Brio Cleaners Glossary

Common Terms from the Dry Cleaning Industry

  • Aeration(See: Deodorizing Cycle)
  • Amyl AcetateA dry-side spotting agent that fights plastic and oil stains.
  • Anti-foaming AgentsChemicals used to reduce foaming in the still caused by solvent contaminants such as filter powder, pigments, acids, detergents, retexturing agents and water repellents.
  • AssemblyThe final drycleaning step after cleaning and finishing processes: sorting, bagging, and racking clothes on a conveyor.
  • Atmospheric StillA still that distills without using internal pressure or vacuum, standard in drycleaning operations that use chlorinated solvents such as perchloroethylene.
  • BackwashingThe washing of spent diatomite from tubular filters by reversing solvent flow, as opposed to bumping.
  • Bactericides (Biocides)Solution used in drycleaning detergents, particularly for petroleum drycleaning solvents, to counter bio-contamination.
  • Base TankTanks at a drycleaning machine’s base in one to three units, holding both dirty solvent for distillation and clean solvent.
  • Belly WasherA washer from now-obsolete transfer machine procedures. A belly washer’s rotating cylinder holds textiles and receives solvent from the outer metal shell. The machine would extract solvent before moving textiles to the tumbler.
  • BleachA stain-fighting chemical used in laundering and spotting operations. Oxidizing bleaches and reducing bleaches use different chemical processes to combat different kinds of stains.
  • Boil DownThe final distillation step of heating solvent in the still to recover it before cleaning the still.
  • BoilerThe insulated machine that heats water into hot water and steam for use in distillation, finishing, spotting, and cleaning operations. Boiler blowdown water and boiler feed water treatment prevent internal scale buildup in boilers.
  • Boiler Feed Water TreatmentThe prevention of scale buildup in boilers through chemical agents, as opposed to boiler blowdown water.
  • BoiloverThe release of muck from a muck cooker or still, resulting from overfilling or overheating.
  • Bound MoistureWater that a detergent in a drycleaning solvent binds and releases.
  • BuckA plate at the base of a steam press, holding textiles for pressing.
  • Bumping (Air Bumping)The separation of spent diatomite from tubular filters using compressed air or agitation, as opposed to backwashing.
  • Button TrapA drycleaning machine component that blocks objects (e.g. buttons, coins, lint) from entering the solvent pump behind it.
  • Carbon AdsorberA drycleaning machine component that adsorbs vaporized solvent on a bed of activated carbon attached to the air outlet.
  • Cartridge FilterA common replaceable filter made of filter paper, clay, and carbon in a metal shell.
  • ClassificationThe sorting of textiles into appropriate groups for high-volume treatment, based on color, material, finish, trim, and weight.
  • Coin-Operated Drycleaning MachineA self-service drycleaning machine that launderettes provide for customer use. Most coin-operated drycleaning machines use cartridge filters as opposed to powder filtration systems, and they provide pre-charged solvent for 8-10 lbs of textiles.
  • Cold Spotting BoardA spotting board that does not use steam.
  • Combination MachineA transfer machine that washes textiles and extracts solvent before the process moves on to the tumbler.
  • Commercial DrycleanersDrycleaners that primarily clean apparel, uniforms, and flatwork, as opposed to industrial cleaners.
  • Condensate WaterIn drycleaning, wastewater condensed from solvent vapors and steam.
  • CondenserA drycleaning machine component that cools solvent vapors, converting them back into liquid. It connects to the still, vapor recovery unit, and muck cooker.
  • Constant Pressure FilterA powder filtration system that retains its diatomite coating by applying constant pressure, as opposed to regenerative filters.
  • Contact WaterWastewater that contains drycleaning solvent after contacting it inside a drycleaning machine.
  • Cooked Powder ResidueHazardous waste containing solvent, carbon, diatomite, grease, lint, dyes, soils and water as a result of distilling and cooking muck.
  • Cooker(See: Muck Cooker)
  • Cool-downThe final drying step of cooling textiles in the drum via the refrigerated condenser to reduce creases and solvent concentration.
  • Cylinder(See: Drum)
  • Deodorizing CycleThe reclaimer’s final step, where outer air through the air inlet and exhaust valves removes solvent vapors to leave textiles dry and odorless.
  • DetergentA solution that regularly supplements drycleaning solvent with strengthened removal of water-soluble soils.
  • DiatomiteAn abbreviation of diatomaceous earth, the powder used to line constant pressure filters and regenerative filters in powder filtration systems. Spent diatomite is a component of muck.
