TROY, Mich. — A highly programmable wetcleaning machine is essential to properly cleaning a variety of items and fabrics.
If you’ve got one on the floor, you can safely wet clean everything from delicate silk blouses and wool suits to casual wear, shirt laundry and household items — even pillows, stuffed animals and luggage.
But not all wetcleaning machines are created equal. So, when you invest in one, be sure it offers essential programmability and adaptability. Read on for what to look for when it comes to programmability and learn methods for customizing wetcleaning programs for exceptional results.
To get the most out of a wetcleaning machine, choose one that allows programmability of number of phases, bath levels, water temperature by degree, bath cool-down by degree, rotation action, rotation time, extract speed, number of baths and rinses, and automatic chemical injection.
Let’s take a closer look:
Rotation Action and Drum Speed — Heavy garments need more drum speed during agitation to get them up and out of water so they can drop back in. Lighter garments require a slower drum speed or they don’t fall properly. The more options for programmable timed drum speed and rotation action, the better.
Water Levels — When washing durable goods, like towels, jeans and blankets, it’s important to use lower water levels when introducing chemistry. Lower water levels create a situation where clothes are closer together, creating more mechanical action. When wet cleaning, we make up for low mechanical action by raising water levels to ensure all garments stay saturated throughout the cycle.
Water Temperatures — As water temperature is lowered, more chemistry is required. Being able to set water temperatures by degree is essential. Certain synthetics and blends can experience fabric shock if cleaned at a high temperature and then rinsed in cold water. A gradual cool down before the wash water drains should be programmed into the cycle.
Extract Speed — As extract (spin) speed increases, more moisture is removed from a load. This ultimately shortens dry time and improves throughput. While cranking up extract speed makes sense on durable goods, it doesn’t on items like stuffed animals, sneakers, draperies, wedding dresses and other fancy gowns because you run the risk of deforming/damaging them. Look for a machine with timed programmability in minutes or seconds and programmable extract speeds ranging from 5 to 400 G-force.
Number of Baths and Rinses — The more soil, the greater the number of baths and rinses required to get items clean. Fire restoration items, for example, need multiple bath exchanges to eliminate contaminants, whereas typical wet cleaning uses only two baths.
Automatic Chemical Injection — To guarantee optimum cleaning, look for wetcleaning machines with 12 chemical injection signals and programmable, timed dosing and flush flexibility. Automatic chemical injection eliminates potential dosing errors that can damage garments.
Delayed Start — A delayed start feature allows you to load at night and set the machine to begin operation the next morning. It’s a great tool for improving daily throughput.
Overnight Soak — Greasy, heavily soiled items might require an overnight soak. Be certain you’ve got this feature.
Auxiliary Heat Options — When processing hospital items, the CDC recommends obtaining 165 F for 25 minutes. Some wetcleaning machines offer auxiliary heat options that boost water temperatures using steam or electricity. Be sure this is an option for any wetcleaning machine you are looking to purchase.
Ozone — Ozone gas can be injected into some wetcleaning machines as a form of additional chemistry. Ozone relaxes fibers, works best in cool water and sanitizes textiles by removing nearly all viruses and bacteria. Ozone sanitizes laundry with fewer chemicals, and no bleach, while using reducing hot water usage. If the use of ozone is in your future, be certain new wetcleaning machines are ozone compatible.
To read Part 1, go HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].