Laundry/Handwash/Wetclean: Whats the difference?

A common customer complaint is - "why did you charge dryclean prices when I asked for these items to be washed?" (For a look at the best deal at the cleaners check out "Shirt Laundry" in a previous blog.)

The answer lies in the finishing (as we have touched on before). 80% of a drycleaners cost is due to the labor and time consuming process of finishing. The price category "Drycleaning" does not necessarily mean an item was cleaned in drycleaning solvent. For example, most drycleaners define "wetcleaning" as "drycleaning with a little water".

Laundry/Machine Wash/Hand Wash/Wetclean . . . all terms apply to the cleaning of garments in water. So why are there so many terms? There are subtle differences you should be aware of.

Laundry is the most general of the terms. A textile is cleaned using water as the solvent

Machine Wash, as defined by the Federal Trade commission, is a process by which soil may be removed from items with water, detergent, soap, agitation, and a machine designed for the purpose. When no temperature is given, hot water up to 150F is used.

Hand Wash is defined the same as machine wash with the exception that a gentle squeezing action is used in place of a machine.

Wetcleaning is a term used to describe the extension of the range of hand washing for the purpose of restoring a garment. The majority of these techniques involve soaking for extended periods, tightly controlled chemicals, temperature and agitation. This technique is not readily available to the general public and require extensive experience to avoid garment damage.

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