● What is professional wet cleaning?
Professional wet cleaning is a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly commercial process for cleaning delicate apparel and textiles typically labeled “Dry Clean” or “Dry Clean Only”. It mainly uses water in specially designed washers with biodegradable detergents and additives. The process ends with dryers and finishing equipment that maintains and even improves the quality and shape of clothing.
The essential innovation of professional wet cleaning has been to create an industrial process that mechanically simulates delicate hand washing by enhancing and integrating a set of advanced technologies.
Professional wet clean detergents, which are biodegradable, are designed to maximize cleaning power and minimize color change and shrinkage. Conditioners restore smoothness and sizing agents restore body for ease of finishing. Professional wet clean Grade Tensioning Presses also inject steam to relax fibers and use compressed hot air to dry garments to their original form.
Computer-controlled professional wet clean washers premix water and detergent to proper concentration, and adjust temperatures and extraction speed based on type of fabric, using just enough water to extract dirt at high speed with ultra gentle agitation. Professional wet clean dryers are also computer-controlled to adjust moisture level, temperature, and drum rotation.
● Is wet cleaning better quality than dry cleaning?
Yes, wet cleaning is much better quality than dry cleaning. Wet cleaning makes your clothing look, feel, and smell better while maintaining its quality.
Traditional dry cleaners who have switched from chemical cleaning to wet cleaning report that customers are happier and notice a difference in their clothing. Not only were these cleaners able to retain their existing customers, they were able to grow their customer base more rapidly after switching to professional wet cleaning. And that’s even before advertising their cleaners as environmentally friendly. Cleaners attributed this uptick in new customers to an increased quality of cleaning. Links to this third party survey in “References” below.
● Is professional wet cleaning a good business?
Professional wet cleaning is more cost effective, safe, and environmentally friendly than traditional dry cleaning. Most of the high costs in dry cleaning are associated with operating pollution control equipment, a cost that’s eliminated with planet-friendly wet cleaning. With wet cleaning, businesses eliminate costs associated with solvents, hazardous waste disposal, equipment, and regulatory compliance.
Wet cleaning is also more energy-efficient, uses a small amount of water, and has government incentive programs that encourage dry cleaners to switch to this environmentally friendly technology.
● Can any “dry clean only” item be cleaned using wet cleaning?
Yes, any “dry clean only” item can be cleaned using wet cleaning. In fact, the cleaning is much more thorough. Professional wet cleaning uses water which has smaller molecules that can penetrate completely, carrying the gentle soaps all through the fabric for a much deeper clean.
A partial list of fabrics you can clean with professional wet cleaning: wool, gabardine, silk, cashmere, faux fur, fur, leather, suede, velvet, rayon, and of course cottons and polyesters. Suits, slacks, wedding gowns, ties, comforters and drapes all come out perfectly. Whites stay white, no yellowing. Clothing is softer and there’s no chemical smell.
● Are all cleaners that advertise as “eco friendly” or “green” environmentally friendly?
Cleaners that advertise as “eco friendly” or “green” can still be using hazardous materials that have replaced now outlawed chemicals.
In California, a new state law requires evidence when making an advertising claim. The first California city to enforce this law for professional cleaners is Santa Monica. As a consequence, a number of hydrocarbon dry cleaners in the city have agreed to stop marketing their cleaner as environmentally friendly, but old habits die hard!
Hydrocarbons with names like DF-2000, Eco-Solve, PureDry, Satec, and Stoddard; and Saloxane (Green Earth) are being sold to dry cleaners as environmentally friendly replacements for Perc, but they are hazardous materials nonetheless. Professional wet cleaning and carbon-dioxide cleaning are the only two professional cleaning processes considered as environmentally friendly. Always ask a new cleaner what they are using. If it’s not water, walk away!
● Why does it matter that wet cleaning is environmentally friendly?
Wet cleaning as an environmentally friendly cleaning solution ensures the longevity and health of both our planet and its citizens; including you! With wet cleaning, citizens aren’t exposed to hazardous chemicals that harm themselves and the planet. A dry cleaner’s employees no longer need to wear the protective equipment required for handling dry clean chemicals. Communities no longer need to deal with the risks of air, soil and water table contamination.
The United States EPA encourages cleaners to switch to professional wet cleaning rather than use perc or hydrocarbon technologies. The Federal Trade Commission recognizes professional wet cleaning to be an environmentally friendly alternative to dry cleaning and is considering developing a new “Professional Wet Clean” label for garments labeled “Dry Clean” or “Dry Clean Only.”