Sustainability is a pretty old concept, but managed to become – and stay – one of the most important buzzwords of today. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of misuse and mislabeling – greenwashing being actually the complete opposite of green washing. And what makes a detergent sustainable? If it is 100% from renewable resources, but if you need ten times as much to get stains out, does this make sense?
Kreussler, the German specialist for textile care, is one of the pioneers of real sustainability, thinking of ecological impact already when it was the opposite of hipness. Many decades ago, they were the first company producing detergents for industrial use to ban phosphates completely – as well as borates, perborates, APEO, EDTA and NTA. Searching for the best performing ingredient with the smallest ecological impact is an important part of the R&D work done at Kreussler’s headquarters in Germany. Focusing on sustainability – and its pairing with optimal cleaning power – long before it became a buzzword, the company has very early developed a broad perspective regarding what exactly real sustainability must mean.
Kreussler is taking a multitude of aspects besides the formula of the detergents into account: It is not enough to use ingredients which are biodegradable, or do not harm the environment. If the washing power of a “green” detergent is so weak that a high dosage is necessary to get clothes clean, the product is not really sustainable.
Another important perspective is treating textiles as gently as possible, to prolong their lifetime – the absolute opposite of the very much not sustainable fast fashion trend. That is why Kreussler has specialized in extremely concentrated detergents and washing auxillaries which combine exceptional cleaning power with ultimate fibre protection: besides most of them being biodegradable, they are as much concentrated as is chemically and technically possible. That means not only that a little goes a long way, improving cost-efficiency and minimizing the necessary resources. The Kreussler concentrates take up less space in transport and storage, reducing not just costs, but the use of energy and fuel.
That is why one of Kreussler’s most popular powder detergents, TREBON PLUS, does not use zeolites like comparable products do to neutralize water hardness – a cheap solution, adding bulk to the product. Instead, layer silicates are used, which do two things simultaneously and very effectively: softening the water and releasing alkalinity, which means they additionally boost washing power. This property of layer silicates enables Kreussler to create an extremely concentrated product with an outstanding cleaning performance that still treats textiles extremely gently. For customers who prefer products with an ecolabel, its sibling TREBON PLUS ECO has been awarded the EU Ecolabel “EU-Flower”. As TREBON PLUS, it works very efficiently already in very small doses. To accompany its many solutions for laundries of any size, Kreussler has developed matching tailor-made processes to minimize the use of energy, water and other resources in the laundry itself, achieving 360° sustainability.
Wet cleaning – one original and many copies
One of the most well-known Kreussler inventions is the original wet cleaning, which revolutionized the market in 1991. The embodiment of sustainable dry cleaning, Lanadol wet cleaning is still the benchmark – and if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Kreussler can feel very privileged indeed. But many of the procedures calling themselves “wet cleaning” are a far cry from the original principles, which make the method so powerful – and safe for even the most sensitive garments. The most important insight for the development of the original wet cleaning was to realize that most stains are actually water soluble, making pure water the ideal “solvent” for most kind of fabrics. The drawback: sensitive fibers like wool or silk swell up in water, potentially leading to shape changes, shrinkage or other damages. The solution: A precise mix of cleaning agents developed precisely for that purpose which use special colloids forming a protective film around each fiber, preventing any damage while keeping colors brillant and texture smooth.
The other important component of true wet cleaning is the different mechanic. Many solutions which are nowadays offered as “wet cleaning” are just washing under a different name. The original Lanadol wet cleaning, which can truly be used for almost all, even the most sensitive of fabrics, comprises the use of dedicated wet cleaning machines and matching drying technology. Thanks to larger drums with special perforation and scoop ribs, fabrics are treated much more gently than in normal washer extractors. Of course, wet cleaning machines can be used for „normal“ washing as well, so they are not limited to wet cleaning. The obvious benefits of the original Lanadol wet cleaning are not only the use of water instead of solvent, but generally the sustainable profile. The cleaning agents are biodegradable and extremely concentrated, minimizing resources. Only about 6 liters of water are needed per kg wet cleaned fabrics, while about 95% of all cleaned garments can be treated using the Lanadol DRY process, taking less than an hour from start to finish, including drying and finishing. Thanks to Kreussler’s latest wet cleaning invention Lanadol X-PRESS, there is no need for pre-brushing most garments, saving not just time and resources, but avoiding risk of maltreatment by not properly trained staff. Clients love the scent and feel of their cleaned textiles which keep their form as well as their colors. This goes not just for the high street clientele with their expensive wool suits and silk blouses. In old people’s homes, the Lanadol range enables cleaning the residents’ favorite garments – which often contain sensitive fibers like angora – not only extremely gently, but hygienically.
Lanadol ABAC, a hygiene rinser with a broad microbiocidal spectrum of activity, does not damage the delicate fabrics, therefore prolonging the life cycle of cherished clothes.
And for the more conservative dry cleaner who prefers working with a classic solvent, Kreussler developed and patented SYSTEMK4, featuring the super-pure, halogen free organic solvent SOLVONK4 which often cleans even better than perc, while having a far superior environmental profile.
Kreussler was founded in 1912. The family business is currently managed by the fourth generation and has two divisions: Pharma and Textile Care. Environmentally friendly and future-oriented innovations, highest quality and responsibility for the conservation of resources are integral parts of the corporate philosophy. The high-quality, highly concentrated detergents and washing auxiliaries do not contain phosphates, borates or perborates, APEO, EDTA or NTA. A sophisticated wastewater treatment system and the use of solar panels and heat exchangers for energy supply are part of the company’s sustainability concept. Quality and environmental awareness are confirmed by the certification under EN ISO 9001:2015 and DIN EN ISO 14001. Kreussler follows the guidelines of the Responsible Care initiative. As an internationally oriented enterprise, Kreussler has five subsidiary offices in the USA, UK, France, Italy, and Sweden, as well as technical field services in many other countries. For worldwide deliveries, Kreussler operates a network of competent partner companies. Production is exclusively at the corporate headquarters in Wiesbaden where the in-house R&D department is also located.
Katja Pryss | Manager Marketing Communication | Textile Care
Phone: +49 611 92 71-231
Mobile: +49 1520 158 16 39
Fax: +49 611 92 71-111