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Are Your Whites White

Saturday, January 22, 20110 comments

Or are they just downright dingy?  Garment graying and garment dinginess have always been a significant cause of garment damage that is attributable to dry cleaners.  DLI has repeatedly reported  that redeposition (garment graying) has been a problem and a common consumer complaint.
In today's business climate, it is imperative to the success of your business to maintain your level of quality above that of your competition.  One way you can do that is to eliminate redeposition and keep your whites bright. So, you may ask, what can I do to my dry cleaning process to eliminate the risk of graying and keep those customers coming back?
Read on, there are a number of conditions that can cause garment graying.

Garment Classification
  • Are you sorting each load according to the color?
  • Are you sorting each load by garment weight?
  • Are you sorting each load by degree of soiling?
It is important to keep light colors and darks in separate loads.  It is equally important to keep your light weight and heavy weight garments separate.  Lastly, if you have very dirty clothes, run them in a separate load.

Do Not Overload Your Machine
  • Load normal garments at 80% the recommended capacity.
  • Bulky items should fill the wheel about 3/4 full.
Operators have a tendency to overload machines, especially with the longer process times that are required in the hydrocarbon and silicone solvents.

Check The Solvent in Your Work Tank Before The Start of Each Load
  • Make sure there is no dye present in the solvent.
  • Make sure there is enough solvent to reach the proper levels.  (I would like 1 gallon per pound, but that is nearly impossible with today's equipment, you may have to settle for 1/2 - 3/4 gallon per pound of cleaning).
Make Sure Your Filtered Cleaning Cycle is Long Enough
  • Normal soiling in perc should be 12 minutes.  Normal soiling in hydrocarbon should be 20 min.
  • Heavy soiling in perc should be 15 minutes.  Heavy soiling in hydrocarbon should be 25 minutes.
Check Your Solvent Flow Daily
  • A fill time of 45 seconds to 1 minute 15 seconds (through the filter) is desirable.  
Unfortunately today's machines make it very difficult to check this (they fill directly from the tank, the button trap is locked, etc).  The next best way to ensure solvent flow is to change filters when pressure has increased or when solvent color cannot be maintained.  Spin the disk filters according to your machine manufacturers recommended frequency. 

Use Detergent at Manufacturers Recommended Dosage.
  • For injection detergents, make sure the proper amount is being injected.  
  • For charge detergents, check your charge regularly.  Most detergent companies offer a simple test kit to do this.
  • Discuss proper detergent usage with your Manufacturer's representative. 

Pre-Spotted Garments
  • If your garments have been pre-spotted with a wet side stain removal agent, make sure that the moisture has been dryed or has been treated with a leveling agent such as Sofspot or SpotlessHC.


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