The process of cleaning fabrics with nonaqueous solvents and detergents, removing grease-based stains and retaining the shape and texture of the garments. Modern dry cleaning dates from the mid-19th century. gasoline was first used, but has been replaced by less inflammable solvents such as Stoddard solvent (a petroleum distillate), or the nonflammable chloroethylenes. Carbon tetrachloride, being highly toxic, is seldom used. The process is analogous to the use of a washing machine which spins and tumble-dries.
Related category INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY
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