Category >> FAQ's

Pop Quiz Results

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: just for fun , History , FAQ's , Dry Cleaning

Was that too hard of a test for you? Are your brains all fried? Well gird up your loins my friends- it is time for the answers! Check your own papers- lets use the honor system so no cheating all right?

1. B

2. C

3. B

4. A

5. B

6. A

7. C

8. C

9. B

10. C

How did you do? Any major mistakes? Did you prove yourself a fool or one of those lucky enough to really know all sorts about dry cleaning? Either way- thanks for participating and having a little fun with me!

And if you did prove yourself a fool, never fear, there are always ways to make up for that. For instance... there are three wonderful web pages of blog posts that you can look over for a little fun and knowledge :)


April Fools

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: just for fun , History , FAQ's , Dry Cleaning

I think April Fools is a fun day. I used to LOVE it when I was a kit. I would sit for days before trying to think of pranks I could pull on my family and friends. Often times my older brother and I would team up and we did all the usual ones: switching shampoo and conditioner, switching sugar and salt, removing the stopper of a shaving cream can and tossing it into the shower while someone is in there, switching the sticker on the faucet so hot and cold are backwards etc.

It was harder of me to think of something that I could do via the blog-o-sphere. I didn't want to do a prank blog because well, I might get in trouble depending on how upset people got over it. :) So I decided, instead of pranking you, we will just see how smart or "foolish" you might be; about dry cleaning.

I have devised a simple multiple choice test. Take it to the best of your ability and then get back onto the blog tomorrow where I will have posted the answers and see how well you did. (HINT: all the answers to these dry cleaning questions can be found in all of these blog posts! So if you have done your reading you will be good to go!)

Get ready- get set and..... GO!

1. The spot inside of a dry cleaning machine where you put the clothes is called:

a. the clothes hole

b. the drum

c. there is no special spot

2. If you get a stain on a shirt you should:

a. wait. Often times stains will come out on their own

b. wash it. That's what soap is for right? Wash and scrub!

c. soak it if the fabric can stand water, and take it to the cleaners ASAP!

3. Who does Dry Cleaning and Beyond team up with to get you awesome wedding discounts?

a. Your mom

b. Alyssa's Bridal

c. David's Bridal

4. What were the earliest dry cleaners called?

a. fullers

b. fillers

c. Um... dry cleaners... duh

5. What is starch used for?

a. Potatoes!

b. you know... to make things... stiff like

c. to whiten. Its like bleach

6. What kind of stains really say spring time?

a. Grass

b. beer- from all the spring break parties! Woohoo!

c. rain spots

7. How did dry cleaning start?

a. A woman realized her clothes got cleaner when she didn't use water, just natural air

b. it has always existed

c. A man spilled kerosene on his clothes

8. Why does the dry cleaners check your pockets?

a. because your mom does. Its a good practice.

b. finders keepers. What if there is something really good in there?

c. To keep what is in there from ruining your and other peoples clothes

9. What is crocking?

a. when you wear your favorite pair of crocks out

b. when the color of a fabric rubs off

c. What that Australian animal man does... doesn't he have a show?

10. Name on celebrity- whom we have picture proof of- that picks up their own cleaning?

a. Paris Hilton

b. Tom cruise

c. Hillary Duff




Why Loose the Magic?

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: FAQ's , Fabric Care , Dry Cleaning

My husband, as a general rule, does NOT like jeans. We differ greatly in that way. He just can't ever find a pair that fits, or feels, as good as a pair of khakis.

He owns- one pair of jeans. Yes, one.  In high school he took a trip with some friends and in a boutique he found a pair of jeans. For those of you have not seen, heard or felt a pair of these jeans I can sum them up for you in one single word:

Magical.

So my husband paid an INORDINATE amount for his one and only pair of perfect jeans. (Really though- who wouldn't?) When we first started dating we would often do our laundry together and I remember in my naive state being appalled that he took these coveted jeans to the dry cleaners.

At that point in my life I don't think I had ever dry cleaned anything. I avoided the "dry clean only" tag like the plague. As I know many people do. But my husband was adamant. His PDCs would NEVER meet with a washing machine and store bought detergent. I asked the same question that many, many people have asked me since they heard about this blog:

 "Why do I need to dry clean my clothes?"

Great question. And what's lucky for you is that while I was confused back in the day, I now hold the coveted answer.

