With Clean Show opening its doors from 30 July to 2 August and EXPOdetergo in Milan later this year, operators looking to dip a toe into the burgeoning market in wetcleaning or expand an existing business may want to brush up on some of the basics before eyeing up the products and services on show. As with all practices, it’s easy to become complacent and skip some stages from time to time. However, consistency is crucial for customer trust and repeat business.
Cole & Wilson, part of Christeyns, has run up a handy Best Practice summary for wetcleaning which will help keep you on track quality-wise and also identify the areas that may need improving.
- Reception, sorting, inspection
Collect as much information as possible about the textile and stains.
Check fabric composition and general appearance
If there are any doubts on stain removal, shrinkage or colour bleeding, alert the
Carry out a full inspection of the garment
Identify oily stains and encircle them using a white chalk stick
Sort fabrics into at least three sorting bins: white and light/ dark/very delicate
If in doubt, test colour fastness of the fabric on a hidden area
Pre-spot specific stains using the right spotting product
Rinse carefully after pre-spotting and cover with additional product if necessary
Pre-brush all very dirty collars, cuffs, hems and underarms with pre-brushing agent
Clean fabrics within 20 minutes after pre-treatment
Pre-treatment is always preferable to post-treatment
- Washing and drying
Use special detergents and additives to minimize shrinkage and damage
Select the appropriate programme for dark, light or delicate fabrics
Load drum correctly – 40-60%
Dry the washed batch immediately to reduce wrinkling
Do not mix pieces with too different weights in one load
Install the right RMC and temperature on the dryer
Inspect dry garments for stain removal and apply post-spotting if needed
Hang garments immediately after drying
Correct finishing is crucial to re-establish the original dimensions of the garment
Perform a thorough quality check on each item before packing
Check general appearance, stain removal and ironing quality
Respect and follow maintenance guidelines from the machine supplier.
Keep the workplace clean.
On a daily basis, check the air filter on the dryer and check the dosing equipment
Wetcleaning using the AquaWave range and ProFit products from Cole & Wilson means that delicate fabrics such as suede, beaded or sequined designer items and wedding dresses can be restored to their former glory, see image above. This provides additional revenue streams as well as peace of mind for launderers who can be sure of consistently excellent wash outcomes.
Guy Deakin, from Smart Guys in Pinner, introduced the AquaWave range over a year ago and has reaped the benefits. “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.”
Tulsk Dry Cleaners and Laundry in Roscommon, Ireland has been in operation for around 20 years and adopted the use of AquaWave and a wet cleaning regime in 2019. Manager Patricia Brady has been delighted with the results. “We are now using wetcleaning for about 80% of items that previously were drycleaned and are able to accept a broader variety of textiles. The beauty of AquaWave is that it is less harsh on the environment. It has a lovely smell and things are much easier to finish.”
Julia Wilkins runs Home and Dry Cleaning & Laundry Services in Chichester and in 2019 she approached Cole & Wilson’s Hemant Zavery with regards to chemicals and following a successful trial, now uses Caretex Pro and ProFit in all wetcleaning treatments.
“We received phenomenal training from Hemant,” states Julia. “The products are simple to use, clean the items really well, just top class. From the very beginning I was keen to introduce ‘greener’ options for customers, being conscious of the environmental burden of the business. This is predominantly why I chose wetcleaning and we can clean pretty much anything with this method.”