This refers to the cleaning of clothes or fabrics in a machine with the use of chemical solvents and no, or extraordinarily little, water. It is generally used on fabrics that cannot withstand home washing and/or drying. The process preserves the quality of the fabric and maintains the shape of garments preventing excessive shrinking or stretching.
At Parthenon we employ two different solvents in this process, Perchloroethylene (Perc), otherwise known as Tetrachloroethylene, and Hydrocarbon. Each solvent has its pros and cons.
Perc is the traditional dry-cleaning solvent of choice and is an excellent degreasing agent and an effective cleaner. Water-based stains, however, need to be treated to be removed.
Hydrocarbon is a newer greener solvent, developed in the 1990s, brought out to solve problems with Perc amongst others that Perc was classified as a carcinogen. Hydrocarbon is a less aggressive solvent than Perc and as a result does not clean as well as Perc, however it treats delicate fabrics like leather, suede, silk, and bead work better. In addition, very little heat is used in this process.