True sustainability, real choice

23 January 2024

There is no need to greenwash dry/wetcleaning anymore but is really important to tell things as they are

Dr Marco Niccolini of Renzacci Spa, which manufactures both drycleaning wetcleaning machines, believes professionalism is really important for the industry, stressing that this means a professional approach to business and the use of specialist professional machinery. He says it is an unfortunate state of affairs that many laundry/drycleaners are using domestic or semi domestic machines for wetcleaning, using the same soap their customers can pick up in the supermarket for use at home. “It is not professional. That makes it important to explain today the meaning of wetcleaning. The process is cleaning with water, in a professional machine using professional chemicals.

“That is very important, simple and easy. Hardly worth mentioning, you would think,” he says. “Unfortunately, for the majority in Europe it is important to emphasise the concept of wetcleaning otherwise customer perception is that the service is not professional. They see a cleaner using an Indesit machine like they have at home and they say: ‘I can do that!’ They are not happy to pay for unprofessional service.”

Niccolini is concerned, too, that the worry over using Perchloethylene1 as a cleaning solvent has prompted the description of wetcleaning as a benign, envirnmentally friendly form of drycleaning. Alternative new solvents have been developed and introduced namely, Green Earth, Hydrocarbon, K4, Sensene and Hi-Glow all of which require a multisolvent machine which uses a vacuum for distillation and drying.

“Wetcleaning, an aqueous process, is not what manufacturers claim is a replacement and eco substitute for drycleaning using Perc. They have been saying this for many years. It is not true. But now with perc alternatives available, both drycleaning and wetcleaning are able to be used thereby offering a 360° service to customers,” says Niccolini. He has more to say about dry/wetcleaning trends in Italy on pages 14 to 18 in this issue.

Bio drycleaning: Renzacci’s new generation Sentinel 2024

The clear and irreversible revolution taking place in the textile garment maintenance which concerns the conception of the service of what was once called drycleaning, has encouraged Renzacci to introduce this new version equipped, among other things, with the exclusive Senticlean system, which exploits a natural technology in a simple and innovative way to offer not only high quality washing results, but also a deep and effective action against viruses and bacteria.

In this news series, power, efficiency and reliability are combined with a simplicity that means intuitive and automated operation with light periodic maintenance and the elimination of costly technical interventions. Renzacci sees it as more great evidence of technology at the service of sustainability and biocompatibility.

Wetcleaning innovation

Meanwhile, with the exclusive 2023 series Oceano, Renzacci offers high quality cleaning with a system that stands out for sustainability, recovery and reuse of energy. It boasts:

  • washing cycle with extremely reduced times, which can complete in under 24 minutes
  • exclusive ‘tech stream’ system with high dynamic washing action to clean even the most delicate garments.
  • particular cleaning efficiency even on greasy stains, thanks also to the new basket design with ‘slide max’ system
  • reduction in water consumption between around 45% and 60%, thanks to the combined action in real time of the new computer software, the advanced superstorage system and the action of the closed circuit dryer.
  • reduction in energy consumption between 20% and 40%, thanks to the combined action of the exclusive Ecocare™ system and the closed circuit dryer.
  • installation and building simplification, with the abolition of the need for expensive extraction hoods and external fume exhaust pipes.

Micro­bre solution

Renzacci stands out with the exclusive ‘Plastic Guard’ filtration system, unique in this industry, says the company, to significantly contribute to the fight against plastic pollution. With Plastic Guard, a washer extractor becomes not only an essential tool for the professional, but also a powerful aid in preventing plastic pollution in the environment.

“This is why Plastic Guard is the only one that allows you to combine the efficiency and profitability of your business with the implementation of a production process at the service of sustainability and the environment,” says Renzacci.


Böwe,provides drycleaners with a solution for abolishing the dreaded ‘black-over’ during distillation and has developed and markets the special Black Forest Edition drycleaning machine completely made in glaspearl blasted stainless steel and cataphoresis coatings.

A world first, from Böwe, overboil protection for distillation is now possible. In low temperature boilers, the boiling behaviour of the solvents and the low boiler mixture can change. This results in froth and a ‘black-over’ of the distillation. This problem is particularly problematic with alternative solvents. Böwe decided to tackle this situation and developed a new photoelectric sensor capable of detecting the surface of the boiling solvent and breaking the vacuum for a short time if bubbles or foam appear.

