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“If I'd wanted a shot of cleaning fluid I'd have ordered a shot of cleaning fluid”
~ Oscar Wilde on Martinizing


Modern 1-hour Dry Cleaning establishment

This article is about the Martinizing process. For information on the Hypnotizing process see hypnosis

Martinizing is a process used by dry cleaners to remove stains from clothing.

edit History

Martinizing was first discovered by Dean Martin in 1953, when he accidentally spilled vodka onto Frank Sinatra's shirt which, coincidentally, had had a little bit of spaghetti sauce splattered on it earlier in the evening. Much to their surprise, it removed all traces of the stain. Sinatra, a keen businessman, recognized the value of the discovery and helped Martin patent the process and the rest, as they say, is history.

edit Current Trends


Typical Dry Cleaning fluids

In its current form the Martinizing process now involves dipping an entire garment in vodka under pressure. It takes about an hour for the vodka to evaporate after the garment is removed from the pressure vessel. You wouldn't want to wear it right away as vodka is highly flammable (or slightly non-inflammable, the matter is still under debate), and if you were to get pulled over for a routine traffic stop, you'd have quite a bit of explaining to do to the officer, who would undoubtedly be quite suspicious at the strong aroma of alcohol he'd be easily able to detect.

edit Controversy

Wink Martindale tried to challenge Martin's patent on the grounds that it infringed on his Martindalizing process which used club soda as a de-staining agent, but failed when it was shown that Martindale's process had to be used before the stain had been set, while Martin's process was effective even on dried set-in stains. Wrote U.S. District court judge Jonathan "Red" Walker, "clearly, Martin's approach is the more unique of the two." Martin and Martindale would not speak again for several years until they met at a roast for Foster Brooks during which Martindale would eventually storm off the set after Martin referred to him derisively as "bubbles".

edit Similar Processes

In Ireland, 'McMartinizing' uses Whiskey in combination with agitation to great effect, and also often as a dry cleaning agent.

The French process of 'Lewisizing' which uses wine was never much of a commercial success as it tended to produce more stains than it removed.

In Russia, early attempts at duplicating the process began with the experimental drinking of vodka, but was never really developed far beyond that despite considerable continuing research.

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