Dry Cleaning Industry and its use for Potable Water

Dry Cleaning Industry

Dry cleaning, commercial or industrial requires potable chilled water to function correctly. In the past dry cleaners have used tap water and poured used water down the drain. This is no longer the case due to environmental reasons such as scarcity of water, and chemical solvents in the water. The solvent differs in chemical composition by brand, and textile composition and is different than consumer detergent. Most dry cleaning machines use water to cool the refrigerant solvent recovery unit, distillation units and solvent cooler. The water cannot be contaminated with heavy metals like lead, or a chemical reaction will occur.

Industrial dry cleaners are targeted towards business laundry needs. The wash loads can average to about 500 pounds per load. Industrial methods use transfer the cleaning method. Industrial cleaners use many machines that complete individual processes. Two types of solvents are used, a charged one and a pure one. Once the loads are completed they are sent to an air dryer. Once dried they are then pressed and bundled and returned to the business of origin. An example of these include sheets and duvets used in hotel chains. Commercial industries are the neighborhood stores that people use. These are smaller and only average a 60 pound loads. They have a similar process to the industrial one just smaller, and the entire cleaning process is completed within a single unit.


Wastewater from the dry cleaning facility must be stored and handled within regulations instituted by the federal government. The contaminated water must be secured in air tight containers that are properly labeled. Only a licensed transportation disposal company can pick up the hazardous water.