During the distillation process, the surface of the liquid in the distillation is monitored. If there is increased bubble formation, the sensor detects this and automatically breaks the vacuum for a short time. This leads to an increase in the boiling point and a collapse of the foam head. Black-over and dirt transfer are thus prevented which eliminates the need for annoying and expensive cleaning of the water separators and clean tanks, which leads to odour formation if poorly maintained. In addition, energy-intensive distillation of contaminated tank contents is no longer necessary which saves a lot of energy, time and cooling water. Problem solved!

Another development from Böwe is a wear-free steam trap, complete in stainless steel without mechanical parts with a 20-year warranty and additional approximately 20% steam savings.

Other recent developments from Böwe include a new shirt press unit with Te-on coated press heads, former, pant press, ironing table with infrared controlled special LED lights to much better detect wrinkles and spots, autostart function by lifting the iron, upsteam, pneumatic height adjustment, and packing units.

Now Böwe has announced plans for 2024 which include an open day in the spring and new machines, new of­ces and expansion into the USA and Asia. And new products. It all sound very exciting. Watch this space.


Ken Cupitt of the UK’s Guild of Cleaners and Launderers (GCL) had some advice for cleaners in the October 2023 edition of LCN (https://www.laundryandcleaningnews. com/features/featurebreathing-new-life-intohigh- street-businesses-11293194/). He was looking at the industry post-Covid and his comments have relevance internationally. He said then: “Throughout the world the number of drycleaning establishments is diminishing, and the decline is not only due to Covid-19 but has also been a trend since the turn of the century. It is now 16 years since the law in the UK was changed to ban smoking in enclosed spaces and this increased the reduction in clothes being drycleaned, mainly because they no longer smell of smoke. The problem here is the clothes are still dirty, but now no longer smell bad.”

In the USA Bloomberg, which provides financial software tools and enterprise applications such as analytics and equity trading platform, plus data services, pointed out in late 2022: “It’s not just the pandemic’s fault that drycleaning establishments are on the decline” because from the first quarter of 2001, to the first quarter of 2022, the number of drycleaning and laundry service establishments decreased from 27,204 to 16,497, and this is according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the fourth quarter of 2019, just before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of establishments was 18,756, compared to 17,722 a year later.”

Cupitt continued: “There are industrial and social reasons for this slow decline as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibres, all of which are forms of plastic, are now about 60% of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide, and these in the main are easy care ‘wash at home fabrics’.”

“However, there is a trend that the fashion-conscious wearer now prefers garments that contain more natural fibres – wools, cottons, linens and silks – and these fabrics require professional cleaning and finishing.”

He believes cleaners can turn things around if they embrace new ways of working. “In addition to just providing pure drycleaning there are lots of other value added services a business can consider with the addition of a few industrial designed conventional washers and dryers can add even further revenue to your business. Service washes are traditionally normally the preserve of the launderette but an upmarket service wash, like a shirtlaundering service, can also complement your business. You can also add additional specialist cleaning areas like curtain cleaning, duvets, leather and suede, wedding gowns, waxed jackets and things like garment repairs and alterations.

If a cleaner is considering the purchase of an industrial grade washing machine it is worth considering a professional wetcleaning machine because it will extend your range of services for duvets and wedding dresses, although wetcleaning has its place at present has not replaced traditional drycleaning as the skill set to operate successfully a wetcleaning service, on every day garments, is very high, and the time taken to produce the work is longer than solvent drycleaning.

Solvents in cleaning are essential and over the past decade, the cost to the UK drycleaning sector of drycleaning solvent is estimated at approximately 2% to 2.5% of turnover, and their use poses potential environmental hazards and is strictly regulated with a legal responsibility to have some sort of effective solvent management plan to conserve solvent.

Members of the Guild of Cleaners and Launderers (for information visit https:// gcl. ) have free access to the ‘Solv Calc’ system which is recognised by the regulation authorities and automatically builds up to the annual report for submission by the Solvent Emissions Directive (EC/13/1999), still accepted by the UK, requiring drycleaning activities to meet a total emission limit of 20g of solvent emitted per each kg of product cleaned.

GREEN CHOICE: Renzacci’s Nebula Sentinel
PLANET SAVED: Renzacci’s Plastic Guard fight against plastic pollution
ECO SAVINGS: Oxceano Ecocare from Renzacci

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