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CLASSIFYING The  two  most  important  things  to  consider when items are classified for dry cleaning are (1) color  and  (2)  lint  quality  of  the  material.  In general,  virtually  all  fibers  or  fabrics  can  be  safely dry  cleaned  provided  they  are  resistant  to  the  dry- cleaning  solvent,  frictional  activity  involved  in  the dry-cleaning  machine,  and  the  stress  of  steam pressing and finishing. Standard military uniforms can be successfully dry cleaned aboard ship with virtually  no  problems  as  long  as  the  equipment is used properly and the correct solvent is used. The  solvent  used  should  be  tetrachloroethylene (perchlorethylene),  NSN  6810-00-270-9982  and NSN  6810-00-819-1128.  Always  remember  to classify   similar   items   together   for   washing purposes.  If  your  dry-cleaning  plant  is  washing civilian  clothes,  it  would  be  a  good  dry-cleaning practice  to  first  determine  the  type  of  fiber  or fabric to be cleaned and then carefully check the permanent  care  label  for  manufacturer’s  recom- mendations   or   instructions   for   cleaning.   On occasions   you   may   also   dry   clean   Marine uniforms. Sort them together but dry clean them separately. Classify table covers, drapes, flags, and so on, according to color, material, and lint quality. (Put ties into separate bags and clean them with the blue   uniform.) Foul  weather  jackets,  face  masks,  winter helmets,  and  winter  trousers  may  be  cleaned together. Although  they  have  many  different  colors, signal  flags  may  be  cleaned  in  the  same  group. Transfer  of  lint  among  flags  is  not  detrimental to their use. Do  NOT  dry  clean  impregnated,  rubberized, or oiled articles, or articles manufactured wholly or  in  part  from  leather.  Dry-cleaning  solvents damage  such  materials  beyond  repair  or  use. When articles are classified, divide them into equal   units   for   loading   into   the   dry-cleaning machine.  The  weight  units  should  be  based  on  the manufacturer’s   recommendations   for   machine capacity. A  record  of  pounds  cleaned  and  the  number of  loads  cleaned  daily  is  kept  to  determine  the numbers of pounds cleaned per gallon of solvent and  the  cost  per  pound  cleaned.  The  use  of  1 gallon  of  dry-cleaning  solvent  to  clean  200  pounds of  clothes  is  considered  good  usage. PRESPOTTING All   articles   should   be   examined   for   spots before  they  are  cleaned.  Analyze  all  spots  to determine what substance caused them and what methods   should   be   used   to   remove   them. Sometimes  treating  the  spot  may  not  remove  it entirely  but  usually  it  will  come  out  completely during  the  cleaning  process. Note that the flow chart (fig. 6-1) shows both prespotting  and  postspotting  steps.  The  latter  step is necessary in case a spot was missed earlier. If, however, it is necessary to postspot an article, it must go back to be cleaned again to remove the chemical  used  in  spotting.  Spotting  is  discussed in detail later in this chapter. DRY-CLEANING   SOLVENT The  dry-cleaning  process  centers  around  the dry-cleaning  solvent  which  distinguishes  dry cleaning from simple wet cleaning or laundering. The  removal  of  stains  and  soils  is  dependent  upon volubility,  age  and  extent  of  soil,  size  of  wash load,  type  of  fabric,  the  amount  of  water  and detergent  in  solution,  and  the  level  and temperature  of  the  solvent. Only the synthetic solvents discussed in this chapter  are  authorized  on  board  Navy  ships  for use  in  dry-cleaning  plants.  Tetrachloroethylene/ perchloroethylene  are  the  most  commonly  used solvents  and  the  brands  are  available  through supply.  The  solvents  already  contain  detergent which  eliminates  adding  it  to  the  inventory  of supplies. Check the amounts of solvent in the storage tank from time to time and make sure that it is refilled  as  necessary.  This  prevents  the  solvent from   getting   too   low   for   operation.   If   it   is necessary,  remind  the  sales  office  when  the quantity of solvent is reaching a low level so they can  order  a  new  supply. SAFE  HANDLING  AND  USE  OF DRY-CLEANING   SOLVENT Although dry-cleaning solvent has been used safely for many years, it is a toxic substance. It must,  like  other  chlorinated  solvents,  be  regarded as  a  potentially  hazardous  material,  which,  if misused  or  improperly  handled,  can  cause  serious injury or even death. It is essential, therefore, that perchloroethylene be handled only by knowledge- able  and  experienced  individuals  who  are  familiar 6-4

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