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Publication numberUS3611456 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1971
Filing dateFeb 20, 1970
Priority dateFeb 20, 1969
Also published asDE1908506A1
Publication numberUS 3611456 A, US 3611456A, US-A-3611456, US3611456 A, US3611456A
InventorsHildebrandt Horst
Original AssigneeBoewe Boehler & Weber Kg Masch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for spotting textiles before dry cleaning
US 3611456 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 12, 1971 HlLDEBRANDT 3,611,456

METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR SPOTTING TEXTILES BEFORE DRY CLEANING Filed Feb. 20, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 l Horsf Hildebrand? INVl5N'/()l BY C K r R0 Attorney Oct. 12, 1971 H. HILDEBRANDT 3,

METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FDR SPOTTING TEXTILES BEFORE 1m CLEANING Filed Feb. 20, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet I srzm "-47 a 4 SOURCE name 19 may: 13 I R {a I mammal? Q o 14 3, .r/ I V ,1


H62 5 I O Horst Hildebrand? INVIiN'IUR Attorney nited States Patent Ofice Patented Oct. 12, 1971 US. Cl. 8-1491 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A load of garments to be dry-cleaned in a rotating or oscillating drum is subg'ected in that drum, in the absence of organic cleaning fluid, to a mixture of steam and detergent to moisten and lift major stains of a water-soluble nature; after tumbling for a certain period in this atmosphere, the moist garments are treated with the usual organic solvent.

My present invention relates to a method of and an apparatus for removing water-soluble spots and stains from garments and other textiles to be dry-cleaned.

In several prior U.'S. patents, such as Nos. 2,614,026 and 3,473,175, there have been disclosed dry-cleaning systems wherein a minor proportion of water is admixed with an organic solvent whereby, in the presence of a suitable detergent, such water-soluble spots (e.g. blood, fruit or albumen stains), not readily attacked by the usual dry-cleaning fluids such as perchloroethylene, are more easily lifted during the tumbling of the textiles in a rotating or oscillating vessel. Nevertheless, many dry-cleaning establishments have found it advantageous to remove major stains by hand, an operation known in the trade as spotting, before loading them into the dry-cleaning drum.

The general object of my present invention is to provide an improved system for spotting textiles to be dry-cleaned, in order to foreshorten the time needed for treatment with the organic solvent.

More specifically, my invention aims at performing this spotting operation automatically and in the same vessel as the subsequent dry-cleaning phase.

The present invention is based on the surprising discoveiy that garments and other textiles, when subjected to agitation in a treatment vessel such as a rotary drum, can be readily freed from water-soluble stains by admitting steam along with a detergent into the moving vessel in the absence of organic solvent. With the moistened textiles rubbing against one another, the stains wetted by detergent generally disappear in a relatively short time so that the overall operating cycle of the machine is shorter than when a similar stain-removing effect is to be achieved by the use of a water/solvent mixture. This improvement is believed to be at least partly attributable to the fact that relatively strong detergents, such as alkylaryl sulfonates, can be used in the steam-treating phase without risk of interaction with the solvent which could occur upon introduction of such detergents into a mixture of solvent and water.

After this pretreatment, the wet but not Water-soaked textiles can be subjected to the conventional dry-cleaning cycle, with possible intercalation of the venting phase to remove excess moisture from the vessel.

Reference may be made to the book Surface Active Agents by Anthony M. Schwartz and James W. Perry, lnterscience Publishers, Inc., New York, N.Y., vol. I, Chapter 21, for literature relating to the use of detergents in dry-cleaning and laundering.

The invention will be described in greater detail hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic isometricview of an apparatus used for practicing the invention; and

FIG. 2 is a schematic layout of a system for operating an apparatus of the general type shown in FIG. 1.

In 'FIG. 1 I have shown a dry-cleaning machine with a housing 1 in which an upwardly open drum 2 is supported in a bearing 3 for rotation about an inclined axis 0 by a driving motor not shown. In principle, the rotation can be continuous or oscillatory. A source of steam, not shown, is connected to a supply conduit 4 which opens into the drum at its upper end and terminates in a nozzle 32. A source of detergent, also not shown, feeds a conduit 5 which merges with the steam conduit 4 and is provided with a valve 7 controlling the amount of detergent to be admixed with the steam Whose supply rate is determined by the position of a valve 6 in conduit 4. Valves 6 and 7 may be operated in timed relationship, e.g. under the control of a programmer as described hereinafter with reference to FIG. 2, to admit an amount of steam dependent on the type of textiles to be treated, as well as on the size of the load in drum 2, and an amount of detergent which may be adjusted according to the degree of soiling of the textiles. In addition, an inlet conduit 8 and an outlet conduit 9 are part of a circuit, not further illustrated, for admitting organic solvent into the drum 2 and removing it therefrom.

In the operation of the apparatus of FIG. 1, steam and detergent in the selected proportions are first allowed to enter the rotating drum 2 into which the dry textiles have been loaded. With the supply of organic cleaning fluid blocked at this phase, the textiles are tumbled in the moist and detergent-laden atmosphere until the major water-soluble stains thereon have been lifted. Thereafter, solvent is admitted through pipe 8 for the dry-cleaning phase in which additional detergent may be introduced through conduits 5 and 4. After the washing phase, the solvent is extracted through pipe 9 and the drum is aerated in the conventional manner to dry the textiles.

