It was good news for Manhattan this week when Green Apple Cleaners bought its second state-of-the-art Solvair Cleaning System. Dry cleaning's "green revolution," the Solvair technology uses liquid CO2 and is the only technology designed from start to finish to achieve better cleaning while minimizing impact on the environment.
Solvair Cleaning Systems use a closed loop system designed to eliminate emissions to the atmosphere and ensure maximum reclamation of recyclable materials. A biodegradable cleaning formula helps remove dirt and stains. One element of this formula, chosen for its safe profile and cleaning ability, is a propylene glycol ether that is completely and readily biodegradable into water and CO2. These propylene glycol ethers should not to be confused with ethylene glycol ethers, the variety found in products like anti-freeze.
"As dry cleaners struggle to meet environmental regulations that require costly new equipment, misleading "organic" and "natural" claims by some traditional cleaners keep customers guessing about what is really green," says David Kistner, the CEO of Green Apple Cleaners. "Solvair is the real deal."
Liquid CO2 in a pressurized machine is used to wash the cleaning formula from the clothes. This CO2 has been captured from other emission sources, thus avoiding green house gas release. The eco-safe formula is attracted to and thoroughly removed by the liquid CO2, and continually recovered, recycled and reused within the machine for maximum efficiency. Clothes float in liquid and CO2 vapor, cushioned from tumbling damage. The pressure in the machine is then reduced until the liquid CO2 evaporates. Clothes dry completely and instantly leaving clothes free of stains, dirt and residue from other dry cleaners. This gentle process noticeably helps prolong the life of the garment.
According to David Kistner, reduction in energy consumption is a welcome side effect. "We've seen a 52% reduction in our utility costs since we started using Solvair."
CO2 technology is just the tip of the iceberg for Green Apple Cleaners.
The only two Solvair Cleaning Systems in the New York Metro area are both owned and operated by Green Apple Cleaners, founded by eco-entrepreneurs David Kistner and Christopher Skelley. This New Jersey based company has served Manhattan and select areas of New Jersey with environmentally friendly CO2 and Wet Cleaning services since 2006. The two new Solvair Cleaning Systems cost more than $150K each, but Green Apple Cleaners thinks they are well worth it. "We set out to offer our customers premium care and cleaning of garments and other items they entrust to us. Customers trust us to treat the world around them carefully as well. We chose Solvair machinery not just because it gets clothes cleaner, but because it is the only process to integrate environmental stewardship into its design."