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#1
Old 12-22-2011, 08:04 PM
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Clothes Dryer: What does "Permanent Press" mean?

I'm working with a simple dryer that has three buttons:
-Whites & Colors
-Permanent Press
-Delicates

I'm guessing that the first is the hottest setting, and the last is the coolest setting... leaving PP to be medium heat??

But what does it mean, anyway? How would medium heat somehow lead to whatever the heck permanent press is?? It just sounds so... permanent.

Why can't they just say HOT, MEDIUM, COLD? Yeesh! Someone cure me of my irrational fear of Permanent Press, please.
#2
Old 12-22-2011, 08:27 PM
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It's medium heat, but also most modern dryers have a "cool down" cycle at the end of the permanent press cycle. If hot permanent press clothes sit in a pile after the dryer stops they are more likely to wrinkle (the name "permanent press" notwithstanding). So the cool down helps prevent wrinkles.
#3
Old 12-22-2011, 09:18 PM
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Permanent press is a piece of clothing that's been treated to prevent wrinkles.
#4
Old 12-22-2011, 09:51 PM
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So, PP is referring to the type of fabric that needs that setting. That makes more sense.

Thanks guys, I may now use that button with more confidence!
#5
Old 12-22-2011, 09:59 PM
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Oh, I see, you were asking "what is permanent press" rather than "what does the permanent press setting on my dryer do." Glad you got your answer!
#6
Old 12-22-2011, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Oh, I see, you were asking "what is permanent press" rather than "what does the permanent press setting on my dryer do." Glad you got your answer!
Well, sort of both, so both answers were useful. Thanks!
#7
Old 12-22-2011, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
So, PP is referring to the type of fabric that needs that setting. That makes more sense.
Just like the other 2 settings, which also refer to the fabric of the clothing.
#8
Old 12-22-2011, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
Well, sort of both, so both answers were useful. Thanks!
The larger question remains: Can I get clothes which have been treated for permanent press re-treated? Because it seems like it doesn't last very long.
#9
Old 12-22-2011, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
The larger question remains: Can I get clothes which have been treated for permanent press re-treated? Because it seems like it doesn't last very long.
You can buy both spray starch and spray sizing, which will last for one washing cycle (they aren't water-permanent) if you want clothes to be less wrinkly. You can also buy "wrinkle release" which is basically the same deal, but in a format that is usually detergent-and-water-resistant (not proof) and will last for about 6 to 20 washing cycles before wearing out. If you don't want to bother with that, and want something more permanent, you're mostly SOL.

This is a blog which, while obviously anti-chemical, has the basics of modern vapor phase formaldehyde "permanent press" treatments down pretty clearly. Despite the tone, the actual information matches up pretty well with what I learned in my fabrics classes. Basically it's a chemical and temperature-extreme process that is most easily done in large batches in factories designed for the purpose.

Most large dry-cleaners will offer a "re-permanent-press" service, but basically, they're just charging you lots of money for a slightly different formulation of spray starch, spray sizing, or spray "wrinkle release" that will last perhaps half again as long as the stuff you can buy from the store yourself. In that case, you're mostly paying for the convenience of not having to hang and spray down your clothes yourself.
#10
Old 12-23-2011, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
You can buy both spray starch and spray sizing, which will last for one washing cycle (they aren't water-permanent) if you want clothes to be less wrinkly. You can also buy "wrinkle release" which is basically the same deal, but in a format that is usually detergent-and-water-resistant (not proof) and will last for about 6 to 20 washing cycles before wearing out. If you don't want to bother with that, and want something more permanent, you're mostly SOL.
So basically, there's nothing my dry-cleaner can do that I can't do myself. Thank you for this info.
#11
Old 12-23-2011, 10:57 AM
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Now, on to more pressing issues: Can we get a definition for what "is" is?
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