In the project Solvetex IV, the cleaning performance of four wet cleaning systems are evaluated by TKT (Technological Knowledgecenter for Textilecare). This study, which was done under practical conditions in operational dry cleaning shops, gives an indication of the overall performance of wet cleaning. It can be concluded that the overall performance of all the systems is good.
Overall cleaning performance
The goal of this benchmark study was to evaluate four wet cleaning systems, which are used in companies. Wet cleaning is defined as mild professional aqueous cleaning of delicate and non-washable textiles, which is to be distinguished from washing or laundry. The differences in specific stain removal between the investigated systems are dependent on the process settings, machines and chemicals used. The specific advantage of wet cleaning is the ability to remove water soluble stains more easily, compared to solvent systems. Using chemicals can enhance non-water soluble stains removal.
Deformation, shrinkage and greying
The deformation of garment for all wet cleaning systems is acceptable. The deformation results depend on the skills of the employees, the cleaning and drying processes and the finishing equipment used. The finishing process can have an important influence on the result. All wet cleaning systems also show an acceptable shrinkage of cotton and woollen test swatches. It was considered that the finishing process is an important step in the practical wet cleaning process to reduce deformation. The greying was as expected, keeping in mind the dark load and the white test swatches. No significant differences between the results were noticed for the wool and the cotton swatches.
The result of finishing for the synthetic jacket is good for all wet cleaning systems, although some differences in wrinkling were noticed between the different systems. Wrinkling may require extra attention when finishing but can be removed with relative ease. The overall result for the woollen jacket is that wrinkling and bubbles were noticed in all cases, although at varying degrees. It depended on the mechanical action of cleaning and drying, the drying procedure, chemical interaction and the finishing step. The wrinkling and bubbling was removed after the finishing step, which was considered an important step to deliver high quality garments.
Each machine was investigated using a standard textile package consisting of a new polyester jacket and a new wool jacket. These were tested in the machine three times, together with three model test swatches and standardized textile to meet the required (optimal) load.