4 reasons why you need to quit dry cleaning and switch to wet cleaning

Do you know what really happens to your clothes when they're dry cleaned? We talk to experts, BLANC, who have found a way to clean without using harsh chemicals or waste water. Welcome to the world of wet cleaning.

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Sensible people, aside from just us, always say that the most sustainable fashion wardrobe is the one we already have and, as Vivienne Westwood rightly suggests, we should buy less, choose well and most importantly: make it last. 

80 billion new pieces of clothing are produced every single year, we need a sustainable option to take care of them.

This is why we teamed up with BLANC, a natural dry cleaner, tailor and launderer with five lovely stores and a pickup and delivery service across London. They clean clothes naturally and thus help reduce the exposure to unnecessary chemicals in your life.

In 2013, Ludovic and Mathilde Blanc started the first wet cleaning service of its kind in London: they use an expert non-toxic alternative to conventional dry cleaning that is better for your health, your clothes and the planet. 

As Mathilde, BLANC’s Co-Founder and CXO, puts it in an interview with What We Seee: “Most people, unless they have sensitive skin, don’t realise how harmful the dry cleaning process is, so it’s been wonderfully rewarding to be able to introduce people to a healthier way to clean for themselves and their family, a way that’s also kinder to our planet.”

What is wet cleaning?

Before we jump into all the benefits that wet cleaning has, let’s explain what it actually is.

Unlike conventional dry cleaners who soak clothes in toxic chemicals which they then evaporate at very high temperatures, BLANC’s ‘wet clean’ technology uses biodegradable detergents, pure water and modern, very complex machines to clean the very clothes you cannot wash at home. 

This much more planet-and-people-friendly process, which does not require the use of toxic solvents to be highly effective, uses sophisticated machines designed by Electrolux and programmed by BLANC, calibrated to be just the right amount of gentle on fibres and tough on stains.

Essentially, wet cleaning combines artisan care with expert tech, leaving garments softer, brighter and fresher. If you want to learn more about the wet cleaning process, BLANC’s recent blog post describes what a garment’s journey looks like in their Atelier. 

Now that you know more about wet cleaning, why should you make the switch?

4 reasons to stop dry cleaning and switch to wet cleaning

1. Wet cleaning doesn’t use toxic chemicals

Ironically enough, conventional dry cleaning is neither dry nor clean – as the process includes soaking your garments in solvent-based cleaners, the most common of which is ‘PERC’ (perchloroethylene). 

Despite being toxic, a probable human carcinogen and well known as a health and environmental hazard, PERC accounts for 80% – 85% of all dry cleaning fluids used by conventional dry cleaners worldwide to clean garments. 

It is already banned in several countries such as the US, France or Denmark, but not yet in the UK. So, benefit no.1:  when you choose a wet cleaner, you also completely remove the risk of exposure to PERC and other toxic solvents as the wet cleaning process doesn’t use any.

2. It’s kinder to your health and skin

The chemicals left on clothing or other fabrics during the dry cleaning process linger even after you bring the garment home because having been soaking the garments, they have penetrated the textile’s fibres. 

This can lead to eye irritation, skin rashes or even hormonal disruption. 

Since it is completely natural and a very gentle process, wet cleaning is a simple solution to reduce the exposure to toxic chemicals in your day-to-day life. 

BLANC has a lot of people coming in because they suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin, but even if you are not an allergy sufferer, having a new avenue to reduce toxicity in your life should be another reason to switch and not look back.

3. Your clothes will last longer

Wet cleaning also delivers a better quality clean and your clothes will return home noticeably softer, thoroughly cleaner and smelling way fresher. 

Dry cleaning can damage your clothes and deteriorates fibres because of the high temperatures and harsher chemicals needed to get results. 

Wet cleaning, conversely, uses lower temperatures and eco-friendly, gentle detergents which naturally respect the integrity of fabrics. Not to mention that wet cleaning cleans much more thoroughly (that’s water for you), restores the purity of whites and preserves the brightness of coloured items, which can get dull after consistently being exposed to toxic solvents.

Want to talk about microplastics in your wash? Click here to find out more.

“Dry cleaning can damage your clothes and deteriorates fibres because of the high temperatures and harsher chemicals needed to get results”

4. It’s better for the planet

Unsurprisingly, it’s better for the planet. If you are looking for a way to clean your clothes that does not cost the earth, wet cleaning is certainly your best alternative – it is by far the most eco-friendly option. 

All settings clean at much lower temperatures, water is heated on demand to reduce energy usage in machines that are already much more energy efficient, and steam resulting from this process is used in other parts of the cleaning process.

Interestingly – dry cleaning uses the same amount if not more water on top of all the other solvents – because of the extremely high temperature needed to evaporate the solvents, dry cleaning machines need cooling, which is done using water as well. Finally, and as opposed to dry cleaning, as wet cleaning only uses natural detergents and water in their cleaning process, the process does not generate any hazardous waste and no air pollution.

Want to try wet cleaning for yourself?

Get 25% off your next wet clean at BLANC using the code PEBBLEMAG.

Making it a habit to go to a wet cleaner instead of a dry cleaner is better for your skin, your health, your clothes and the planet. So if you are looking to prolong the lifespan of your beloved clothes, BLANC is the best place to start. 

They even have a Reuse Programme, allowing you to bring some things back to them when you no longer need them, such as hangers, suit covers and rubber bands – nothing shall go to waste! If you are not already a regular, book a collection or pop into any of their beautiful London stores and try their wet cleaning service with 25% off on us!

BLANC have just opened a fifth store in South Kensington, so it’s even easier to check them out now.