A Short History of Dry Cleaning

During these days of quick service and sophisticated technologies, you can take the dry cleaning cycle for granted. Most professionals are unable to do their job without the use of garments which need it. Yet have you ever asked how it came to the dry cleaning itself?

It was a Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Jolly who back in the middle of the 19th century got the credit to launch the first modern dry cleaning company. As his maid poured kerosene on his tablecloth he stumbled across the cycle by mistake. Jolly noticed that after the kerosene spill, the tablecloth really looked much better and wanted to extend his dye-works company to provide a new cleaning service he named “dry cleaning.” After Jolly, other companies were created that depended on kerosene and gasoline as the cleaning solvents. Those two additives were found to be very flammable, though, and a less flammable formulation called the Stoddard solvent came up by another dry cleaner named William Joseph Stoddard. Even, the usage of flammable solvents triggered quite a few injuries.Feel free to visit their website at Bells Corners Professional Dry Cleaning for more details.

Many dry cleaners turned to chlorinated solvents at the end of World War I, which were safer for cleaning than even petroleum solvents and less flammable. Ultimately, the solvent perchloroethylene was introduced-so the acronym “perc” is now well established. The benefit of utilizing perc is that it cleans clothes well, does not damage any garments, is durable and is not flammable. Yet it was discovered to be a carcinogen that many consumers were afraid to use perc, particularly after the Consumer Product Health Commission eliminated this perc designation. Dry cleaning practitioners today tend to use certain chemicals for dry cleaning as a dry cleaning solution with an view to removing perc.

The procedure was performed inside “factories” in the early days-suggesting shops would take consumer merchandise, and the apparel would be shipped to the consolidated warehouse for the specific operation. We were sent back to the dry cleaning shop until the garments were finished, so consumers could demand them. Given the flammable existence of the cleaning solvents, this unified structure was essential.