  • Digestive AgentA spotting solution made of digestive enzymes to fight organic stains (e.g. from food).
  • DistillationThe boiling and vaporization of solvent in the drycleaning machine’s still to purify it for a reusable water-solvent condensation headed for the water separator, leaving still bottoms behind as waste.
  • Diverter ValveA valve that blocks outer air from entering a refrigerated condenser.
  • DrumContainer for textiles in a drycleaning machine’s washer-extractor.
  • Dry CleaningThe cleaning of textiles with dry cleaning solvent, as opposed to laundering or wet cleaning with water. Tags read “dry clean only” whenever textiles can only be dry cleaned rather than laundered, but wet cleaning allows for the same textiles to be cleaned with specially-distributed water and none of the hazardous solvents. Dry cleaning operations move from marking to classification to cleaning, drying, and finishing in dry cleaning machines to assembly, and may involve commercial dry cleaners, industrial cleaners, coin-operated dry cleaning machines, and/or dry drop-off facilities.
  • Dry Cleaning MachineEither a dry-to-dry machine or a transfer machine. Components include the washer-extractor, tumbler or reclaimer, still, vacuum unit, water separator, condenser, heating coil, refrigerated condenser, hot plate evaporator, inductive fan, pump strainer, solvent pump, button trap, and carbon adsorbers.
  • Dry Cleaning SolventA substance that dissolves soil, grease, and other stains on textiles without using water (i.e. by dry cleaning). Petroleum-based dry cleaning solvents and chlorinated solvents such as perchloroethylene present environmental and health risks, so eco-friendly wet cleaning operations are designed to avoid them.
  • Dry Drop-off FacilityA commercial storefront that transfers customers’ textiles to and from drycleaning facilities elsewhere instead of operating on-site.
  • Dry-side Spotting AgentA spotting agent that fights non-water soluble stains from oil and grease, as opposed to wet-side spotting agents. They include perchloroethylene, amyl acetate, and petroleum drycleaning solvents.
  • Dry-to-Dry MachineA drycleaning machine whose drum executes both the cleaning and drying cycles, releasing textiles dry and extracted while preventing solvent vapors’ escape.
  • Dryer(See: Reclaimer)
  • Drying CycleThe removal of solvent from washed and extracted textiles by activating heating coils for as long as the drum’s rotation lasts.
  • ExtractionThe increased rotation of the washer-extractor drum after the wash cycle to separate solvent from textiles.
  • ExtractorA centrifuge in a washer-extractor that extracts drycleaning solvent from textiles after the washer has run its course.
  • Fifth Generation Drycleaning Machine(See: Transfer Machine)
  • Filter Cake(See: Muck)
  • Filter Powder(See: Diatomite)
  • FinishingA process of using steam that forms to reshape garments after laundering. This is a process we use: use heat, steam and pressure only - NO STARCHES
  • Fugitive VaporsVapors that drycleaning machines and other equipment release into air outside. Inductive fans offset the releases of fugitive vapors.
  • Full-size Carbon UnitAn adsorptive carbon unit that holds solvent during the drying cycle, when vapors recirculate from the drum.
  • GrayingA gray tinge to textiles resulting from soil particles in solvent. Polishing filters are designed to offset graying.
  • Grid-Head PressA stream press whose perforations vent steam and air on woolen textiles.
  • Halogenated-hydrocarbon DetectorA detector that identifies and signals changes in perchloroethylene vapor concentrations.
  • Heating CoilA drycleaning machine component that heats air removed from the drum after perchloroethylene condensation so that the heated air can recirculate into the drum.
  • Hot Plate EvaporatorA drycleaning machine component whose heating coil vaporizes wastewater from water separators and vacuum presses.
  • Hot-Head PressA steam press whose solid stainless steel heats steam up to 300° F on silken textiles.
  • Hydrogen PeroxideA form of oxidizing bleach commonly used against organic stains in spotting.
  • Inductive FanA drycleaning machine component that fans air into the machine upon opening of the door to reduce releases of fugitive vapors.
  • Industrial CleanersDrycleaners that clean dust control items, work uniforms, and wiping towels, as opposed to commercial drycleaners.
  • Insoluble SoilCommon soils that water and drycleaning solvent cannot dissolve, such as non-volatile residues, lint, earth, sand, hair, carbon, and cosmetics; drycleaning machines’ lubrication separates insoluble soils from textiles when solvents cannot.
  • Loading FactorThe ideal weight of a textile load per machine, based on wheel or tumbler sizes, cleaning processes, and solvents.
