4 reasons why wet cleaning is better than conventional dry cleaning

As a highly effective and sustainable alternative to traditional dry cleaning, wet cleaning is becoming increasingly popular amongst businesses and consumers who are looking for a gentler, safer and more environmentally-friendly way to care for their garments and linen.

4-reasons-why-wet-cleaning-is-better-than-conventional-dry-cleaning 2
Maria Jelenska

Business & Insights

As a highly effective and sustainable alternative to traditional dry cleaning, wet cleaning is becoming increasingly popular amongst businesses and consumers who are looking for a gentler, safer and more environmentally-friendly way to care for their garments and linen. This article will explore the value of wet cleaning, so you can make an informed decision about your cleaning practices in line with what’s best for your health, garments and linen, as well as the environment. 

Let’s dive right into 4 reasons why wet cleaning is a better choice than conventional dry cleaning:

1. Safer for Health:

Traditional dry cleaning methods have been found to be linked to a range of negative health effects ranging from respiratory failure to cancer. Conventional dry cleaning can have highly adverse effects on the human nervous system, causing headaches, movement difficulties and memory loss. All of this is due to the chemical used in the dry cleaning process, PERC (perchloroethylene). PERC, a human carcinogen, is a colourless solvent derived from petroleum fractionation in which the clothes are soaked in at the dry cleaners, in order to be washed. PERC has already been either banned or strictly regulated in countries like France, Denmark and the US.

Workers exposed to this chemical at conventional dry cleaning facilities often suffer from chronic headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Studies suggest that long-term exposure to PERC can cause miscarriages and leukemia. No one should have to work with PERC when even wearing dry-cleaned garments against the skin can pose a risk. ‍To prevent these health hazards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that dry cleaners must phase out dry cleaning machines that use PERC by December 2020. Oxwash says it is time for the UK to follow! 

In contrast, wet cleaning is a safe option for the workers at the laundry facility, as well as people wearing the garments or sleeping in the bed linen that was wet cleaned. Wet cleaning utilises only water and biodegradable non-toxic detergents, guaranteeing no exposure to harmful chemicals. There are minimal to none epidermal issues reported with wet cleaning. The process is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin which can be life-changing for parents caring for their babies, or many people struggling with allergies. Customers will enjoy their garments and linen with a natural fresh scent instead of a chemical odour.

2. Good for the Environment:

The toxic chemicals used in conventional dry cleaning are not only bad for human health, but also for the nature around us. Across the world, PERC is recognised as toxic waste, and has led to many major cases of water pollution and soil remediation. On the other hand, wet cleaning exists to eliminate the impact of laundry on the environment. It is a completely non-toxic process utilsing only water and mild biodegradable detergents. The wet cleaning process at Oxwash is designed in a way to reduce the use of water and CO2 emissions, as well as end plastic microfibre pollution. With Oxwash’s state-of-the-art technology, it is possible to save 2kg CO2 emissions and use 32 litres less water than conventional machines, per 12-kilogram of wash. In the wet cleaning processing cycle, bacteria and microorganisms are removed by oxidation rather than heat with the addition of ozone technologies. Due to ozone quickly and safely converting to oxygen, there are no harmful residuals or by-products from wet cleaning. You can learn more about sustainability credentials of wet cleaning and how Oxwash’s impact on the planet, people and communities, in our latest Sustainability Report

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3. More Efficient: 

Because wet cleaning uses mild biodegradable detergents, it removes organic stains with much better results than dry cleaning. By maintaining precise control over factors such as water temperature, agitation, detergent concentration, and drying temperature, we are able to deliver outstanding quality results. Oxwash’s bespoke wet cleaning process promises an effective cleaning, with minimum risk of damage or shrinkage to the garments. Our wet cleaning process is a blend of the latest technology and gentle human touch. Our laundry specialists carefully assess the suitability of each item for wet cleaning and pre-treat any stains, ensuring a thorough and safe cleaning process. Wet cleaning involves gentle drum rotation with water showering rather than a typical fast spin. This means less felting, matting, friction and overall material damage over time. After the items are washed, they are gently dried using specialised equipment and meticulously hand-finished with techniques like pressing or forming to restore their original shape and appearance. Our process includes individual programming for each type of material, making sure that each type of textile receives the cleaning environment it requires. Not to mention, Oxwash’s turnaround is on average half the time of that of a local conventional dry cleaner. 

4. Prolongs Textile Lifespan:

Wet cleaning uses water and biodegradable detergents to clean garments and linen without the use of toxic solvents that are commonly used in dry cleaning. Oxwash’s mild detergents, coupled with ozone integration, provide excellent cleanliness at a 20°C as opposed to the standard 40-60°C which has a significant impact on the textile lifespan in the long run. It has been proven that wet cleaning can increase the lifespan of a fabric up to threefold compared to traditional dry cleaning methods which are harsh on fabrics, causing them to weaken and fade over time. This means that clothes and linens can be used for an extended period without needing to replace them as often, leading not only to cost savings but also to decrease in waste. The use of biodegradable and non-toxic detergents poses no risk to people or the planet, making wet cleaning an ideal choice for those seeking a sustainable and responsible garment care solution.

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Why not try it for your business?

In recent years, many clothing manufacturers, designers and businesses have begun to embrace the benefits of wet cleaning. By partnering with Oxwash, your business can ensure that your items are being cleaned in a way that is effective and ultimately helping to reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, by partnering with a Certified B Corporation like us, businesses can promote their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, which can help to attract customers who are similarly concerned about these issues.

Experience sustainable, efficient, and superior garment care that prolongs the lifespan of garments whilst supporting a cleaner future. Embrace a new wave of garment care and experience the difference for yourself. Get in touch with Oxwash team to discuss your business’s unique laundry needs.

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