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June 18, 2012

Posted in Dry Cleaning

Oils ain’t Oils and PERC isn’t PERCLEAN®

The Facts:

-          PERCLEAN® is a registered trademark of Stelco Chemicals International P/L. Some traders have tried to sell an inferior Perc using PERCLEAN® label. Contact us if you are in doubt about your supply.

-          PERCLEAN® contains 100% virgin DOWPER® from Dow Chemicals - GUARANTEED.

-          DOWPER® dry-cleaning solvent was developed specifically to serve the dry-cleaning industry. It contains stabilizer for modern dry-cleaning machine operation.

-          DOWPER® dry-cleaning solvent is tested and passed ASTM D4081 and is recognized as an approved dry-cleaning solvent by the International Fabricare Institute (IFI).

-          Stelco is the sole distributor of DOWPER® in Australia.

-          80% of the Perc production in the world is used as chemical feed stocks for refrigerants. Only 20% of Perc is specially manufactured for dry cleaning purpose and therefore it costs more.

-          Most Perc including Chinese origin is designed as chemical feed stock for refrigerants which contains little or no stabilizer.

-          There have been claims made that stabilizer is added to the inferior grade of Perc after it arrives in Australia. The problem with the delayed addition of stabilizer is the possibility of forming HCl in the Perc when it is exposed to air/oxygen during storage and transport.  The Perc could be acidic and remain acidic even after the addition of stabilizer.

-          The acidity of industrial grade Perc could cause the corrosion of the dry-cleaning machine, reducing the machine life-span and the recovery capability of the solvent. It may also cause problems to the garments in the wash cycle.

What does this matter you ask? Below is an excerpt of correspondence from a major drycleaner in the UAE to their industry association about possible dangers regarding the use of inferior Perc:-

Dear NCA,

Champion Cleaners is one of the biggest and most reputed retail dry cleaners in UAE, United Arab Emirates – our website for your reference. We also started as an American franchisee 15 years back.

 I clean more than 15,000 pieces of highly branded garments per week. I have for many years used perc from Dow and perc from Solvay and never had any problem. Up to recently due to shortage of perc I started using a Japanese brand of perc for two months. Strange thing that after this two months all my three dry cleaning machines started having problem with severe corrosion of all the condensing coils, condenser chambers and water separators. Situation was so severe that we had to remove all remaining perc and replace them with different brand of perc about two weeks ago. Amazingly after repair of the damaged parts and since then all problems have stopped and things are back to normal. We know for fact that the water contents are not separated from this perc and we do not know why. I have also compensated thousands of dollars for damaged garments which was the result of the presence of excess water in dry cleaning cycle. We have never thought that there could be so much of difference in quality of perc. I am desperately seeking your expert opinion on this matter and what could have been wrong with this perc. Because if there was machine malfunction there should only be problem with one machine and not three, and the problem should persisted after discharging of the bad perc.

I would appreciate your advice on this matter at any cost. Attached copies of damaged parts and garments for your reference.