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How Dry Cleaning Operations Can Reduce Pollution

Dry cleaning revolutionized the way people started taking care of their clothes. Having their delicate clothes taken care of gently, without using soaps or heavy amounts of water, provided an efficient and easier way to keep the integrity of their clothes intact. But with the new innovation came a misunderstanding as to how the dry cleaning process would possibly affect the environment.

Although it can be very convenient for washing clothes, dry cleaning can also be very damaging due to the long list of pollutant contaminants it has employed over the years in its processing. In response to consumer complaints, many dry cleaners have begun to look into switching to alternative methods and as well as considering dry cleaners insurance coverage that handles pollution-related liabilities. Here are some of the steps being taken to reduce the impact that dry cleaning businesses make.

Reducing Air Pollution

Dry cleaning businesses can lower emissions right from the source through a number of different tasks. First, they can check hoses, coupling, pumps, valves, and gaskets often to look for leaks. Use of a halogenated leak detector to identify possible leaks, which can lead to unwanted waste, is extremely beneficial. If leaks are discovered, they should be taken care of immediately to save money and reduce further damage.

Next, dry cleaners should allow drying cycles to complete before opening the door; also known as “short cycling,” this reduces the effectiveness of solvent recovery equipment and boosts emissions of solvents from the machine.

If cartridge filters need to be replaced, do so with spin disk filters that can be cleaned without opening. For containers of solvents, cover them to reduce loss from evaporation that can turn into toxic air in the area around them.

Modify Your Processes

Dry cleaners can reduce process waste and vent emissions by using a closed-loop dry-to-dry machine with a refrigerated condenser. This reduces emissions by recovering solvents through its added carbon absorber.

When it comes to loading, don’t overdo it. Overloading reduces the overall effectiveness of solvent recovery equipment. On the other hand, under-loading makes less efficient use of the solvent, highlighting the importance of a good balance in processing.

For recovery of solvents, filter cartridges can help by draining the filters for 24 hours in the housing to capture additional solvent before disposal.

Technological Advances

There seems to be an alternative to dry cleaning technology that premiers every year, which is a good thing. Technology is helping to make dry cleaning more time- and cost-effective, as well as beneficial to the environment around it. Some tips like using liquid CO2, wet cleaning, and silicone-based cleaning machines are just some of the tech advances helping dry cleaning companies help those around them.

Wet cleaning processes use water and detergent to clean clothes that usually require dry cleaning; liquid CO2 cleaning is non -toxic and doesn’t contribute to toxic air pollutant; and silicone-based cleaning machines do not contain any toxic air pollutants, and are odorless as well as affordable.

These small, yet effective steps can help to cut costs for dry cleaning businesses while also taking strides to ensure the health of the environment around them. While there is still a long way to go to completely make dry cleaning an eco-friendly solution to cleaning clothes and cutting out waste, these tips are a step in the right direction.

About Irving Weber Associates

At Irving Weber Associates, Inc., we understand what it takes to run a successful Dry Cleaner, Coin Operated Laundromat, Linen Supply business, or Commercial Launderer,  including investing in a comprehensive Insurance Program to ensure that you are financially protected against claims. Our program, Fabricare Advantage™, offers overall business insurance coverages including General Liability, Property, Site Pollution Liability, Boiler & Machinery Equipment Breakdown, Workers’ Compensation, Business Auto, and many more. For a detailed look at how we can help you safeguard your business with a custom-tailored package, please contact our experts today at (800) 243-1811.