Did you know that until nonflammable dry cleaning solvents were developed and introduced in the 1950’s, professional cleaners cleaned about one quarter of all garments in water? Back then, cleaning in water involved intensive hand-washing of garments made of natural fibers, and to treat certain types of soils and stains. But with the advent of the new, chemical solvents, which allowed cleaners to dry clean almost all fabrics, including natural fibers, cleaning with water became viewed as unnecessary.
However, today’s health and environmental concerns surrounding the solvents that supplanted water in the first place, along with recent advances in technology, garment care, and textile manufacturing, have made wetcleaning a popular, and eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning. At Best Cleaners, our trained professional cleaners are able to wetclean many garments – even those labeled “dry clean only” – such as silks, woolens, linens, suedes andleathers.
So, what is wetcleaning? Wetcleaning is not the same as laundering, and the equipment is very different. Computerized wetcleaning equipment precisely controls mechanical action, water and drying temperatures, water and detergent volume, and dryer temperatures to ensure garments are gently washed, dried and finished. In fact, wetcleaning machines can be set to as few as six revolutions per minute (as opposed to a home washing machine, which typically rotate several dozen times per minute) to reduce stress of delicate fabrics.
Because wetcleaning doesn’t involve the use of hazardous chemicals, there is no resultant hazardous waste or air pollution. This type of cleaning also reduces the potential for water or soil contamination, a common problem with traditional dry cleaning solvents. Because of this, the EPA says wetcleaning is the safest professional method of cleaning. Even the specialized detergents and conditioners used in wet cleaning are milder than home laundry detergents, and because they’re disposed of down the drain, they can be easily and safely handled by the local wastewater treatment facility.
At Best Cleaners, we’ve been using wetcleaning as an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional dry cleaning since we opened our doors in 2005.