Dry cleaning has come a long way since its inception by the ancient Romans. When dry cleaning was first coming on to the scene, the ancient Romans used ammonia from animal urine and clay to wash their togas that were made from wool. This became so popular with the townspeople that the government started to place a tax on the animal urine.

Obviously, we no longer use animal urine and dirt to get out stains but the history of dry cleaning is an exciting one and we would like to share it with you.

Early 1800’s

In 1821, the first patent to be given to an African-American was for a process called “Dry Scouring” that would later become what we know to be dry cleaning. In 1855, a dye-works operator, Jean Baptiste Jolly, started seeing the potential to use petroleum based solvents like gas to clean clothes. But issues soon became apparent with flammability so a dry cleaner in Atlanta started using a white spirit which was less flammable. After many fire mishaps, the government started regulating dry cleaners and started using chlorinated solvents.


By the 1930’s dry cleaners all over the country started using tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene) otherwise known as “perc”. Using perc meant that there were no explosions or fires because perc is nonflammable. It is also a very strong cleaning solution which made it ideal for dry cleaners. In 1993, the EPA created nationwide regulations to help with the perc emissions being released into the air.

Now that you know a little more about how dry cleaners came about, we hope that you will consider using our services and help make your life easier.