Professional Wet Cleaning
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), professional wet-cleaning is recognized as "an environmentally-preferred technology that can effectively clean garments".
By using a non-toxic, more energy efficient cleaning technology, we are protecting our customers, their families, and our employees from the health risks associated with exposure to toxic dry cleaning solvents. Our customers clothes are cleaner, softer, and smell fresh - not like chemicals.
Urban Valet now professionally wet cleans 60% of the clothes we process.
What is Wet-Cleaning?
Wet-cleaning requires the use of computer-controlled equipment and specialized water-based detergents. In addition, technicians need to be trained and skilled on the interactions that different fabrics have with heat, water and agitation, as well as proper finishing techniques.
No more Perc.
Through investments in education, training, new equipment and European water based detergents, Urban Valet successfully phased out the use of perclorethylene, the controversial dry cleaning solvent you may have heard about. Perclorethylene has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the International Association for Research on Cancer and a hazardous air pollutant by the Federal Government.
Education & Training
An “Introduction to Wet Cleaning” seminar was held at our Hamburg production facility on Wednesday, August 11th. Richard Fitzpatrick, Vice President & Director of U.S. Operations for Kreussler, was the keynote speaker. The company is a leader in the development of wet cleaning detergents and products. Kate Winnebeck, Environmental Health & Safety Specialist for New York State's Pollution Prevention Institute, also presented.
Industry professionals from the Buffalo and Rochester area were in attendance of the class. They learned about the differences between laundering, dry cleaning and wet cleaning, and of the advantages of using water-based detergents. Some of them include whiter whites, cleaner smelling clothes, and safety since the detergents are non-toxic and 100% biodegradable. Fitzpatrick also explained the scientific make up of different fabrics, and how they react to heat and water.
Participants were also able to tour our production facility where we currently clean about 60% of garments with wet cleaning techniques. We were able to show how wet cleaning requires far more time and labor in the finishing and pressing areas, but can end up looking just as nice.
Kate Winnebeck from the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute housed at the Rochester Institute of Technology discussed how her group is working to educate dry cleaners about wet cleaning, and raising grant money for NYS cleaners to switch to wet cleaning. They are also organizing focus groups and surveys to accurately note how many NYS cleaners are using wet cleaning techniques, and why those that are not choose not to.