Smart Guys get even smarter with wet cleaning
Guy Deakin has been in the dry cleaning & laundry business all his life, in fact it’s in his blood. He is a third-generation laundry professional, following his father and grandfather who ran a group of outlets in North West London in the 1980s.
In 1991 Guy took on sole ownership of his own shop in Pinner, aptly named Smart Guys, still family run and catering for communities in the local area as well as Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Guy is very much aware of the impact the laundry industry has on the environment. In terms of the resources it uses and the environmental effects of waste water and chemicals being discharged throughout the laundry processes. Conscious of wanting to do his bit, Guy looked at ways in which his business could make a difference. One option was to introduce wet cleaning.
“I wanted to introduce a package of machinery, chemicals and training, “explains Guy, “and we worked with Mach1 and Hemant from Cole & Wilson to make this happen. We’ve used a range of chemicals from Christeyns’ Cole & Wilson for many years and been happy with the results, their Aquawave wet cleaning was our first choice and it’s proving to be amazing.”
“We have been able to extend our services to include delicate garments and luxury fabrics, items we would have turned away prior to introducing wet cleaning. For example, a cashmere and angora bespoke blanket came to us badly soiled and there is no way we’d have got it clean with dry cleaning. The end result was perfect using Aquawave, it came out as new.”
Many traditional dry cleaning outlets are realising the benefits of wet cleaning, not only for the environment but in meeting the challenges of dealing with more complex fabrics. This method allows for better stain removal across a wider range of materials including leather and suede and beaded items.
Keeping a keen eye on costs and staying competitive has never been more important, using chemicals that are kinder to the environment and that offer a smart use of machinery, water, energy and chemicals makes sense all round.
Wet cleaning machines can be accurately programmed to control the variables for each wash cycle, monitoring temperature and drum rotation as well as dosing levels and spin cycles. All this helps save water and energy.
The process does not require strong chemicals and water-based stains, which are often the most common, generally come out with the standard wet-cleaning process. The remaining stains are oil-based and are removed using specialized water-based pre-spotting solutions.
“We really benefitted from the technical knowledge and hands on training provided by Hemant from Cole & Wilson. Aquawave leaves the garments with a lovely fresh smell and soft to touch. We are looking at other ways in which we can reduce our burden on the environment, such as reducing single use plastics and moving to HiGlo for items that have to be dry cleaned.”
Christeyns has seen a noticeable increase in the number of retailers incorporating wet cleaning into their business in the past two years. A hugely important aspect of introducing this service is training. Christeyns are one of very few companies that provide full training covering classification, machine programmes, stain removal, hand finishing and treatment of specialist garments.