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Benefits of Wet Cleaning vs. Dry Cleaning Uniforms & Workwear

Uniforms in wet cleaning process

For years, dry cleaning was likened to brilliant, game-changing inventions such as sliced bread, sandals and the wheel. Today, though, people have a better understanding of how dry cleaning uniforms and suits impacts our health and the environment, and that’s why more and more professionals and restaurants are opting for modern wet cleaning.

What’s the difference between dry cleaning and wet cleaning a uniform? It’s simple. Dry cleaning uses solvents. Wet cleaning doesn’t. Before, that meant wet cleaning couldn’t do as good of a job of gently but effectively removing soil from a dress shirt or a pair of coveralls. Not anymore. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between dry cleaning and solvent-free wet cleaning, and more information about why it’s so much better for our bodies, our animals and the earth.


Dry Cleaning

How it works: Dry cleaning cleans workwear using two primary chemicals: tetrachloroethylene and the colourless perchloroethylene, AKA PERC. For many dry cleaners, PERC makes up about 80 per cent of their dry cleaning fluid.

How it’s harmful: PERC can be breathed in through contaminated air, it can be consumed in contaminated food or water, and some studies show it can even be absorbed by the skin. So, if you live near a dry cleaning facility, you dry clean your clothes or you live in a community with PERC in the water supply, there’s a chance you’re being exposed to PERC. When PERC enters your system, it stays there, stored in your body fat.

What does PERC exposure entail? In the short-term, it’s been linked to liver, kidney and even neurological damage. In the long-term, as a Class 2 carcinogen, it can lead to leukemia.


Wet Cleaning

How it works: Thanks to years of tinkering, uniform cleaners like JET have figured out a way to remove hydrocarbon soils from items such as work shirts and coveralls even better than dry cleaning and without the toxic chemicals. By using a special washing machine and a combination of biodegradable detergents, whitening perobates and tri-enzymes, wet cleaning scrubs away grease and brightens work clothing safely and effectively while maintaining the integrity of the fabric.

How it’s safe: By eliminating the use of chemicals, wet cleaning is better for our water, our bodies, our air, our health and the health of our animals.

Many people who wear coveralls and work in the oil and gas industry are already exposed to a range of chemicals in their daily work environment. With workwear cleaned in an eco-friendly way, they can reduce their everyday exposure to chemicals for better health.


Are you looking for a safer way to effectively and gently clean your workwear, coveralls or uniforms? JET Uniform & Supply in Red Deer provides industrial laundry services, uniform rentals and workwear and cleaning products to a range of industries in Alberta and beyond.