FIG. 2 shows a more elaborate system wherein a perforated drum or basket 2' is rotated about a horizontal axis in a housing 1' having an access door 2b, the drying mechanism being accommodated in a base 12 also having a compartment 12a for the solvent. Conventional mens, not shown, may be provided for recovering and purifying the spent solvent to return it to compartment 12a.

Two conduits 4', 5' open into the housing 1 where the'y' terminate in respective spray nozzles 32' and 33. Conduit 4' is connected via a regulating valve 6' and a Venturi-type constriction 36 as well as a shut-01f valve 14 and a steam drier 13 to a source of steam 41; a water tank 42 discharges into a pipe 19 connected by way of a shut-off valve 20 and a regulating valve 21 to constriction 36 for the purpose of varying the moisture content of the drum atmosphere. A switching valve 15 connects conduit 5' to one of three supply conduits 16, 17 and 18 provided with respective shut-off valves 22, 23 and 24, conduit 16 originating at a detergent reservoir 25 whereas conduit 17 is connected through a pump 28 with an alternate detergent supply 29 shown to be mounted on a carriage 30. Conduit 18 leads back to solvent compartment 12a by way of a pump 27.

Storage receptacles 25 and 29 are connected to an airpressure duct 26 into which compressed air from a tank 43 can be discharged through a control valve 44. Valves 6, 7', 15,, 21 and 44 are under the control of a progra'mmer 31, with interposition of two manually settable timers 6a, 7a between the programmer and the valves 6' and 7'. With the aid of these timers the operator may select variable periods for the admission of steam and detergent into housing 1'.

II he drum 2 and its housing 1' can be vented through an exhaust channel 38 which includes a blower 37 and terminates at an outlet port 39. A damper 40 allows the vapor from the drum and the housing to be recirculated to the drum by way of a condenser and an air heater 11 whereby excess moisture can be removed between the pretreating phase and the dry-cleaning phase. Slide valve allows for a switchover between difierent types of detergents stored in containers 25 and 29, aside from admitting the solvent to the drum during the dry-cleaning phase. Thus, for example, a nonionic detergent from tanks 29 could be introduced into the drum during or just prior to the admission of solvent, to replace a strong ionic detergent from container 25 introduced with the steam in the preliminary phase.

Naturally, the arrangement of FIG. 2 is representative of a wide variety of automatic, semi-automatic or manual systems for practicing the process of my invention by successively treating textiles within a moving vessel in an aqueous and an organic phase.

The timers 6a, 7a may be so adjusted that steam (with or without an admixture of additional water) is allowed to pass the valve 6' before the valve 7' is opened so that the load is uniformly moistened when the detergent is first admitted.

I claim:

1. A method of cleaning textiles in a continuously moving vessel, comprising the steps of placing a load of textile in the vessel in the absence of organic solvents, setting the vessel in motion, admitting steam and a detergent into said vessel to lift water-soluble stains from said textiles, subsequently treating said textiles with a dry-cleaning fluid in said vessel, and thereafter drying said textiles.

2. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein the vessel is vented prior to introduction of said dry-cleaning fluid into same.

3. A method as defined in claim 2 wherein the textiles are left in a moistened state during the venting step.

4. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein the textiles are dried by a recirculating air stream passing through a water-extraction zone followed by a reheating zone.

5. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein further detergent is added to said vessel during treatment of the textiles by said solvent.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,573,966 11/1951 Hamlin 8-1493 X 3,306,083 2/1967 ILornitzo ".1-.. 68l8 RX 3,338,072 8/1967 Brillet 68-58 X 3,388,410 6/1968 Marshall 68-58 X 3,443,406 5/1969 Wolverton et a1. 6858 WILLIAM I. PRICE, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.-R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4489455 *Nov 3, 1983Dec 25, 1984The Procter & Gamble CompanyMethod for highly efficient laundering of textiles
US4489574 *Oct 28, 1982Dec 25, 1984The Procter & Gamble CompanyApparatus for highly efficient laundering of textiles
US4555019 *Jun 22, 1984Nov 26, 1985The Procter & Gamble CompanyPackaged detergent composition with instructions for use in a laundering process
US5381574 *Jul 16, 1993Jan 17, 1995Vonpless; Douglas J.Method and apparatus for pre-treating soiled fabric articles prior to laundering
US5461887 *Oct 19, 1994Oct 31, 1995Vonpless; Douglas J.Apparatus for pre-treating soiled fabric articles prior to laundering
US6263708 *Oct 22, 1998Jul 24, 2001Steven E. YarmoskyPressure pretreating of stains on fabrics
US6482242Jun 19, 2001Nov 19, 2002Steven E. YarmoskyPressure pretreating of stains on fabrics
US6886371 *Mar 5, 2002May 3, 2005Sharp Kabushiki KaishaWasher having a partial washing apparatus, and washing apparatus
US7565822 *Oct 30, 2007Jul 28, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Washing machine using steam and method for controlling the same
US7600402Nov 3, 2004Oct 13, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Washing apparatus and control method thereof
US7647794Oct 16, 2007Jan 19, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Washing machine using steam and method for controlling the same
US7797969Jul 6, 2009Sep 21, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Washing machine using steam and method for controlling the same
US7802335 *Oct 12, 2007Sep 28, 2010General Electric CompanyBulk dispense user adjustable controls
US7946140Aug 21, 2009May 24, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Washing machine using steam and method for controlling the same
US8122741Sep 3, 2009Feb 28, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Washing apparatus and control method thereof
U.S. Classification8/149.1, 68/58, 68/18.00R, 8/158, 8/149.3
International ClassificationD06F43/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F43/007
European ClassificationD06F43/00D