- $15 for $30 worth of laundry and dry-cleaning service
Martinizing: Doing It In-House Cleaning
A quick turnaround at the dry cleaners is something we all expect and take for granted these days. Read on to learn about one of the first pioneers of one-hour dry cleaning with Groupon’s history of Martinizing.
Dry cleaning used to be a dangerous business and, lest that sound thrilling, a slow one. Prior to 1949, dry-cleaning solvents were petroleum-based and extremely flammable, which makes sense given that the principle behind dry cleaning was discovered upon noticing that lamp oil would dissolve greasy fabric stains. Because of the fire risk, you couldn’t safely establish a plant within the close quarters of a city center, where volatile fumes would have nowhere to go. Instead, customers would drop off their garments at a neighborhood storefront, and truck drivers would transport the clothes off site for cleaning.
In 1949, New York chemist Henry Martin invented a nonflammable solvent and, with it, a business model that made it possible to make garments “fresh as a flower in just one hour,” as the company’s slogan had it. Still in operation today, the company boasts hundreds of franchises worldwide. In the last few decades, the company has changed its formula once again. Now billing itself as “the greener cleaners,” it has eschewed perchloroethylene (which contains chlorine and is toxic in large quantities) in favor of safer, less chemically reactive, and, as a bonus, odorless liquid silicone.