  • MarkingThe first step of drycleaning: tagging or stamping numbers onto textiles for identification.
  • MisterA device that disposes of wastewater into the air upon the water’s filtration through activated carbon or polymer filter.
  • MuckWaste from powder filtration systems, comprised of diatomite, lint, water, grease, spent solvent, soil, carbon, and non-volatile residues.
  • Muck CookerA device that distills muck, evaporating it and recovering solvent.
  • Non-volatile Residue (NVR)A waste product of solvent distillation, composed of fats, oils, gums, and insoluble soils.
  • Optical BrightenersChemicals added to detergents to brighten textiles’ color.
  • Oxidizing BleachA bleach that fights stains through oxidation, as opposed to reducing bleach; examples include sodium perborate, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium hypochlorite.
  • Percent DetergentThe detergent-to-solvent ratio in the drycleaning cycle; most charged solvents are 0.5%-1.5% detergent.
  • PerchloroethyleneThe most common drycleaning solvent due to its effective removal of non-water soluble soils, commonly abbreviated as “Perc”. Due to the solvent’s status as a known carcinogen and air and groundwater pollutant, eco-friendly alternatives to dry cleaning such as wet cleaning avoid the use of perchloroethylene .
  • Petro-miserA reclaimer specialized for petroleum drycleaning solvent.
  • Petroleum Drycleaning SolventA petroleum-based form of drycleaning solvent, as opposed to chlorinated solvents such as perchloroethylene.
  • Polishing FilterA filter under the main filtration system that reduces graying from small soil particles via minuscule pores between spiral cotton or resin-bonded fibers.
  • Powder Filtration SystemDrycleaning filtration systems that filter substances through surfaces lined with diatomite and activated carbon. Constant pressure filters and regenerative filters are the two forms of powder filtration systems, whose waste in the form of muck must be processed in the muck cooker.
  • Pre-charged SolventDrycleaning solvent whose manufacturer added detergent beforehand, typically for use in coin-operated drycleaning machines.
  • PrecoatingLayering diatomite onto a filter before contact with impure solvent to avoid clogging the filter when impurities emerge.
  • Protein Formula DetergentA wet-side spotting agent utilizing digestive enzymes such as Lipase, Cellulase, Amylase, or Protease against cellulose, fats, proteins, starch, and oils.
  • Pump StrainerA drycleaning machine component that blocks lint and other particles from the solvent pump.
  • Rag FilterA terry cloth filter that separates water and waste from distilled solvent transferred to the water separator, used mostly in petroleum drycleaning solvent operations.
  • ReclaimerA machine that tumbles textiles in heated air to separate solvent from them. It condenses solvents and transfers them to the water separator.
  • Reclaiming CycleThe first step of reclaiming, where hot air vaporizes solvent from textiles. Afterward, the reclaimer condenses vapors into reusable liquid solvent.
  • RecycleThe routine re-use of solvents after vaporization, condensation, filtration and distillation.
  • Reducing BleachA bleach that fights stains through reducing, as opposed to oxidizing bleach; examples include sodium bisulfite, titanium stripper, and sodium hydrosulfite.
  • Refrigerated CondenserA drycleaning machine component that condenses solvent by chilling the vapors.
  • Refrigerated Condenser CoilThe refrigerated condenser’s coil, which condenses solvent by cooling.
  • Regenerative FiltersThe most common powder filtration system that retains its diatomite coating in flexible tubes that require bumping to remove the spent powder, as opposed to constant pressure filters.
  • Room EnclosureThe enclosure of a transfer machine system, which holds solvent vapors before transferring them to carbon adsorbers.
  • Separator WaterA form of contact water that water separators produce during the solvent-water separation process.
  • Slide BoardA metal-lined board that transfers textiles from washers to extractors in transfer machine operations.
  • Sludge(See: Still Bottoms)
  • Smart Dosing
    A machine weighs the textiles and not only calculates the amount of water but the amount of soap to "dose" or automatically dispense. It's a game changer since this is the only system in the world that does that.
  • Sniffer(See: Carbon Adsorber)
  • Sodium BisulfiteA form of reducing bleach commonly used to remove chlorine bleach in spotting.
  • Sodium HydrosulfiteA form of reducing bleach commonly used in spotting.
  • Sodium HypochloriteA form of oxidizing bleach most commonly used in spotting as a 1% solution.
  • Sodium PerborateA form of oxidizing bleach commonly used in spotting, with acetic acid to lower its alkalinity.
  • Solvation ProcessThe circulation of air from the condenser to the water bath to the tumbler in order to recover solvent from the heated textiles.
