At St Croix | White Way Cleaners we’re always looking for ways to improve the quality of our cleaning, while still keeping with our earth friendly mission.
Since building our new plant in 2007, St Croix | White Way Cleaners has been using a solvent known as Hydrocarbon. Hydrocarbon is an odorless, biodegradable compound, that works very well (Just look at our five straight Seal of Approval wins from the DryCleaning and Laundry Institute!) with the added benefit of being earth friendly.
Recently though, we discovered an exciting new solvent package that has all the environmental benefits of Hydrocarbon, but that cleans garments even better : SystemK4!
Before we get into what makes K4 better though, we should probably explain what Dry Cleaning itself really is. It isn’t actually the act of cleaning your clothes when they are dry. They still are saturated and become ‘wet,’ just not from water. For over 100 years, Dry Cleaners have primarily used a chemical called perchloroethylene, also known as “Perc”, as the solvent in the dry cleaning process. This is a harsh chemical which cleans your clothes very well, but with each wash can fade the colors and roughen the fabrics Perc is also responsible for the chemical smell most people associate with Dry Cleaners.
But besides just bad smells, Perc is also considered a hazardous chemical and some researchers have declared it to be a carcinogen. It is taxed by the government to use, and must be disposed of properly. Every dry cleaner in the nation must pay into a drycleaners’ “superfund” for hazardous waste cleanups (even if the dry cleaner doesn’t use Perc!). If there is a spill in a dry cleaning facility, it can be very expensive to clean up.
K4 has no such risks; K4 is completely non-toxic, 99% organic and 100% biodegradable.
One of the benefits of Perc was its aggressiveness against oil, fat and grease based stains. While Hydrocarbon could clean such stains, it wasn’t as effective and sometimes required multiple cleanings.
K4 on the other hand, tackles those stains as well as Perc did, something our dry cleaning geeks love! It also cuts down on the need for pre-spotting because previously hard to get stains lift out on the first wash.
Other K4 benefits include:
- No Color Loss
- Extended Garment Life
- Softer Feeling Clothes
- Safe on Delicate fabrics, beads, sequins and embellishments.
- Dermatologically tested
As you can see, K4 is a “win win” for us at here at St Croix | White Way; we get the cleaning power of Perc and the environmental friendliness of Hydrocarbon. We’re thrilled to be using such a state of the art system, and think you’ll be just as thrilled when you see the results for yourself!