Often times people hear terms like wet cleaning and dry cleaning without really knowing the difference between them. Do we know how the difference can affect our environment? Let’s take a deeper look…
Wet cleaning prominently uses water, soaps, and bleach rather than chemical solvent. This way of cleaning protects your clothes and preserves them, it is a lot more gentle on your clothes even compared to hand washing them at home. This also keeps your clothes looking brand new, and can remove organic stains. Wet cleaning can also be used to clean your silk, wool, cashmere, linens, and other delicate fabrics. Being conscious of the material used for wet cleaning can help prevent against shrinkage, and swelling of natural fibers. Using safe eco-friendly products to clean your clothes protects against chemicals entering the environment.
Contrary to the name, dry cleaning does not use a “dry” method. Instead of washing your clothes in water based solution it uses a liquid solvent. This solvent is often contains chemicals that can stain or discolor your clothing. Opposite of that, dry cleaning can get rid of stains such as grease or oil using these solvents compared to water based products. The most popular solvent used for dry cleaning was perchloroethylene or “perc”, which had many benefits such as it dried quickly, non-flammable, although it is ruled to me harmful to the environment. There is now safer, ecofriendly alternatives that are created by plants, non-toxic-, safe for the environment, and actually cleans better then perc.
Both wet cleaning and dry cleaning have their pros and cons just like anything. It is critical to be aware of the products being used, in any cleaning situation, and the material that it is being used on. On certain materials that need cleaning, there is often times descriptions that encourage you to clean them in a specific manner to protect the longevity of the material. Using these guides can help ensure that the material is not damaged because of the incorrect cleaning method.