The art of dry cleaning has been around for many decades and like a lot of industries in the twenty-first century, it is an art which has been ripe for disruption. The age-old/use of corrosive chemicals such as Perchloroethylene in the older and more traditional dry cleaning machines has come under the microscope from environmentalists and authorities in the USA in recent years. This has had a knock-on effect on the entire laundry and dry cleaning industry and led to new technologies such as Wet Cleaning, we’ll explain what this is in this article.
What is Wet Cleaning?
Wet Cleaning is a method of professional cleaning that simply avoids the use of harmful chemical solvents such as PERC, it uses special computer-controlled wash programs, health safe detergents, non-toxic spot removers & specially made dryer programs to give a healthier clean to clothes compared to traditional dry cleaning.
The subsequent rise in environmentalists looking closer at the dry cleaning industry has led to a rise in popularity for dry cleaning businesses and customers to find alternative dry cleaning processes that do less damage to our planet and help to preserve the life of our clothes and health for longer, one of which includes Wet Cleaning as well as other methods like GreenEarth Dry Cleaning.
Green dry-cleaning offers an alternative to traditional dry cleaning. This method does not use PERC and hence it is not harmful. Wet cleaning, liquid carbon dioxide cleaning, DF-2000 Hydrocarbon solvent, and silicon-based solvent. Wet cleaning is gentler than home laundering. The other three methods do not use the traditional solution and PERC is entirely absent.
Through its revolutionary and eco-friendly process of wet cleaning, 1 Stop Wash can help keep its customers and their wardrobes in shape for longer – and at great prices using only non-toxic chemicals to make sure your clothes and our planet are more sustainable.
What is traditional dry cleaning?
Dry Cleaning, strictly speaking, isn’t exactly a ‘dry’ process. A combination of water and chemicals are used in a large industrial sized cleaner which looks a bit like your washing machine at home but the machines that dry cleaners use is a few times the size (and a few times the cost too!). The chemicals used in particular contain hazardous elements especially the ongoing and widespread use of Perchloroethylene or better known as Perc.
What is Perc and why do so many dry cleaners use it?
PERC has been primarily used within the traditional dry cleaning process for many years and helps to dry clean fabrics and garments but is also used to clean metals. In recent times the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed Perc to be a health and environmental hazard. Long and short term exposure to Perc has been known to cause skin irritation, dizziness and even long term diseases such as cancer.
How can you be exposed to PERC?
Inhalation of Perc through wearing clothes that have been cleaned using the traditional Dry Cleaning processes and skin contact with these garments are some of the main ways you are being exposed to this hazardous chemical.
If you use cleaners who use the traditional Dry Cleaning process then you are at clear risk of exposure. If you also live nearby to any establishments which use the traditional Dry Cleaning process then you are also at risk.
Why is 1 Stop Wash different to the traditional dry cleaners?
1 Stop Wash offers a healthy alternative to the traditional Dry Cleaning process called ‘wet cleaning’. Here are the main benefits:
1) Wet cleaning is energy efficient
Due to its revolutionary water and energy efficiencies, the wet cleaning process:
- Uses on average 30% less water than the traditional wash cycle in dry cleaning
- Can provide amazing results even at 20 degrees
- Reduce energy consumption by up to 50% which makes it a truly green alternative to traditional dry cleaning.
2) Wet cleaning is safer for you and your family
- No toxic chemicals are used in our process and instead, we use biodegradable detergents – no PERC is ever needed when you get your clothes cleaned by us.
- This means that those chemicals will not enter our air or water supply which makes the environment and planet safer.
- It’s also a much better alternative for babies, children, and people who suffer from breathing-related allergies.
3) Wet cleaning is better for your clothes:
The wet cleaning washer and dryers are highly sophisticated and have control over a range of factors such as:
- Detergent dosing levels
- Drum rotation rhythms
- Water temperature to a very high degree of accuracy
Clothes are cleaned safely and are left with a fresh smell – so no more toxic odours you get from the traditional dry cleaners!
The washer also uses an optimized spin cycle that measures the amount of moisture in your clothes which helps protect them from over drying and therefore less chance of shrinking.
How long does it take to wet clean?
One of the clear benefits of traditional dry cleaning is that you can get most items cleaned and finished within a few hours. This is because the water used in the dry cleaning machine is dried off which allows the ‘dry’ stage of the cleaning process to begin. Items, therefore, come out of the machine dry and ready to be pressed fairly quickly.
Wet cleaning on the other hand requires some time for garments to hang dry because there is no dry cleaning phase in the washer. With more water being used, the shape of most garments is lost and needs to be dried thoroughly and in some cases steamed so that they can be finished on the press. Because of this and other stages of the wet cleaning process, it can take up to twenty-four to forty-eight hours to get your favourite items cleaned properly.
Find out more about the different stages that go into cleaning a suit to get an idea of the time it takes to clean popular items through eco-friendly dry cleaning.
1 Stop Wash is one of the earliest adopters of wet cleaning in London and has helped provide thousands of customers with a feasible alternative to traditional dry cleaning. With endless five star reviews which highlight the fresh and crisp results, customers in and around London can be assured that their beloved garments and household items are in the safest hands when they choose to clean with 1 Stop Wash.