Any industry has its own special terms and language that can confuse those without insider knowledge. Cameo Cleaners has put together a short list of common terms that you may come across when dropping off your clothes at your local dry cleaner.

  • Closed-loop Machine: A dry-cleaning machine that releases a vapor until after the dry cycle is complete and no solvent is left on clothes. Clothes are put in dry, covered in solvent, and removed after they are dry.
  • Cold machine: A dryer that does not use heated air to dry the clothes in the dry-cleaning process
  • Contact water: Water that has come into contact with dry-cleaning solvents and contains the solvent. It can be hazardous and must be disposed of properly.
  • Hydrocarbon: a petroleum-based solvent
  • Distillation: A process where dry-cleaning solvents are boiled to remove impurities. This returns it to its pure, unadulterated state.
  • Graying: Soil particles absorbed back into the garment surface that cause discoloration. The main cause of discoloration is dirty solvent.
  • Laundering: In contrast to dry-cleaning, which uses solvents as the principle cleaning medium, laundering, or wet cleaning, uses water. This process can be used occasionally by a dry-cleaner when a dry-cleanable garment is stained with water soluble soils.
  • Pre-charged Solvent: Dry-cleaning solutions that contain manufacturer-added detergent. This is most common in coin-operated dry-cleaners.
  • Two-Bath System: A system in which garments are first put in a solvent wash cycle, and then through a relatively pure solvent cycle.

We hope that this list will add some ease to your next trip to the dry-cleaners! But what’s the use of knowing the lingo if you haven’t found the perfect dry-cleaner yet? Look no further! At Cameo Cleaners, we know how important it is to keep your clothes looking their best. When you bring your clothes to us, you can rest easy knowing that they are in the hands of the best dry cleaners NYC has to offer. Don’t take a chance with your important clothing on a less reputable dry-cleaner. Contact Cameo Cleaners today!


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