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Dry Cleaning Glossary of Terms

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Adsorptive Carbon Filters

Special filters used in dry cleaning machines that contain clay and carbon that help remove dye and soils from the cleaning solvent.

Amyl Acetate

A spot remover that is used to remove oil-based stains and plastics.


After your items have been cleaned and finished they move on to assembly.  Assembly is the stage where clothes are sorted out by ticket number, bagged and racked on the conveyor.


Solution added to dry cleaning detergent to prevent the growth of bacteria in the dry cleaning machine and solvent.

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Base Tank

Tanks at the bottom of a dry cleaning machine that hold clean solvent or solvent waiting to be transferred to the still.  Most dry cleaning machines have either one or two base tanks.


A chemical that can either be used in washing or spotting that reduces the apperaence of stains. 

Boil Down

The last step in distillation in which the temperature in the still is increased to cook down all of the remaining solvent before the still is cleaned.


The insulated chamber where water is heated to make the steam needed to press garments.  The steam can also be mixed with cold water through a mixing valve to produce the desired temperature of hot water.

Boiler Blowdown Water

The water that is released from blowing down the boiler as regular maintenance to prevent the build up of solid patrticles and scale.

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The bottom part of a pressing machine where the garments are placed to be pressed.

Button Trap

A filter palced before the solvent pump in a dry cleaning machine that prevents large objects such as buttons and change from entering and breaking the pump.

Carbon Adsorber

A bag of carbon that is placed on the air outlet of a dry cleaning machine to filter out every last bit of solvent.

Cartridge Filter

A removeable filter that contains filter paper and usually clay and carbon surrounded by a pourous metal casing.


The step in the cleaning process where garments are sorted into similar groups for cleaning based on color, materail, trim and a number of other factors.

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Closed-loop Machine

A dry cleaning machine in which you put the clothes in dry and remove them after they have dried.  This kind of machine releases on vapor until after the dry cycle is complete and there is no solvent left on the garmnets.

Cold Machine

A drier that has no heat and only tumbles items.

Commercial Drycleaners

A drycleaning business that focuses mainly on cleaning uniforms, apparel and household items such as sheets, linens and towels.

Condensate Water

Water that comes from the drycleaning machine that is a produced by the condensing of vapors of slovent that was cooked in the still.


A part of the drycleaning machine that is used to cool the heated vapors and return them to a liquid state.  All solvent that comes from the still and the drying cycle next goes to the condenser.

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Contact Water

Any water in the drycleaning machine that has come in contact with solvent and has the posibility of containing solvent.


The last step of the drycleaning process where the items are cooled to reduce wrinkling and make them easier to hang up out of the machine.


A solution added to the dry cleaning solvent to remove water soluble stains that the solvent alone will not efficiently remove.

Digestive Agent

A spotting solution that is made up of enzymes that help to remove protein stains.


A process in the dry cleaning machine where the solvent is boiled to remove impurities and return it to its pure, crystal clear state.  At Classic Touch this is done after every load to produce the best colors avaliable.

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Also called cylinder.  This is the part of the dry cleaning machine or washer where the items to be cleaned are placed for cleaning.
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