Wet cleaning (green cleansing) is a method in garment cleaning, utilizing gentle washing machine, biodegradable soaps and conditioners, and various types of pressing and re-shaping equipment that may be specialized for many different fabric and fiber types. The most important aspect of successful wet cleaning is experience and knowledge of different types of fabrics and proper ways to finish garments by operators. The wetcleaning procedure developed by Kreussler and Miele, was introduced to commercial textile cleaning in 1991 and therefore established the new operational procedure known as “wetcleaning”.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wet cleaning is the safest professional method of garment cleaning. It does not use hazardous chemical, it does not generate hazardous waste, nor create air pollution and reduced potential for water and soil contamination. The specialized detergents and conditioner used in the wet clean process are milder than home laundry products. All the products are disposed of down the drain and easily handled by the local waste water treatment facility.
For professional cleaners, wet-cleaning offers several advantages, such as lowered costs for start-up capital, supplies, equipment and hazardous waste disposal, as well as less reliance on skilled labor. Dry-cleaners are beleaguered by the spiraling costs of energy, labor, insurance, etc.
Tailors have generally recommended that garments be returned to them once a year for wet cleaning and dry-cleaned in between. These tailors are also careful to choose materials that will not be destroyed by water, even if they later sew in the usual “Dry Clean Only” label. Some clothing manufacturers may mislabel their clothing “Dry Clean Only”, even though there is no “reasonable basis” for making the claim that the garment will be harmed if it is not dry cleaned.