycle, ensuring that the solvent is maintained to give effective cleaning at all times.


After the cleaning cycle, the solvent is drained and an extract cycle is run to remove the excess solvent from the clothes. This solvent is drained back to the bare tank. During extraction, the rotation of the cylinder increases in order to use centrifugal force to remove the solvent from the clothes


Once the clothes have finished extracting, the cylinder stops. At this time, clothes are, dried in the same unit, a closed system. The drying process uses warm air circulated through the cylinder to vaporize the solvent left on the clothes. The solvent is purified in a still. Here the solvent is heated. The vapours are then condensed back to a liquid leaving behind all impurities in the still. This clean solvent is then pumped back into the holding/base tank.


Dry cleaning machines are rated in kilos of fabric (dry weight) the machine can hold. Machine sizes vary from very small to large capacity of clothes cleaned per cycle.


Before cleaning, garments are inspected and classified. The length of the cleaning cycle is dependant upon the type of article cleaned and the degree of soiling.


Some heavily stained garments may go through a stain removal process prior to cleaning to aid in better soil and stain removal. A stain removal technician will treat specific items just prior to cleaning. A lot of effort goes into the process, and there are many skilled technicians involved in caring for your garments.


Our Cheltenham Branch use a UNION 735 Dry Cleaning Machine Capacity 15KGS


Our Thornbury Branch use a AMA Universal Dry Cleaning Machine Capacity 16KGS