Why dry clean? Because not all fabrics are created equal.

That means, though you can toss your cotton shirt into the washing machine and have no issues, you MAY not want to try that with say... silk. Or linen. Or satin. Or a pair of PDCs.

Believe it or not, but water can actually damage a lot of fabrics out there. Those clothes that you buy that say dry clean only on them? That is why they say it. The fabric that that garment is made out of is not meant for water or modern detergents.

It's not just a conspiracy between the textile industries and the dry cleaners I promise.

The great thing about dry cleaning, is that while it not only takes care of those products that can be ruined by water, it can also prevent water damage on clothes that should be able to withstand the washing machine.

Water, as I am sure everyone has experienced, can fade, shrink, and even change the feeling of a fabric. By dry cleaning an item you retain all of what you would have lost in your washing machine.

Have an item that has already been ruined by your washer? No problem. Bring it to the dry cleaners. It is not guaranteed, but often your cleaners will be able to even return some of the original feel, and shape of the garment.

Are there more reasons to dry clean your clothes? Certainly.

Do you have any items that say hand wash only? Those are suppose to be done that way because the make, and sometimes the fabric of the garment, cannot withstand the tumble and high pressure wash that a washing machine, or a dryer, would give it.

The great thing is that dry cleaning can treat that item with the same delicacy your hands can. Don't worry- I know the tag says hand wash only. You just have to read between the lines. When something says hand wash only it really means, "Hand wash only OR if that is too laborious for you, take it to the dry cleaners. Just please don't throw this in your dirty clothes bin with your gym socks."

Dry cleaning is also a GREAT means of clothing preservation. Ever had beads on your shirt that all got undone in the wash? Sequins that melted in the dryer? A sweater that pilled? Embroidery that came loose? Though these items can technically all be done in your machine, a lot can go wrong when you mix them in with your non expensive jeans and well... your gym socks.

If there is anything you are unsure about, whether it be the magical quality of your clothes, or the embellishments on your sweater, be safe. Take it to the dry cleaners. We are always here! Willing to take the work load from your hands, and save your clothing paranoia.


Q and A: The Skinny on Starch

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: FAQ's , Fabric Care , Dry Cleaning

In my experience, the most popular item that people come in to have dry cleaned are suit shirts. The most popular question I ask when people bring their suit shirts in to be cleaned is: "And would you like any starch on these?"

My most popular answer? A blank look and the question, "I'm not sure what you mean. Starch?"

Yes starch. Everything that you may have ever wanted to know about starch, and what in the world it has to do with dry cleaning will be answered below. So read on!

 

Starch is something green plants produce to use as an energy store. It is also the most important carbohydrate that a human can consume and exists in foods like potatoes.

However, starch had a wide variety of uses outside of the human diet. Starch is actually derived from the Middle English word Sterchen. Which means to stiffen.

Starch is a white, tasteless, ordorless powder, and though it is insoluable in cold water and alcohol, when it is mixed with warm water, it creates a thick paste that even as far back as the Egyptians, has been used as a thickening, stiffening, or gluing agent.

The Egyptians used starch to stiffen cloth that they were trying to waeve, to make the process easier. They also used it in their paper making, as did the Romans. Starch is still used today in the making of paper, and is a properity in most adhesives. Its most widely known use however, would be in laundry.

In laundry, vegetable starch is mixed with water and used mostly as a stiffening substance. As far back as the 16th and 17th centruies, nobels used starch while they laundered their clothes, to stiffen collars and ruffs that were made from fine linen.

In the 19th and 20th centuries starch was applied to clothes during the ironing process to stiffen mens cuffs and collars, and womens petticoats. They discovered then that starch was also helpful because when used, dirt and sweat would bind itself to the starch instead of to the fibers of the garment being worn, making it easier to wash.

A dry cleaners uses starch in the same way: to stiffen a customers clothes. Its most popular use is in mens shirts, but if you like your pants or blouses to feel a little stiff, do not be afraid to ask your cleaners if they can put some starch in those items as well!

What you do need to know, is that there are different levels of starch, from light to heavy. When using light starch, you have to have a fine feel to tell the difference from no starch. It is usually most easily seen in the cuffs or collars of a shirt.

