ChemBrite products are Effective, Environmentally Friendly and Economical
Home Page About ChemBrite Our Products ChemBrite Support Place an Order Contact ChemBrite
ChemBrite Support


Use the links below to navigate to the related ChemBrite support topic.

Dry Cleaning Support Detergents Support Spotting Agents Support Specialty Products Support

Dry Cleaning Support

The three states of matter are gas, liquid, and solid.  Since solid matter concerns cleaners, I shall discuss matters only with respect to its solid state.  There are two distinct classes of solids, and a third class that combines the features of the other two.  One class consists only of ions which are electrically charged atoms.  They are either positively (called “cations”) or negatively (called “anions”) charged.  For example: salt is a solid whereby the salt crystal is held together because of the electrical attraction between the cations and anions. 

The other class of solids consists in simple molecules made of uncharged atoms.  These molecules contain no ions and are therefore, “non-ionic” and electrically inert.  For example: paraffin wax, which has it molecules held together, in a solid structure by a gravitational bond.

Solids that contain ions have a great attraction for water and are called “hydrophilic”.  These solids are usually water soluble although never oil soluble.  Solids that contain no ions or other water attracting groups, such as paraffin wax, are generally oil-soluble but never water soluble.  In fact, they resist even being wetted by water and are therefore called “hydrophobic”.

The third class is composed of solids that are “non-ionic” yet “hydrophilic’.  This happens because the molecules contain certain non-ionic structural units that can absorb water.  Simple alcohols are typical of this type and are classed within the “hydroxyl group”. This consists simply of an oxygen and hydrogen atom linked to each other and to the balance of the molecule.  The hydroxyl group makes the alcohol molecule water soluble despite the balance of the molecule being “hydrophobic”.

We should have a basic understanding of “wetting” and “swelling” before we discuss the types of soil since the main purpose of dry-cleaning is to remove soil from the fabric without swelling which can result in shrinkage, yarn breakage, or color loss.

In one soaking process, the bonds between the molecules of the liquid are broken but the bonds between the molecules of the solid (fabric) are unaffected.  The result is that the liquid molecules adhere to the surface of the solid for partial solubility.  This process is called “wetting”.  In the other soaking process, wetting occurs; but the bonds of the solid are weakened and the liquid molecules penetrate into the solid (fabric) to some extent, but not enough to cause solution.  This process is called “swelling”.  Both water and dry-cleaning solvents will “wet” all of the common textile fibers but only water will “swell” any of them.  Swelling is the cause of water’s adverse effect on the finish of the “hydrophilic” fibers.  This is, of course, the major distinction between dry-cleaning solvents and “wet-cleaning” with water and detergent or soap.  The perfect cleaning agent is one that will dissolve the soil but only wet the fiber.  This is the way dry-cleaning solvents behave toward many soils but, unfortunately, not toward all.  The purpose of dry-cleaning is to remove soil from the fabric without damaging the fabric in any manner.  This means protecting the fabric, color and finish.

Soils may be classified into four major groups.  Instead of trying to find out the exact nature of each staining material, we need only find out what type, or types, of soil are present in the fabric. 

  • Solvent soluble soil is soil that is dissolved by dry-cleaning solvent.  Examples of solvent soluble soil are mineral oils, lubricating oils, waxes, and greases.

  • Water soluble soils may be divided into two groups: (1) stains which are completely soluble in water and (2) stains which are partially soluble in water.  Neither of the two groups is soluble in dry-cleaning solvent. Examples of stains completely soluble in water are table sugar and table salt.  Simple sugars and salt are found in many staining substances, such as perspiration, foods, and beverages.  Partially water soluble stains are referred to as “built-up” food stains since they do not penetrate the fabric completely but lay on the surface.  Examples of partially water soluble soil are soup stains, catsup, and mustard.

  • Insoluble soils are not dissolved by dry-cleaning solvents, water, or special solvents.  Examples of insoluble soil are small particles of lint, dust, carbon, and sand.  Removal is by agitation and filtration.  Redeposition soil, commonly referred to as “graying” of fabrics, is often caused by fine particles of insoluble soil settling back on the fabric during the dry-cleaning process. 

  • Soils soluble by chemical or special agents are not soluble in dry-cleaning solvent or water.  These soils are either completely, or partially soluble in special solvents, or chemical agents.  Examples of soils that may be removed by special solvents or chemicals are nail polish, some adhesives, inks, rust, and paints.  Soils that may be removed by special agents other than solvents, or chemicals are albumin stains that require digesters in removal.

