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Ripples of Wet: Wetcleaning Programming (Part 1)

The why and the how-to of customizing wetcleaning machines

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.


First, though, let’s understand the four essential components of cleaning. The four components — mechanical action, chemistry, temperature, and time — each work in balanced concert with the others to properly clean. If any one of the factors is reduced or increased, the opposite needs to happen to one or more of the other components.

As time increases, we can decrease temperature and/or mechanical action. If we increase chemistry, we can decrease time and/or temperature.

1) Mechanical Action

Mechanical action is the movement of garments within the wash wheel. The more mechanical action, the more movement of chemistry and water through the textiles. Rotation action and drum speed work together as mechanical action.

2) Chemistry

Chemistry refers to the types and concentration of chemicals in the wetcleaning process. Chemistry includes water, detergents, softeners/surfactants, bleach and sours/neutralizers. The improper use of chemicals can lead to damaged or discolored items.

3) Temperature

The chemicals work in concert with water temperatures. As water temperatures rise, chemicals react more quickly and efficiently. Generally, when water temperatures are lower, more chemicals are required to properly clean.

4) Time

Time refers to the number of minutes for each wash step. The ability to control time is critical to economical cleaning. Using a highly programmable wetcleaning machine ensures the above components can be customized according to fabric and item type — making it easy to achieve the perfect, consistent clean no matter who’s operating the machine. Thus, programmability is extremely important in the fabricare business. It allows virtually anything coming in the door to be properly cleaned using water, using the most productive and energy-efficient manner possible.

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.

In the conclusion next time, we’ll take a closer look.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.

Ripples of Wet: Wetcleaning Programming

(Images licensed by Ingram Publishing)

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].