Different Cleaning Methods on the Market
To decide which cleaning process to use you need to have knowledge of the fabric used in its construction, the fibre content ,and the fastness of the dye to determine which is the best cleaning process.
It is always a good idea to have the cleaning instructions from the people who supplied your curtains, blinds or drapes as this empowers you when making a decision.
Hand washing in water
Hand Washing- indicated by a basin with a hand in it with a temperature shown. Using a washing machine in this situation is far more aggressive than hand washing and will cause shrinkage to occur.
A professional Launder uses a very large machine to hand wash which has less mechanical action You can also protect sheer fabrics by placing them in a net bag.
Always be careful whilst one fabric may indicate it can be washed, but can the other fabrics and has the correct thread been used. If not distortion will occur as the different fibres used will shrink to different degrees causing puckering.
What does dry mean? In the sense of Dry Cleaning it means the use of a hydrocarbon solvent with no water present.
Solvents -water, Perkcholorethylene (“Perk”), White Spirits. Perkcholorethylene – P
This is a synthetic hydrocarbon solvent and is used mainly by your shop Dry Cleaner, because it is not flammable. It is a fine solvent that is a very good cleaner, but can cause problems with dyes, when they can bleed and fade. So if the cleaning instructions have the P symbol on it Perk is OK. When Cleaning with Perk the items have to be tumble dried as the fumes are toxic and have to be collected in the machine which is sealed. The other issue is that it is a system that is normally used to clean cloths which normally have water born stains on them and so water and soap are added to the solvent to effectively remove these types of stains, which solvent alone will not remove. The down side of this is when curtains are cleaned, the moisture, heat and mechanical action will cause shrinkage. In this system the curtains will be finished on a clothing press and could cause distortion.
White Spirits –F or P
This is a petroleum solvent which is flammable and so can only be used in a factory where fire precautions are in effect, not a shop.
It is a soft none aggressive solvent equivalent to Lux soap powder as against a detergent soap powder. It seldom gives problems with dyes or colour loss. This solvent is not so toxic so it can be hung dried in a ventilated factory space where fire precautions are applicable.