Liquid CO2 cleaning is, alongside wet cleaning, one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of cleaning clothes currently available in the world.
At BLANC, we are proud to announce that we are the first in the UK to implement liquid CO2 dry cleaning technology. We are over-the-moon excited to be pioneering yet another element of this non-toxic professional cleaning journey!
Protecting your skin, your health, your clothes and the planet is our number one priority, and it is no news that we solely invest in what is best for all of the above. While we will still be using wet cleaning for the majority of our cleaning, Liquid CO2 cleaning is a sustainable solution and a great complement to our current processes. Transparency is extremely important to us and we want our customers to know what goes into cleaning their clothes here at BLANC. So, here goes: your guide to Liquid CO2 cleaning!
What is Liquid CO2 Cleaning?
Now, we know what you are thinking: “carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas! How can this be sustainable?”. Well, Liquid CO2 cleaning is, alongside wet cleaning, one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of cleaning clothes currently available in the world. This is because the CO2 used in that process is captured as a by-product of existing industrial processes so there is no net creation of carbon. Carbon dioxide is a non-toxic and naturally occurring gas which turns liquid when exposed to high pressure and becomes a super-efficient natural solvent to clean textiles. It’s especially good at tackling stains and in particular the ones that are oil-based, yet it’s gentle on very delicate garments.
How it works
Even though this technology is extremely advanced and complex, the cleaning process is quite a simple one. There are different programs varying based on the cycle duration, how soiled the garments are and how delicate they are. Most fabrics can be run in the CO2 process and because of the low cleaning temperature (the operating temperature usually varies from -5°C to -10°C), there is no need to sort the clothes by colour. The temperature is so low that the garments will even come out cold. This low operating temperature also eliminates the risk of heat-setting stains and facilitates the work of our pressers since the garments tend to come out with very few creases.
Here are the different steps of the LCO2 cleaning process:
1. Clothes are placed inside the drum, our expert artisans then determine the correct programme for the cycle.
2. The cleaning drum is injected with carbon dioxide in both gas and liquid form. It is then put under very high pressure to condensate the CO2 in gas form into a liquid. Depending on the cycle, the cleaning time varies from 22-45 minutes.
3. When the clothes are cleaned, the liquid CO2 is pumped back into a holding tank to be reused in the following cleaning cycles.
4. The gas in the holding tank goes through different chambers to be stored. The dirt falls to the bottom of the tank and is evacuated through a pipe that is cleaned daily.
The Benefits of Liquid CO2 Cleaning
- Liquid CO2 is completely non-toxic (it is actually used to provide carbonation to soft drinks!) so it means that no toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals will come in contact with your skin or your clothes. This makes it perfectly safe for babies, children and allergy sufferers.
- It’s an all-natural process and because of that, it’s not causing any environmental contamination.
- As earlier stated, all the carbon dioxide used is a by-product of existing industrial processes and since the liquid CO2 is being reused, its impact on global warming is minimal. The process involves no water waste.
- Because of the low operating temperature and gentle cleaning cycle, the clothes run a very low risk of colour-run or shrinkage.
- This process is great to remove oily and greasy stains.