Concerns for Recycled Perc use in Dry cleaning

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September 19, 2011

Posted in Dry Cleaning


We understand that there is a grade of recycled Perchloroethylene (recovered from the dry cleaning waste) that has been introduced into the Australian Dry Cleaning market. This could be done with or without the knowledge of the dry cleaners.  With the price of virgin Perc rising dramatically over the last 12 months, the idea of buying cheaper recycled product might sound attractive. We would strongly advise all dry cleaners to think carefully before considering using recycled Perc.


The quality of your solvent is paramount to the production of good quality, odour free dry cleaning. Equally, fully stabilised solvent is essential to prevent any breakdown of the solvent during the distillation process. Incorrectly or poorly stabilised solvent will cause the breakdown of the solvent to acids which will ultimately corrode dry cleaning machines. This damage will occur long before there are any apparent problems in cleaning. The damage caused by this corrosion is irreversible. When one considers the value of the garments being processed, the value of dry cleaning machine and the value of dry cleaning business, it is a lot to risk for a modest saving.


Most dry cleaners will be aware of Stelco’s waste collection service. In the past five years, all the solvent that is recovered from the waste processing plant (Envirostill Services) has been bought back by Stelco and put into other industries both local and overseas where premium quality solvent is not important. We never have and never will return recycled Perc to the Dry Cleaning Industry. We have the opportunity to return this recycled solvent to the dry cleaning industry but as a leader in the Dry Cleaning Industry we choose not to.  We strongly believe this would damage the dry cleaning industry in the long run.


Recently, a major waste company has re-entered the dry cleaning waste processing business and they have stated that they have successfully introduced the recycled Perc to the industry.  Stelco is concerned that the free flow of recycled Perc into dry cleaning industry will create uncontrollable problems both for the customers and for the dry cleaning machine operators. It is up to each dry cleaner to seek a guarantee of quality for the Perc (virgin and stabilised) they purchase from their suppliers. We at Stelco, always have and always will guarantee the quality of our Perclean. It would not be unreasonable to ask for a certificate of analysis of the Perc and this would show the make-up and the quality of the solvent. Again we at Stelco are happy to provide this certification for our products.


Due to the current situation, Stelco will restrict the concession prices for the garment analysis services. All the garment analysis will be charged at the full price except to the dry cleaners that are using 100% of Stelco solvent and detergents.


If you have any queries, please feel free to contact our sales representatives.