What causes foam in the distiller and how can I eliminate it?Immagine 017
How can I eliminate the cause of foam in the distiller?
 Best Regards
Silvana Rovelli – S. Caterina Villarmosa

There could be various factors that cause foam during distillation. You did not tell me what kind of a machine we are dealing with, however let me answer taking for granted that we are dealing with perc.

  • If the foam arises when the distiller is heating up and it is at around 85 °C, it is certainly caused by humidity. There could be water in the solvent.
  • If the foam is created at around 100 °C and during all the distillation time, there could be too much energy coming from the distiller (if it is a steam one) otherwise the cause could be in some waterproofing substance diluted in the solvent (some previous fabrics treatment)
  • Finally, the foam could be due to the use of reinforcing products or stain removing products either of low quality or in wrong dosage.


Too many bacteria cause bad smell at the end of a washing cycle. This is how to eliminate it

Good morning,

I am writing about a problem that has long been affecting me: my dry-cleaned garments “smell” persistently in a way that I cannot define it. It is not the characteristic usual odor of perc but I can never really fully eliminate it. My dry-cleaning machine is new and it is provided with activated carbons; what is more, various technicians have already intervened on it replacing the carbons, among other things. The drying time has been prolonged as well (by many more minutes) to the point that garments come out really dry. The drying radiator has been cleaned many times too. The solvent has been checked for the acidity level and it turned out regular. How can I solve this problem and what is it all about?

Federica Gatti – Crema

equipment100111Dear Federica,

the fact that you are describing the odor as persistent eliminates the residual solvents resulting from low drying as the cause of the problem. And by prolonging the drying time you have noticed that the garments are really dry which demonstrates that the drying system in your machine is working correctly without doubt. If it was caused by perc acidity, the smell would be really strong and present also in the distillation sludge, easily identified as rancid smell. Moreover, the acidity check has been done which proves that the problem is not there. What is more probable here, is that the odor comes from the deposit of bacteria inside the machine (in the solvent filters, in the separators, in tanks). Should I be right, the problem is easy to solve. First, you need to empty and clean the water separator and the decanter tank, if provided, then you will need to replace the filters of solvent circuit (filter cartridges and fabric filters that accumulate bacteria inside the fabric). Finally, you will probably have to use an anti-bacteria product and apply it at the beginning of the second wash dosing it according to the product guidelines until the problem disappears completely. Most importantly, however, you should verify the program settings of your machine to identify the problem’s origin and why the 100_0849bacteria have accumulated. As a matter of fact, the problem could originally concern the automatic drain and solvent circuit filter in terms of cleaning as well as the time settings for washing. Please, keep in mind that the first washing (the one draining to the distiller) should not last more than 4 minutes applying 2,5:1 washing solvent-load ratio. Whereas the second washing on the filter, should not last less than 6 minutes applying 4:1 ratio. I suggest you should set the drying time back to normal so as not to have difficulties in ironing because of the excessive dryness of garments. The ordinary maintenance is always an important procedure to carry out, such as air filter cleaning, the replacement of filter cartridges (at least every 6 months) and cleaning and emptying the separator.

Best Regards

Do you have problems with machines or products that you use at your laundry? Would you like to make things clearer on future possible technological development in dry-cleaning and manufacturing sector? Do you need to check issues such as laws, regulations and procedures?  Knowing how many questions you deal with while at work, Detergo dedicates this new and useful tool, “The Technician Answers” column to its readers. In every issue Gualtiero Beretta, one of the most wanted repairing technicians and consultants in the world of dry-cleaning for years, will cope with every question thanks to his skills, analytical competences and reliability. You can consult him by sending your e-mails to


Gualtiero Beretta

Gualtiero Beretta started to work as a maintenance technician in the sector of laundry machines in 1989 at DONINI International SpA official customer care office and gained his experience while working for the main Italian machine manufacturers. Specialized in preventive maintenance, in mechanical maintenance of bearings and rolling elements, qualified, and in the possession of the certificate for refrigerating system maintenance, Beretta has acquired great working experience together with broad technical scientific knowledge through hard work and his passion for it. He publishes important information relative to the sector on his updated website

 Detergo Magazine

nr. 3 march 2016