 Heavy starch is what people like Frankenstein here like: your shirt will be able to stand on its own :)

Also, starch DOES build up in clothes over time. It takes four or five washes with no starch, to get one dose of heavy starch out of your clothes. So if you notice your items growing more stiff than you like, the next few times you bring them into the cleaners, ask for no starch, or very light starch.

Also, every fabric will take to starch differently. Some won't take to it all. If you are curious, feel free to ask. And if your dry cleaners doesn't know either, take the chance and see :)


Facts about color failure

Posted by: Administrator

Tagged in: FAQ's , Fabric Care , Dry Cleaning

Facts about Color Failure and Dry Cleaning

color-fading-dry-cleaningSince earliest time fabrics have been enhanced by the addition of color. Colored fabrics are produced in several different ways. Some fabrics are woven from dyed yarns, some fabrics are dyed after weaving, and some fabrics are colored by printing the surface, often with several different colors. Modern technology has brought great improvements in color performance, but color failures may still occur from a variety of causes.

Color Loss in Dry Cleaning

Some dyes are soluble in dry cleaning solvent. This may result in severe color fading if such an article is dry cleaned. If two or more dyes have been used and only one is solvent soluble, a dramatic color change can occur. For example, the yellow component may be removed and leave a green garment blue. The only clue of the former color may be the thread, which was dyed by a different method.

The same color on two different garments may also be affected differently. For example, you may buy a dress with a coordinated jacket in a blue and white print. When they are dry cleaned, the dress, which was vat dyed, may be unaffected, while the blue print of the jacket may fade so the blues no longer match.

Color failure is frequent in household items such as bedspreads and draperies. Often the fading does not appear severe, but it can be very noticeable when the item is compared with a matching item. For this reason, matching bedspreads and draperies should all be cleaned at the same time.

Water-soluble Dyes

Some dyes bleed when wet. This can occur in laundering or simply upon exposure to perspiration, rain, or water spillage. Some stains require water and water-soluble chemicals for removal, so even a dry cleanable item should have dyes with some resistance to water.

Sizing Disturbance

Fabrics often have sizing to give them body. Sometimes water spills can cause sizing to migrate and form dark rings or streaks as it dries. This can be a problem with rayon, which is often heavily sized. Sizing can also become lightened on exposure to water. These discolorations are difficult to remedy on dry cleanable fabrics because they require additional water to remove the sizing buildup, and this may aggravate the problem.

Crocking

Crocking is the rubbing off of color from the fabric surface. Crocking may occur from wear alone, along edges of hems and creases. Crocking can also occur in washing or dry cleaning. This phenomenon is expected in some garments, such as denims, but the technology exists to produce deep colors that do not streak or fade.

Fading From Light Exposure

Eventually most dyes fade on exposure to light, especially sunlight. But sometimes color failure occurs rapidly on exposed areas such as shoulders, collars, and sleeves. Usually sunlight is the cause, but artificial light can also cause fading. Many blue, green, and lavender dyes are particularly light sensitive, especially on silk and wool fabrics.

Chemical Damage

Many common substances found in any household can cause chemical changes to dyes. Exposure to perspiration or to alkaline substances, which are present in many toiletries, can cause color change. Dyes used on silk can fade on exposure to alcohol. Even acid from lemon juice can cause bleaching on some dyes. And spillage of chlorine bleach is a very common cause of color loss and even fabric damage.

Fume Fading

Fume fading is the result of a chemical change in the dyestuff. Acid gases that form in the atmosphere as a product of combustion react with some dyes to cause a gradual color change. This type of change can occur even while a garment is stored in your closet. It is usually not uniform, but is more noticeable on exposed areas such as shoulders and sleeves. Sometimes this type of color change may not be noticed until after washing or dry cleaning, but these immersion processes cannot cause this localized type of change. Fume fading is most common on acetates.

Whites

White is actually a color, too. In their natural state, many fabrics have an off-white or yellowish cast and are therefore often bleached to remove this natural color. In addition, many white fabrics are treated with whiteners during manufacture. These optical brighteners, also called florescent whitening agents, change the reflective quality of the fabric to make it appear whiter and brighter.

Different brighteners are used with different types of fabric. Some of these agents are unstable and may break down and lose their whitening power, so that the fabric reverts to a yellowish or grayish appearance. Some fabrics may take on a pinkish or greenish blue. When a fluorescent brightener breaks down due to light exposure, the unexposed areas will be unaffected. For example, the front of a sweater laid out to dry in the sun may turn yellow while the back remains white. Brighteners are especially sensitive to light exposure when garments are wet. This is why some care labels specify drying out of direct sunlight.

