The techniques of dry cleaning were being practiced as early as Ancient Rome. During that time the practice of cleaning clothes using ammonia was done. Ammonia was extracted from human and animal urine. Although not considered “dry cleaning,” as solutions of their ammonia was most likely mixed with water, the proof of concept was there: using solvents to clean clothing outside of traditional water washing.
It wasn’t until the late 1700s and early 1800s that dry cleaning became a readily available service. This was because science had advanced far enough in the realm of chemistry, that a variety of solvents had become readily available.
Initially, clothes were cleaned in solvents that were highly flammable. Cleaning methods included the use of turpentine and petroleum based solvents. All that to say, it wasn’t ideal that gasoline based products were being used to clean clothing – there were reported incidents of fires and explosions at cleaning facilities.
Moving forward to the 1900s, cleaning solvents switched from petroleum based, to chlorinated solvents. This was a step forward in terms of flammability and cleaning standards, as solvents such as chloromethanes are fantastic at degreasing, and are moderately more stable as a compound in terms of combustibility. However, the structure of chlorinated solvents, when broken down is highly toxic to mammals. Case in point: similar chlorine based compounds are used in the infamous pesticide DDT.
Today, dry cleaning is mostly done with perchloroethylene. PERC, or PCE is a colourless, nonflammable solvent that works really well when dealing with degreasing. It helps to dissolve grease, oils, and waxes, without harming fabric, textiles, or clothing.
Dry Cleaning Services With BRILHO
Your life doesn’t have to include laundry issues when you choose BRILHO. Our laundry services not only includes dry cleaning, but it also includes laundry and press/ironing of your clothing, wash and fold of laundry, leather cleaning, clothing repair, as well as unwated clothing donations. Give us a call in regards to dry cleaning for a personalized quote!