What You Need To Know About Solvent Temperature

What you need to know about solvent temperature

by Howard Duffy, DIA Technical Officer

Solvent temperature is an important factor in the drycleaning cycle especially when using Perc.  Most machines in use these days have the ability to have control the temperature with a solvent chiller or refrigeration unit and a gauge or reading on the computer screen.

Typically, the first loads should require little cooling but as the load count increases during the day so will the solvent temperatures.

In each drying cycle the heated air which is passed through the garments in the cage will also be absorbed by the metal of the cage and so in the next cycle, the retained heat from the steel of the cage will be transferred to the incoming solvent thus raising the temperature.

The warmer the solvents get the more aggressive the solvents become and it is important to note that heated solvents can then affect:

  • Dyes in garments
  • Backing on curtains
  • Plastic and PVC trims
  • Buttons and faux leather and suede
  • Sizing on finer fabrics like silk

The most common results from too high solvent temperatures are dye runs and cutain backing failures.

Some machines will have a chiller cycle already built into the program list others will not although it is usually not a difficult task to program it into the machine if it has the refrigeration capability.  The ability to bring the solvent temperature down to 16 to 18 degrees will provide the opportunity to process those at-risk garments with confidence. Chilled solvent does have a diminished cleaning ability which should be a consideration.

Discuss this with your machine supplier or machine maintenance man if you are unclear of thee features on your machine.