  • Solvent PumpA drycleaning machine component that pumps solvent into the machine.
  • Solvent Relative HumidityThe percentage of water a solvent’s detergent holds per the detergent’s maximum holding capacity; a measure of a solvent’s moisture upon adding detergent.
  • Solvent Relative Humidity InstrumentAn instrument that gathers solvent, air, and water vapors and measures their solvent relative humidity, adding water to the machine when levels drop below standard.
  • Solvent TurnoverThe measurement of distilled solvent (in gallons) to be replaced for each 100 pounds of textiles drycleaned.
  • SpottingThe selective use of water, detergent, steam, or chemicals as spotting agents to clean particular spots on textiles.
  • Spotting AgentA chemical used in spotting operations, ranging from dry-side spotting agents to wet-side spotting agents to bleach.
  • Spotting BoardThe steam-supplied space for spotting operations.
  • Steam PressA finishing device that presses drycleaned textiles with steam. The steam press connects to the boiler and vacuum unit, the latter supplying steam while the former holds textiles in place via vacuum and collects condensed steam.
  • Steam StrippingThe recovery of solvent from still bottoms by releasing steam directly into them, lowering the boiling point and raising the distillation rate, as opposed to steam sweeping.
  • Steam SweepingThe recovery of solvent from still bottoms by steaming them above the liquid surface, raising the temperature, as opposed to steam stripping.
  • StillA drycleaning machine component that vaporizes, purifies, and recovers drycleaning solvent.
  • Still BottomsThe waste stills produce in distillation, containing water, soil, solvent, carbon, and other non-volatile residues; still bottoms resulting from chlorinated drycleaning solvent are hazardous. Steam stripping and steam sweeping are two means of recovering solvent from still bottoms.
  • SurfactantA surface active agent, or a chemical that reduces surface tension of water and oil molecules to maintain an otherwise unstable mixture between them.
  • SuzieA finishing device that reduces creases in textiles by blowing air and steam through them.
  • Sweetener PowderA filter powder made of activated clay, which adsorbs dyes, detergents, fatty acids, and other impurities from solvent and prevents filter clogging alongside diatomite.
  • Synthetic DetergentsA solid or liquid detergent that can dissolve oils in water.
  • Tetrachloroethylene or Tetrachloroethene(See: Perchloroethylene)
  • Third Generation Drycleaning MachineA dry-to-dry machine containing a refrigerated condenser.
  • Titanium StripperA reducing bleach frequently used in spotting to whiten textiles and reduce dye stains via 10 - 15% titanous sulfate and 1- 4% sulfuric acid.
  • Transfer MachineA drycleaning machine with separate washing and drying units, typically a washer, extractor, and tumbler or reclaimer. The modern alternative is a dry-to-dry machine.
  • TrichloroethyleneA chlorinated drycleaning solvent and dry-side spotting agent
  • Tubular FilterA cylindrical powder filtration system subject to precoating to avoid clogging.
  • Vacuum StillA still specialized for distilling petroleum drycleaning solvents through an internal vacuum.
  • Vacuum UnitA drycleaning machine component that gathers condensate from steam presses and spotting boards though a small vacuum pump and into a tank at the unit’s base.
  • Vacuum WaterContact water that vacuum units collect from steam presses and spotting boards.
  • Vapor Adsorber(See: Carbon Adsorber)
  • Vapor Recovery UnitAn instrument that collects solvent vapors from dry-to-dry machines’ vents, transfer machines’ dryers, and ventilation outside of machines.
  • WasherIn drycleaning, a machine that washes and agitates textiles in solvent (as in a washer-extractor).
  • Washer-ExtractorIn drycleaning, a drycleaning machine component that holds and rotates textiles in its drum contained in the outer shell that holds and distributes drycleaning solvent. The machine serves the purposes of washer, extractor and, in the case of dry-to-dry machines, reclaimer.
  • Water SeparatorA drycleaning machine component that separates water from solvent via gravity. Water separators mediate solvent’s movement into storage tanks from muck cookers, vapor recovery units, stills, and dryers.
  • Water Soluble SoilSoil that water dissolves, such as sugar, starch, syrups, salt, gums, and other food-related organic substances.
  • Wet-side Spotting AgentA spotting agent that fights water-soluble soils, as opposed to wet-side spotting agents. They include water, alkalis, acids, ammonia, and synthetic detergents.
  • Wheel(See: Drum)
  • Wholesale Supply FacilityA commercial facility that supplies drycleaning equipment or solvents to drycleaning facilities.