Factors affecting removal of soil are extent of soiling, length of time the soil has been in the fabric, type of soil, and type of fabric.  The removal of soil can be accomplished in several ways, and by various methods.  These various ways are dry-cleaning solvents, wet-cleaning, and physical methods.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the garment care cleaning process, let’s look at how ChemBrite products function within the dry-cleaning process.


Click to return to the top of this page



Detergents Support

The 3 functions performed by detergents within the dry-cleaning process are:

  1. Carry moisture to aid in the removal of water soluble soils
  2. Suspend soil after it has been removed from the fabric
  3. Act as a spotting agent to penetrate the fabric so that the solvent and water can remove stains

Within the ChemBrite line, presently there are 5 detergents of which 4 are used in the dry-cleaning side and one on the wet-cleaning side for washables.  The 4 dry-cleaning detergents (ChemCharge, ChemTex, ChemTerge & ChemKlean) are anionic, negatively charged, which control the manner in which it reacts with the solvent and water.  Anionic detergents carry water by means of solubilization.  Anionic detergent molecules will surround water molecules and hold them in very stable units within the solvent.  The water in this mixture is transparent; the solvent will appear clear, or may take on a light gold color from the detergent itself.  The solubilized water is then available to help dissolve water soluble soils and perform other functions without damaging fibers, or dyes.  Anionic detergents, when used in their recommended concentration, provide excellent soil suspension.  This type of detergent does not actively absorb onto fibers or solvent filters.  The base tank is charged with detergent according to ChemBrite’s recommendation, which in most cases is one percent volume per volume.  The specific percentage of detergent in solvent will sufficiently control any normal amount of moisture introduced to the charged solvent.  Since small amount of detergent will be removed from distilled solvent, periodic additions of detergent are necessary to maintain a constant percentage of detergent in the base tank.  It is extremely important to maintain the recommended detergent charge when using an anionic detergent.  These detergents are designed to control normal amounts of moisture encountered in dry-cleaning but only when used at their proper concentration.  Running moisture sensitive loads, such as wools, with less than one percent detergent could result in excessive wrinkling, shrinkage, or dye loss. 

Advantages and / or Disadvantages

  1. Gives excellent cleaning throughout cycle
  2. Not selectively absorbed on fibers.   Remains in solvent for use in next run.
  3. Gives good water solubilization
  4. Absorb on clay and carbon soils to prevent redeposition
  5. Can easily be titrated to control “charge”  

ChemBrite recommends that our 4 anionic detergents concentration be at a minimum of 1%, although the more concentrated ChemCharge and ChemTex can be run at ½% charge.  ChemKlean, ChemTerge and ChemTex are formulated for use in perchloroethylene as well as hydrocarbon solvent.  ChemCharge is formulated for use in perchloroethylene only.  Proper charge is obtained by following the directions for use listed on the respective labels.

The only non-ionic detergent in our line is ChemSoft, which is designed for use in wet-cleaning.  In wet-cleaning the solvent (water) is routinely discharged after use, so, one focus of this detergent is that it is non-substantive and biodegradable.  Since most non-ionic soils are hydrophilic (water soluble), ChemSoft is formulated for optimum removal of solvent soluble stains, whiteness, and anti soil redeposition.  This is accomplished through the Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB) value as a function of the ratio needed to emulsify oil in water.  HLB values of 8 -15 yield oil in water emulsion, as well as detergency.  Being non-substantive, ChemSoft is added to every load at the recommended concentration of 3 ounces per 10 pounds of garment for maximum soil removal and to give garments the look and soft feel of dry-cleaning.


Click to return to the top of this page



Spotting Agents Support

Spotting agents are primarily used to remove soils that are not soluble in dry-cleaning solvent, or water except by the use of special solvents, or chemical agents, and on heavily stained garments.  The three types of spotting agents are:  wet-side agents, dry-side agents, and bleaches.

- ChemBrite’s wet-side agents are ChemPro, ChemTan, Neutral Lubricant, and Spray Spotter

- ChemBrite’s dry-side agents are ChemDri, ChemDuo and POG.

- ChemBrite Spray Spotter is a concentrated light duty water based detergent used to clean water soluble stains from clothing. 
Being concentrated it is diluted 1:4 with water when used in spray tanks, and applied directly to soiled garments.   For hard to clean, heavily soiled loads 2 ounces of spray spotter is mixed with 2 ounces of water for every 10 pounds of clothing, and batch run 5 minutes off filter, then 3 minutes on filter.  It is used to boost cleaning of regular dry-cleaning by adding 2 ounces of spray spotter per 10 pounds of clothes.

