Perhaps the India’s first, the largest and the oldest dhobi ghat at Mahalaxmi Mumbai, is a must see attraction on the list of foreign tourists visiting India. The 150 year old UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world’s largest open laundries. If you take an arial view of the dhobi ghat you will find ubiquitous cloth line spread across everywhere within the 2.5 acre span of the dhobi ghat with 731 washing pens and flogging stones.
According to the licence condition, cooking in the heritage area is illegal but if you visit the dhobi ghat, you will find over 200 small hutments and ground plus one structures where the families of dhobi’s stay. So they not only cook food but also defacate within the premises where your clothes are being washed.
Just before you enter the dhobi ghat, you will find innumerous shops selling local detergents and chemicals, mostly acidic, at throw away prices. These are the very chemicals used to clean your garments. Let us analyse what these chemicals are…
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate / Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate (SLS / SLES) – This is the most common chemical used in laundry detergents. SLS and SLES are surfactants intended to remove mud, oil and other stains and acts as a foaming agent. It is very harsh in nature and is having a highly irritating quality. They can inflame eyes, skin and are toxic in the environment also. It is banned in more than half of the world. However, it is widely sold and used by all the dhobi’s across India.
- Phosphates – Environmentalists are working hard on the lines of banning Phospahtes from laundry products. Phosphate exposure is linked cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, still it is the most common ingredient in the emulsifiers and degreasers these dhobi ghats use.
- Formaldehyde – The Toxic chemical used to preserve the dead bodies is used to preserve the shine of your garment. Yes, many of the laundry solvents used by dhobi ghats has Formaldehyde as the main ingredient. Exposure to Formaldehyde, even in low levels, increase the risk of cancer in humans.
The array of shops just next to the dhobi ghat selling all the these products bears testimony to the fact that all these harmful chemicals are used to clean your garments. The many water tanks within the dhobi ghat has not been cleaned since decades. The garments are beaten by wooden bats or tossed with full force on the washing stones which eventually kills the garments. Your clothes loose its fall and the yarn looses it strength. As a result, your garments are worn out within a span of 6 months, at times even earlier.
The story is not limited to just Mahalaxmi dhobi ghat but all the hundreds of dhobi ghats and workshop module laundries across the length and breadth of India have the same story to tell. Everywhere, where there is conventional method used for laundry, many hazardous chemicals are used, the cleaning process is very harsh which squeezes out life from the garments. Secondly, these dhobi’s do not understand the process required for delicate garments, silk sarees, wool suits etc. They have a single process for all types of garments.
Every garment has a process tag which indicates what kind of cleaning treatment is required for your garment.
For different type of garments, the variation of process includes solvent boiling temperature, RPM of the drum, solvent combination, duration of cycle, extraction speed, drying duration and temperature etc. All these factors vary depending upon the texture, yarn, strength of garment etc. How can you get good results if all garments are treated like one. Either it will not clean the sturdy garments properly or it may damage the fragile garments. Hence it is concluded that there is no alternative to professional dry cleaning.
PROFESSIONAL DRY CLEAN
The Professional Dry Cleaner uses eco-friendly solvents which are environment friendly and do not pose a health hazard, neither on the garment nor on the environment. All the laundry and dry clean products used by professional dry cleaners are enzyme based, absolutely non acidic and does not create any kind of allergies and irritations. At some point of time, due to very heavy stains, the professional dry cleaner may use weakly alkaline products but if at all such acidic products are used, it again is treated by a neutraliser so that all the acidic substance is washed out before delivery of your garments. All dry cleaners who use green solvents are awarded a Certificate of Compliance. Do not forget to ask your dry cleaner to show his certificate to ensure he is using the right products for your garments. The water used by the professional launderer is treated in a water treatment plant and the entire hardness is removed before using the water in the laundry. Hence, your whites which tends to get yellowish, regain its whiteness at the professional dry cleaner.
Your dark clothes will not fade out early as the professional dry cleaner does not dry your dark garments in a clothes line in the sun. They provide a proper drying process which maintains the shine of the garment and since your garment is not exposed to the harmful UV rays, it does not loose its colour.
Every single garment is given utmost care and attention it deserves. The garments are sorted according to the process required by them. Every single garment is treated as per the recommendations mentioned on the process tags. First the garments are tested for colour bleeding. If the colour of a particular garment bleeds, a much gentle process is given so as to prevent the colour loss and also prevent the colour from getting on the other garments or spreading on the other areas of the same garment.
And its not just about the cleaner look of the garment, professional dry cleaner, also treats your garments for microscopic bacteria like moth which tends to lay larvae. Since you cannot see it from the naked eye, the garment looks clean. Have you ever experienced itching and irritation after wearing your freshly laundered garment which the dhobi has just left at your place. That irritation indicates your garment is infested with bacteria and germs.
At Verinito, we pledge to provide absolutely clean and germ free garments using environment friendly solvents, working in hygienic conditions and packing as per the international standards to increase the life span of your favourite attire.