Thumbs-Up! Spot Gone! (Part 1)

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Martin L. Young Jr. |

Drycleaning detergent acts as additional stain remover

CONCORD, N.C. — You can’t clean a white blouse by agitating it in a mudhole.

There are those “cleaners” who believe that proper procedures and technical knowledge are no longer necessary.

Far too many times, I will find a plant where the choice to cut corners has resulted in conditions that have reached a point of preventing even minimum production and quality.

I have a strong respect for this industry and want you to meet customer expectations.

Possibly you have overheard this: “I don’t use any detergent. It is just a waste of money.”

Drycleaning detergent is far from a waste of money. This chemical tool allows the immersion solution (solvent) and the drycleaning machine to work together effectively.

There are two types of drycleaning detergents available to the garment care professional. The most popular is the injection detergent (cationic).

This type of detergent is added to each run of garments, with the amount of detergent determined by the total weight of the garments in the run. By the end of the run, the detergent is absorbed by the garments in the run or by the filtration system.

The other type of drycleaning detergent (anionic) is used to charge the entire system to a predetermined percentage. An example would be a ratio of 1 gallon of drycleaning detergent to a 100-gallon tank to equal a 1% charge.

The detergent greatly increases the ability of the solvent to “handle” moisture and use the moisture in the system to your advantage by breaking down any water-soluble stains, better and faster.

Also, controlling the amount of free water in a non-halogen system will greatly reduce the chance of the solvent beginning to smell, as bacteria reproduce in the base tank and piping system.

Anything that reduces the chance of stinky solvent is good.

Further, the drycleaning detergent will add lubrication to the drycleaning system. Lubrication in the wheel will increase the speed and efficiency of insoluble stain removal.

Lubrication in the wheel will reduce surface friction between garments which, in turn, reduces static electricity. Lubrication in the wheel will help maintain the natural lanolin in protein fabrics and help maintain working parts on the garments, especially zippers.

Finally, a drycleaning detergent will act as an additional stain remover. The drycleaning detergent will “hold” soil in suspension once it is removed in the wheel and, thus, not allow it to be redeposited on other garments in the wheel.

Note: Many experienced non-perc cleaners are still mixing a favorite pre-spotter that is a variation on the formula of 4 parts solvent to 2 parts drycleaning detergent.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.

About the author

Martin L. Young Jr.

Industry Consultant and Trainer

Martin L. Young Jr. has been an industry consultant and trainer for 20 years, and a member of various stakeholder groups on environmental issues. He is a past president of the North Carolina Association of Launderers & Cleaners (NCALC). He grew up in his parents’ plant in Concord, N.C., Young Cleaners, which he operates to this day. Contact him by phone at 704-786-3011, or via e-mail at mayoung@vnet.net.

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