Dry Cleaners have long touted our secret weapon in the battle against disease and promoting sanitization - heat! We use high heat in both the dry cleaning dry cycle and in the pressing and ironing process as being sufficient to kill most viruses and bacteria. We already know that the GreenEarth Dry Cleaning process reaches drum temperatures of at least 158F / 70C for 25 to 30 minutes, which, according the World Health Organization, is sufficient to kill all but the most hearty of organisms.
But what about the pressing temperatures? Our friends at Sankosha have shared some very interesting data on the temperatures achieved during the finishing and pressing phase. The heat is generated by the live steam passing through the press buck or when injected through the fabric on a form finisher.
Sankosha DC Utility Press Temperature
They used a heat-sensing camera to record the air temperature on pieces of clothing during the finishing process. This revealed a minimum temperature of about 125F / 52C on tensioning equipment, however the temperature increases to 158F / 70C when the fan blower speed is reduced to the minimum speed.
Hot head equipment such as a single or double-buck shirt machine is able to reach 194F / 90C. See the information provided including two videos in this Google Drive folder.
While we agree that high heat is generated in the pressing process, it’s possible that the heat is not generated for sufficient time to kill all viruses and bacteria on the item. That’s why as Professional Dry Cleaners we rely on all the tools in our toolbox - we rely on professional wet cleaning and laundry using purpose-built detergent and temperature-controlled water, which is confirmed by the CDC and WHO to break the lipid bond on COVID-19. We also rely on the gentle ramp-up of high drying heat for 25 to 30 minutes in the GreenEarth Cleaning Process, as well as professional finishing with live steam. Most garments go through at least two of these three processes every time they are cleaned, so take pride in the fact that we are providing an Essential Service in this great time of need.