Want Your Own Dry Cleaning Machine? How To Manage It

If you buy a lot of clothing that all requires dry cleaning, such wool coats, furs, silk or satin ties and shirts, etc., you are bombarded by weekly dry cleaning expenses. Sure, you could quit buying products that are hand-wash or dry-clean only, but that might put a big dent in your fashion sense. The other option is to buy a refurbished dry cleaning machine, which would eventually pay for itself. However, there are some special considerations you need to address before you buy such a machine.

They Are Industrial Machines That Require Industrial Space

Although the dry cleaning business has changed over the last century, the machines have not changed much. The machines have adopted new technology so that they run more efficiently and produce less waste (i.e., the cleaning solvents). Yet, they are almost the same size they were fifty years ago.

These are industrial-sized washers that would easily take up your master bedroom at home. Chances are, your own laundry room does not have the height or width for such a large machine. You would need to make space, add on to your home, or establish your own dry cleaning business just to have a place to store the machine.

You Need an Operator's Permit

Because dry cleaning machines utilize regulated solvents to clean, you need an operator's permit to use one. Anyone can own a new or refurbished dry cleaning machine, but only the people with permits can operate it. It is also a very lengthy process to get a permit, and they generally are not granted to any individual who is not going to use the machine for commercial purposes. Still, you can apply for a permit and see what happens.

There Is a Massive EPA Guide Book for Operating Dry Cleaning Machines

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) sets the regulations and guidelines for owning and operating any machine that uses chemicals and solvents. Dry cleaning machines now have the ability to recycle their own solvent (PCE) and reuse it for several loads. However, once the solvent is completely spent, the EPA expects that you will dispose of it in a particular manner.

Not disposing of spent solvent in the proper manner would result in fines and you would lose your operating permit. Removal of the machine may also be part of the punitive measures. So, make sure you have read the EPA manual thoroughly before you begin using your machine and follow the appropriate procedures.

To learn more on maintaining a dry cleaning machine, contact services such as S&W Equipment.