Another cause of yellowing of white may be resins added to impart a permanent press quality. These resins can yellow when they are exposed to chlorine bleach. In this case, the yellowing will be uniform. It can be avoided by following the care label and using only nonchlorine bleach when this is specified.

Some white fabrics lose their whiteness just from normal wear, oxidation, and exposure to atmospheric soils. This process can be reversed in some fabrics by careful wetcleaning and bleaching, but often yellowing is not reversible. dry cleaners sometimes add a fluorescent brightener to their dry cleaning procedure, and many laundry detergents include brighteners, but severe cases of yellowing cannot be corrected in this manner.


Silk and Rayon Care

Posted by: Administrator

Tagged in: FAQ's , Fabric Care , Dry Cleaning

Silk and Rayon Care

silk-and-rayonSilk – the very word implies softness, elegance, and luxury. This shiny fiber, produced by silkworms to form their cocoons, was discovered in China more than 4,000 years ago. It has been prized ever since for its many unique qualities.

Soft and fluid, rayon is a favorite of fashion designers. It gives the look of silk at a fraction of the cost. Rayon is regenerated cellulose material produced from a solution of a cellulose source (wood pulp, cotton waste, etc.) The solution is forced through a spinneret and subsequently regenerated to form the fiber. It was the first man-made fiber produced.

Wash or Dry Clean?

Both silk and rayon fibers dry clean very well. If the manufacturer has not tested for appropriate care instructions, however, certain dyes or finishes applied to the fibers may react adversely to dry cleaning. Washing may damage garments containing sizing and/or dyes that are sensitive to water. Also, some rayon water-spot or stain readily upon contact with any moisture. It is important that you follow the care label on the garment.

“Washable” Silk and Rayon

Washable silk and rayon have become increasingly popular. It is assumed that if a garment is labeled as “washable,” the manufacturer has tested the fabric accordingly. However, this is not always the case. Some dyes on “washable” silk and rayon have actually dissolved in water, causing considerable dye bleeding and transfer. This is especially true on many darker colors; most pastels have a greater degree of colorfastness. It is not advisable to wash dark-colored garments with other items due to the possibilities of dye bleeding and migration. Multicolored articles should be tested for colorfastness before washing them.

It is important to keep the washing cycle very short, followed by rapid rinsing and drying. Never soak these garments for extended periods of time as prolonged soaking will often cause dyes to bleed and migrate even more.

If you follow the procedure suggested on the label and the appearance of the item is permanently altered, return it to the retailer for an adjustment.

Dry cleaning is not advised for articles of this type. Tests have shown that many of these dyes may be extremely sensitive to dry cleaning solvents. When consumers bring these washable garments to be dry cleaned, the dry cleaner should clean them according to the instructions on the care label. If those care instructions are not followed and problem occurs, the retailer cannot be held responsible.

Sizing and Moisture Do Not Mix

One of the most frequent problems with silk and rayon is the tendency of the sizing or finish applied by the manufacturer to discolor upon contact with moisture. In some cases, just wearing the garment in the rain can cause considerable shading. The moisture effects of water-soluble food and beverage spillage, as well as perspiration, may also discolor sizing. If the article is badly stained by moisture, and labeled as “dry cleanable,” it may be very difficult for a dry cleaner to correct this shading. A bad discoloration may necessitate a short wet cleaning process. This should only be done with the consumer’s consent.

Color Fading

Occasionally, dyes on silk and rayon are not colorfast to the procedures listed in the care instructions. Articles labeled as “dry cleanable” will sometimes contain dyes that bleed extensively when dry cleaned. Deep colors may transfer onto lighter areas. The same is true for some articles that are labeled a ”washable”.

Most stains are water-soluble and required special spotting techniques using moisture that are not part of normal dry cleaning. The degree of stain removal will often be determined by the colorfastness of the dye. Sometimes, a dye is initially disturbed by the moisture of the staining substance and will not withstand the additional moisture needed to remove the stain. The stain cannot be removed without serious color failure.