- ChemBrite Neutral Lubricant is water based neutral ph synthetic detergent used to remove water soluble stains, food, beverages, and water soluble dyes.  It is often combined with other alkaline wet-side spotting agents (ChemPro & ChemTan) to increase their effectiveness acting as a penetrant to loosen, and aid in stain removal.  Being neutral it intensifies color fastness of garment dyes.  It is applied directly to the stain area before use of other spotting agents, and gently worked into the stain by tamping.   

- ChemPro is an alkaline spotting agent used for removal of food-blood stains.  It is applied directly to garment
1.  Apply ChemBrite Neutral Lubricant. Tamp with brush. Flush with water or steam.  2. Apply ChemPro. Tamp with brush.  Flush with water or steam (Test colors first for sensitive dyes).   Garment should be leveled or dry before dry-cleaning.

- ChemTan is an acidic wet-side spotting agent for the removal of tannin, beverage, mustard, and grass stains.  It is applied directly to garment.  1.  Apply ChemBrite Neutral Lubricant. Tamp and flush with water.  2. Apply ChemTan. Allow time (15 minutes) to react, flush with water. Feather with steam. 3. Apply ChemDuo, Flush with water. Feather with steam.  Apply hydrogen peroxide (5 vol.), flush with water.  Safe on whites.  Test colors first. 

- ChemBrite POG is a dry-side pre-cleaning spotting agent used to remove oily type stains, including fats, grease cosmetics, paints, and plastics.  It is a special solvent, and lubricant.  Always wet the fabric with ChemDri before applying POG.  This aids in subsequent rinsing with ChemDri.  Never allow to remain in the fabric for a prolonged period of time because rings may form or color loss may occur.  1. Work over clean towel applying POG blotting loosened pigment with clean cloth.  Repeat.  Work stain gently until soft.  Tamp and then flush from the fabric with ChemDri before dry-cleaning the garment.  

- ChemDuo is a pre-cleaning spotting agent that flushes dry or wet.  It is a general utility spotter that can be used to remove oxidized oils, inks, and collar & cuff marks.  Apply ChemDuo directly to stain and blot loosened pigment with clean cloth.  Repeat.  Work Stain gently until soft, flush, and run in dry-cleaning cycle.

- ChemDri is a fast drying volatile spotter that is use for touch-up, and post spotting after garments has been cleaned.  It is combined 1:2 with ChemBrite Spray Spotter for use on unidentified stains, or when traces of oil soluble stains remains after spotting with ChemPro.  Other uses are to help remove paint, oil, grease, cosmetics, and dry inks.  ChemDri is used to flush out oily type paint remover, and to feather out on the dry side.

Special precaution should be taken when using Dry and Wet-side agent.  Never use dry-side agents while wet-side agents remain in the fabric, or while the fabric is wet.  Never use wet-side agents while dry-side agents remain in the fabric.  Never flush out dry-side agents with the steam gun.


Click to return to the top of this page



Specialty Products Support

- ChemBrite Boiler Treatment is formulated with chemicals that are designed for an all in one boiler water treatment in low pressure boilers operating at less than 100 hp.  The composition of B-T includes an oxygen scavenging system, an alkalinity control agent, water hardness precipitant, corrosion and scale inhibition agents. ChemBrite B-T is added daily to the boiler water at the recommended rate of 1 ounce per every 3 boiler horsepower to provide the required concentration of chemicals needed to maintain generally 1000 to 2000 ppm of this formulation.  Maintaining this chemical level of concentration and blow-down are essential to the proper treatment of the boiler.  Blow-down is the process of removing the precipitated mineral sludge from the system by expulsion through drain line of boiler.

- ChemSize is formulated for use in perchloroethylene or hydrocarbon solvent to be run as a batch or charge type sizing agent.   The desired concentration of 10 ppm is generally sufficient to yield the desired results of stiffness, strength, and smoothness to fabrics.  The recommended concentration of 1 ounce per 10 pounds of garments (batch operation) or 13 ounces per 10 gallons of solvent (charge operation) is normally sufficient to achieve these results.  Additional product is added to every load when run as a batch, or when adding additional solvent to the system when run as a charge.  When run on batch, ChemSize is added to the final cleaning cycle for 3 minutes.  Increasing the concentration and time will render heavier body and feel.  


Click to return to the top of this page


Home About Us Our Products Support Place an Order Contact Us Legal Privacy Policy Site Map



©2008 ChemBrite LLC. - All Rights Reserved




Back to Home Page