Welcome to the Future of Dry Cleaning
What is Wet Cleaning?
Driven by concerns about the toxicity of dry cleaning solvents, recent advances in both wet cleaning technology and garment care have revived wet cleaning as a safe alternative to dry cleaning. Trained cleaners are now able to wet clean many garments that have typically been dry cleaned, such as silks, woolens, linens, suedes, and leathers. Modern machine wet cleaning uses large, specialized machines to gently wash and dry clothes. These machines may be programmed for many variables, such as mechanical action, water and drying temperature, moisture levels in the dryer, and water and detergent volume. This flexible technology provides cleaners with the controls to administer a customized wet wash suited to a fabric’s specific needs. For example, wet cleaners can set the machines to as few as six revolutions per minute to reduce the stress placed on delicate fabrics during the wash cycle. (In contrast, a typical home washing machine may rotate garments several dozen times per minute.) To safely clean fabrics that can shrink when washed in water and dried, cleaners can increase the amount of water spun out of wet garments after the final rinsing cycle, so that minimal drying is needed. They can also control the temperature and humidity levels during the drying process to prevent shrinkage. Trained wet cleaners also use other tools to ensure that garments are safely cleaned. For clothes that bleed, cleaners can apply an agent that prevents dye from washing out of garments. New, mild bleaching detergents can be used to remove tough stains without diminishing color. Fabric softeners and finishes can be added during the wet cleaning cycle to restore fabric softness, body, and crispness to garments once they are dried.
What is Dry Cleaning?
Despite its name, dry cleaning is not totally dry. Clothes are cleaned in a chemical solvent bath. Some stains, like oil and grease, are easily removed. Most other stains like food, beverages, body fluids, and organic materials often remain and have to be removed either before or after the dry cleaning process. Strong odors do not "wash" away and can be detected in the garments when warmed up, like during pressing or wearing. Fumes from the solvent generally evaporate into the air, but some chemical residue always remains on the garments.