The Drycleaning sector favours the environment

Innovation in the laundry industry has led to many new developments allowing the drycleaning sector to re-qualify itself to the great benefit of the environment as well as the end-user.


Biodegradable solvents

Chemical formula optimisations mean that a wider range of textiles can now be confidently cleaned in a more sustainable manner. When it comes to the drycleaning process, where solvent is the core element, these changes have brought to market alternative solutions that are more flexible than the traditional perchlorethylene. These new solutions have a lower environmental impact with some even being biodegradable.

HiGlo, for instance, is a drycleaning solvent, developed by the Cole & Wilson Division of Christeyns, that is 100 % biodegradable. Higlo is verified by CTTN, an independent French public research institute for textile cleaning.



Chemical suppliers and manufacturers work together to help customers find the best combination of machinery and chemicals that will best suit their business and environmental goals.

By introducing wetcleaning, drycleaners can offer an enhanced service for both traditional and delicate fabrics, one that is kinder to the environment but also that offers a smart use of machinery and chemicals. But what is wetcleaning and how is it different from a standard wash process?

Wetcleaning is a water-based cleaning process, developed specifically for delicate textiles that traditionally would have been drycleaned. However, thanks to changes in fabric types and the evolution of water-based detergents and cleaning systems, a relatively high percentage of clothing can now be processed by wetcleaning. Compared with regular wash processes, a wetcleaning process is performed at lower temperatures (25-30C), with reduced mechanical action, in dedicated machines and with specific chemicals.

On the processing side, the biggest advantages of wetcleaning, compared with drycleaning are:

  • It is better for the removal of water soluble stains
  • It leaves a pleasant fragrance on the textile
  • It allows bleaching.

Where traditional wetcleaning methods take a substantial amount of finishing due to wrinkling, an innovative total wetcleaning concept like Cole & Wilson’s Aquawave system makes it possible to process garments from dry to dry in less than 60 minutes. As an extra advanatge, by shortening the process time, energy consumption is also substantially reduced.


Green image

Nowadays, most types of textile can be wetcleaned but some still remain better off in drycleaning. The general rule is that the type of fabric, the shape of the clothing and the nature of the soiling will eventually determine which cleaning process to use. For professional textile cleaners it is best to have both options available to ensure the best end result for their final customer. Besides quality, the environment plays a key part in running a drycleaning business and by investing in sustainable solvents and energy-efficient machinery, drycleaners are now able to counter the negative opinion sometimes perceived of this sector by raising more and more awareness about their green image.

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