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THE LATEST NEWS FROM STREET’S ACADEMY

Naperville, IL – May 13, 2020

After a drycleaning machine has been in storage or shutdown for an extended period of time, it is essential to go through basic procedures for proper start-up to help ensure optimum operation and cleaning performance.

Following is a list of basic recommended guidelines for a proper re-start of a drycleaning machine.  However, you should also review the manufacturer’s guide for starting the machine and cleaning individual components, follow all regulatory guidelines and wear appropriate protective gear:

  1. Turn on machine. Visually inspect machine to make sure doors and valves are closed, hoses are connected, etc.
  2. Reconnect all utilities.
  3. Run a test load using a supply of clean towels, to make sure clothes will not be picking up any odors from the solvent (especially for HFHC).
  4. If odors are detected (especially for HFHC) in the towels, run the drycleaned towels in the laundry and extract cycle until slightly damp. Re-run the laundered and extracted towels again through the dryclean cycle.  Repeat this step until odor disappears on towels after being drycleaned.
  5. Drain and clean water separators.
  6. Distill contents of the distilled tank.  This is in case there has been any development of bacterial odor and/or separation of water and solvent. This would be an excellent time to clean the base tanks, as they may have dirt/lint build up and trapped free moisture which could create odor.
  7. Distill contents of each working tank. Drain content of any filter housing to the still and distill. This would be an excellent time to change cartridge filters.
  8. Run filter maintenance program according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  9. Re-run test load.

For further questions about machine maintenance and operating procedures, please contact your equipment manufacturer.

For process or product related questions, please contact our technical service department at 1-800-4STREET or techsupport@4streets.com.

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The Importance of Cartridge Filter Maintenance

With the recent slowdown caused by the COVID–19 pandemic, many drycleaners have put their drycleaning equipment into shutdown/storage mode until business resumes. One item that is often overlooked when shutting a machine down are the cartridge filters.

When shutting a machine down for an extended period, the correct procedure is to remove cartridge filters from the machine. It is important to note here that you should always review the manufacturer’s guide for shutting down and restarting a machine and cleaning individual components, follow all regulatory guidelines and wear appropriate protective gear.

Not removing filters during machine shutdown can result in corrosion forming on the filter, to the point that the filter ruptures, releasing carbon into the solvent and depositing on garments when cleaning. This corrosion is very similar to what you may experience when you are not properly bleeding the air from the cartridge housing when using the machine on a regular basis or if you are not keeping enough solvent in the machine to fill the filter housings. Air gets into the filter housing, leaving part of the filter exposed to this oxygen and resulting in rapidly causing corrosion to the cartridge.

This corrosion can result in several costly problems, from garment damage to severe rusting of the filter housing that results in the need to replace the filter housing on the machine. Here is an example of what can happen to a cartridge. You can see the beginning stages of corrosion starting to appear on the filter. (Exhibit A)

      Exhibit A

   Exhibit B

Exhibit B is a photo of another filter that is also corroding. In this case, the filter was left in the machine for too long of a period while still in operation. The result was the plugging and collapse of the filter. Luckily, this filter hadn’t ruptured, spilling carbon into the machine.

Ideally, all cartridge filters should be removed if shutting down a machine for an extended period of time or putting a machine into storage. If you are in a situation in which you did not remove the cartridges and are going to be restarting your machine up soon, it is highly recommended to replace the filters in the machine with new filters prior to restart.

If you have noticed in the past that your all-carbon filters are corroded or collapsed (as shown in Exhibits A and B) while operating your machine in a normal production capacity, you will want to change them more frequently. The recommended mileage is 1000-1200 lbs. per carbon-core cartridge and 2500 lbs. (or when dye cannot be controlled) per all-carbon cartridge.

Lastly, your filters should not come apart when you are trying to remove them from the machine. You risk spilling carbon all over the person changing them, the floor and inside the filter housing on the machine. Also, you should not be seeing granular carbon in the button trap of your drycleaning machine. These are not normal occurrences and signal that the cartridge filter is not performing properly.

If you experience these things, you should consider using a better quality cartridge filter such as the Puritan® brand and change your filters at a proper interval.

For further questions about machine maintenance and operating procedures, please contact your equipment manufacturer.
For process or product related questions, please contact our technical service department at 1-800-4STREET or techsupport@4streets.com.

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