Beverage Stains

Beverages such as soft drinks, wine, and mixed drinks contain sugars. A spill may be colorless and disappear when it dries, but later the sugar may cause yellow or brown stains, especially when exposed to heat. Be sure to point out such stains so that the dry cleaner can use special pre-treatments on the stain prior to dry cleaning. Sugar-based beverage stains cannot always be completely removed, especially on silk.

Chemical Damage

Some silk dyes bleed or change color when exposed to solutions containing alcohol. Allow perfume, deodorant, and hair spray to dry before you dress, and remove spills from alcoholic beverages as soon as possible.

Some dyes, especially blues, purples and greens on silk, are sensitive to alkalies. Many facial soaps, shampoos, detergents, and even toothpastes are alkaline enough to cause color loss or change. If this happens, talk to your dry cleaner promptly about possible restoration.

Many bright colors used on these fabrics can fade from exposure to sunlight or artificial light. Some blue, purple and green dyes fade exceptionally fast, especially on silk. Store garments in closets away from any light, such as windows or electric lights that are left on.

Never use chlorine bleach – it permanently damages silk.

Perspiration Problems

Perspiration contains salts that can damage fabrics, especially silk. Perspiration is acidic and turns alkaline on exposure to the atmosphere. This can cause the fabric to change color and may disintegrate and weaken silk. Have perspiration stains removed as soon as possible to avoid permanent staining. If you perspire heavily, consider wearing underarm shields.


Stubborn Stains and Spots

Posted by: Administrator

Tagged in: Stains , spots , FAQ's , Dry Cleaning

Removing Stubborn Stains and Spots

removing_stains_from_clothesYour clothes will last longer and look better when they’re cleaned regularly.

Dry cleaners have special equipment and stain removers to remove many of the toughest stains.

Don’t delay, bring in your clothes as soon as possible so that we will have the best chance of removing stains.

Often, in an emergency you can remove small, fresh stains from your washable items by home methods. We offer this guide to help you do so.

Remember:

  • Always check first for colorfastness. Apply the recommended stain remover to a hidden part of the fabric. Rinse out and let dry. If there is no damage, then proceed.
  • Read and follow all manufacturer's instructions.
  • If you’re unsure, check with your dry cleaner before proceeding.
  1. Ball-point ink: Using cleaning fluid, place stain face down on clean white paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to back of stain. Replace paper towels under the stain frequently. Dry thoroughly. Heavy concentrations of this stain should be brought to your dry cleaner.
  2. Blood: Blot with cold water. Apply an enzyme detergent. Rinse with water. If the stain is still present, apply household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  3. Gum: Harden with an ice cube. Gently lift off any large pieces. Do not scrape with sharp objects that may damage the fabric. Wet with cleaning fluid over a clean white towel to remove final traces.
  4. Mildew: Fabrics, which are badly mildewed, may be damaged beyond repair. If it is safe for the fabric, use chlorine bleach. Rinse thoroughly. Rinse with a small amount of white cider vinegar and another rinse and launder.
  5. Nail Polish: Use colorless nail polish remover. Place face down on clean white paper towels. Apply nail polish remover. Replace power towels under stain frequently. Repeat until stain in removed. Never use on acetate or triacetate fibers.
  6. Coffee: Blot with cold water. If the stains not removed, apply liquid synthetic detergent (from your kitchen sink). Rinse with water. If stain persist, apply white vinegar. Rinse with water.
  7. Rust: Use a fabric safe rust remover following manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Rinse rust remover completely out. Best to take to a professional dry cleaner for removal.
  8. Lipstick: Using cleaning fluid, place stain face down on clean white paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to back of stain. Replace paper towels frequently. Dry thoroughly. If stain is still visible, use a synthetic detergent and water.
  9. Chocolate: Blot with cold water. Apply an enzyme detergent. Rinse with water. If the stain persists, apply a household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly.
  10. Perspiration Stain: Use method shown for chocolate.
  11. Scorch: Rinse out light scorch with cold water. For heavier scorch, treat with 3% hydrogen peroxide after testing first for color loss.
  12. Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages: When fresh, blot these stains with cold water, even white wine and colorless drinks. Heat can cause colorless stains to yellow even weeks later. Spot with synthetic detergent and water. Rinse with water. If the stain persists, spot with white vinegar. Rinse with water. Finally, try a chlorine bleach or an organic bleach, if safe for fabric (test first for color fastness).

