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How to Choose a Green Dry Cleaners Franchise


A lot of dry-cleaning franchises claim they’re “going green” or promise services that use eco-friendly technology.

The truth is, “going green” can mean different things for different companies. While an effort toward sustainability is commendable, some efforts are more technologically advanced and more environmentally friendly than others.

To understand how to choose a green dry-cleaners franchise, entrepreneurs need a detailed understanding of best practices for a green business in 2021.

Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaners Should Eliminate Dangerous Chemicals

Contrary to popular belief, dry-cleaning is not actually a “dry” process. Rather than using water, which can damage certain fabrics, dry cleaners use liquid solvents to clean delicate garments.

For generations, perchloroethylene, commonly referred to as “perc,” was the most common solvent used to clean delicate clothing. After decades of improper disposal and human exposure, scientists have discovered perc has a negative impact on the environment, and health experts call it a “likely human carcinogen” due to its links to cancer.
Despite known dangers, it remains legal for dry cleaners across the country to use perc in their day-to-day operations. While federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and other government institutions have regulated the use and disposal of perc to prevent human and environmental exposure, risks persist for as long as the solvent is in use.
Because perc hasn’t been outlawed altogether, a dry cleaner can claim to be “eco-friendly” if they upgrade to EPA-recommended machines that reduce environmental emissions and human exposure.

At Tide Cleaners, we believe any use of a toxic solvent poses an unnecessary risk to the environment and to our employees and customers, even if steps are taken to limit exposure. You won’t find perc at any of our locations nationwide —because it’s obsolete.

Innovators in dry-cleaning technology have developed effective, more cost-efficient alternatives that are safer for the environment.

Liquid Silicone is a Safe Alternative to Harmful Chemical Solvents

One alternative to perchloroethylene is liquid silicone.

Over $30 million worth of independent testing has confirmed that liquid silicone has no negative environmental impact. Researchers have found the liquid solvent, commonly referred to as “D5,” presents no risk to public safety when used in countless commercial products, including dry cleaning technology.

The eco-friendly solvent is biodegradable, meaning if the environment is exposed to liquid silicone, it safely degrades into its three natural components of sand, water, and carbon dioxide.

The EPA also recognizes D5 as a safe alternative to perc and recommends it to dry cleaners who wish to upgrade to environmentally friendly technology.

Tide Cleaners proudly partners with GreenEarth® Cleaning. GreenEarth® developed the solvent that replaces perchloroethylene with liquid silicone. Liquid silicone is an odorless, colorless solution that is an excellent carrier for detergents, it has ideal properties for fabric care, and it is better for the environment.

GreenEarth® Cleaning was formed in 1999 for the express purpose of providing the dry-cleaning industry with an affordable, more effective alternative to perc. Compared to traditional dry cleaners, Tide Cleaners’ franchisees save money on utilities, supplies, and waste disposal costs.

Eco-Friendly Machines Reduce Waste and Costs

Rather than using wasteful machines, the EPA recommends “closed-loop” systems, that reuse and recycle dry cleaning solvent. Because closed-loop machines use less solvent, dry cleaners enjoy cost savings with less money spent purchasing solvent and savings on disposal fees.

For dry cleaners that also offer wash-and-fold services, business owners should also consider technology that saves energy and uses less water than wasteful outdated machines.

Tide Cleaners helps franchise owners equip their plant stores with closed-loop, silicone-based dry-cleaning technology. Our wash-and-fold laundry services also use high-efficiency (HE) machines that save water and energy, all of which are priorities for any green business.

Since its inception, Tide has consistently reinvented itself and revolutionized the industry in which it has played. Tide Cleaners was born out of the belief that the future of laundry could be different than the present. We are changing the way people outsource their cleaning needs, while keeping our environmental impact in mind.

Learn more about our laundry and dry-cleaning franchise opportunities and how Tide Cleaners is an industry leader in the growing laundry services industry.