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Check Your Solvent Mileage.

Thursday, February 10, 20111 comments

When was the last time you checked your solvent mileage? Last week, last month, last year, ever? It can't be emphasized enough as to how important it is to monitor your solvent mileage. Just knowing how much solvent you are purchasing is not enough to tell you how efficiently your dry cleaning machine is operating. Whether you are using perc, high flash hydrocarbon, low flash hydrocarbon or any of the newer solvents, it will definitely help your bottom line to maximize your solvent mileage.
  • First, I would recommend purchasing a scale to weigh each load. This can be as simple as a bathroom scale and plastic clothes basket if money is tight.
  • Second, start using a poundage chart. Weigh each and every load and RECORD them on the chart. Total the loads up daily and then total the daily totals at the end of each week to arrive at a weekly total of pounds cleaned.

 dry cleaning machine
Check Your Solvent Levels!!!
  • Also, at the beginning of the week, calculate the total amount of solvent in the tanks.  During the week if new solvent is added to the dry cleaning machine, add this amount to the beginning solvent amount. Now, at the end of the week calculate the total amount of solvent in the tanks.  Subtract this from the amount you had from the beginning of the week (including any additions of new solvent). This will leave you with the total amount of gallons used for the week. 
  • To arrive at your solvent mileage, divide the total pounds cleaned for the week by the number of gallons of solvent consumed for that week.  
  • Bingo!!! Now you know your solvent mileage. 
 At this point, I would contact your machine manufacturer and ask what the optimum solvent mileage for your particular machine is.  If your mileage is lower than what they suggest, discuss with the machine manufacturer what they would recommend to increase the solvent mileage.
 Some things that can contribute to poor solvent mileage are:
  • Overloading the machine.
  • Too short of drying time.
  • Drying temperature set too low.
  • Condensing coils clogged with lint.
  • Improper operation of the still.
  • Inefficient extraction times or speed (belt slipping).
  • Dry control not working or set properly.
These are just a few of the things that can cause less than optimum solvent mileage.  Check your machine out, if you can't figure it out, hire a mechanic or talk to the manufacturer because at the end of the year the savings could really add up.


Unknown said...

I've recently found some good dry cleaners in Provo. There was a shirt that I really wanted to save.

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