Clean and Green

Posted by: Administrator

Tagged in: Green , FAQ's , Environment , Dry Cleaning

Clean and Grean - Dry Cleaning and the Environment

green-dry-cleaningDry Cleaners Recycle Almost Everything

Long before recycling was recognized as a critical step toward preserving our environment, it was practiced by the dry cleaning industry. We recycle almost everything – from used cleaning solvent to unclaimed garments! Here are some of the ways dry cleaners keep waste to an absolute minimum:

Dry cleaning Solvent

dry cleaning solvent is readily reused and recycled on-site through distillation, filtration and drying. Special stills and filters remove impurities from used solvent, leaving it crystal-clear and ready to be used again. As garments are dried, solvent vapors are recaptured and condensed back to liquid form to reuse.

Polyethylene Garment Bags and Hangers

Today most dry cleaners participate in programs through their supply distributors to recycle Polyethylene (“poly”) garment bags and hangers. Often special recycling bins are provided in the front counter area. It’s a good idea for customers to first remove all staples and tags or receipts before returning bags.

Clothing Recyling

Dry cleaners even recycle clothing – taking the thousands of garments that go unclaimed each year to charitable organizations and clothing banks to be distributed to the needy. We also help others to recycle through programs such as “Cold Days, Warm Hearts,” with Robert Horry as our chairman. This program encourages consumers to bring in unwanted clothing and coats to a participating dry cleaner for free cleaning and repair. The dry cleaner then turns them over to the SAMMinistries and to the Christian Assistance Ministry.

Demonstrating Concern for the Environment

The majority of the country’s 30,000 dry cleaners are small, neighborhood, family-run businesses, often with spouses and children involved in day-to-day operations. As an industry, we pay close attention to proper waste disposal, emission controls and other environmental and safety precautions. We take pride in our efforts to keep the environment clean and safe for future generations.

Because of our industry’s high professional and ethical standards, we have always taken the lead in voluntary environmental compliance and support of environmentally responsible legislation.

For example, most dry cleaners used hazardous waste disposal methods to dispose of solvent residue and used filters, although only one-half of the industry is actually required to do so. The solvent used by most dry cleaners for half a century does not contribute to smog formation, deplete the stratospheric ozone layer or contribute to global warming.

In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commended the dry cleaning industry for taking an active role in developing a proposed amendment to the Clean Air Act of 1990. The new rule would require all but the smallest dry cleaners to install special equipment to reduce emissions of solvent.

Over the past 20 years, the majority of dry cleaners have voluntarily invested in sophisticated equipment that ensures that little or no solvent is released into groundwater or the atmosphere. Our goal is to completely eliminate waste in all aspects of the dry cleaning process- from solvent to polyethylene bags.


The History Of Dry Cleaning

Posted by: Administrator

Tagged in: History , FAQ's , Dry Cleaning

dry_cleaning-historyProfessional garment care dates back to the days of Pompeii when early cleaners were called “fullers”. They used lye and ammonia in early laundering and a type of clay called “fuller’s earth” to absorb soils and greases from clothing too delicate for laundering.

While 1690 is the first published reference to the use of spirits of turpentine for removing tar and varnish from fabrics, it wasn’t until 1716 that turpentine began to be used regularly as a “dry cleaner” for grease and oil stains to supplement wet cleaning processes. Down through the ages, turpentine, a distillation of pine pitch, has had several names: oil of turpentine, spirits of turpentine, camphene, and “turps”.

Even before organic solvent was used to clean garments by immersion methods, the cleaner of clothes was known as a “degrasseur”, a degreaser of textiles able to remove grease and fat stains from cloth. The French name for cleaner was teinturier-degraisseur (a dyer-degreaser). “Degraisseur” was the common term applied to a master dyer who specialized in both dyeing and cleaning garments.

In the early 1900s, dry cleaners began using spirits of turpentine, called “camphene”, as a dry cleaning solvent. This discovery quickly spread to other countries on the continent and later to the British Isles, led by John Pullar and Sons in Perth, Scotland. The new process became known as “French Cleaning”, named for the earlier reputation and fame gained in France. This term continues to be used today to imply that the process is special and requires highly skilled handwork.

The first use of a dry cleaning soap was in Germany. In 1928, Stoddard solvent, which had a higher flash point than other solvents currently being used, was introduced. In 1932, chlorinated hydrocarbons-nonflammable synthetic solvents-were introduced in the United States.