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Rental Clothing Cleaning 101

Sometimes, Nuulies take on a life of their own. Our baby blue faux-leather jackets have been know to bust it down in downtown Nash and you’d be surprised by how many pairs of vintage Levi’s shorts have made their way through LAX and touched down for tropical vacations. Each Nuuly ends up somewhere different—that’s kind of the magic about rented clothing. But no matter where a Nuuly goes, its journey starts and ends in one place: our custom-built cleaning facility.

Where The Magic Happens

We built our cleaning and distribution center from the ground up to make sure each garment is safely laundered, repaired and readied for its next journey out into the world. Equipped with state-of-the-art washing machines, our Nuuly bag sanitizer (that we lovingly call the Nuubulizer) and a 250-degree steam tunnel, our laundering facility is kind of like the Madison Square Garden of laundromats.

Who’s on Laundry Duty?

When you’ve got as much laundry to do as Nuuly does, you only trust professionals with the process—and we really do mean professionals. The brains behind all the cleaning that goes on at our facility are experts in the chemistry of cleaning and sanitizing clothing while preserving the integrity of the fabric for the next renter. That’s right folks, there’s a science to good laundry. On top of the careful cleaning, we quality check every single garment by hand and assess its condition—making any necessary repairs in-house—before we place it back in the rental rotation.

How Are Rented Clothes Cleaned, Exactly?

At our cleaning facility, we use both dry and wet cleaning methods. Wet cleaning looks and sounds like your washing machine at home: clean, rinse, spin, etc. Our wet cleaning process is different in the fact that our state-of-the-art machines use cleaning solutions that are non-alkaline and phosphate-free, making them gentler on the environment than household detergent. They're also more energy and water-efficient. Over 70% of our product is cleaned this way. Even the EPA is down with the way we wet clean, considering it one of the safest professional cleaning methods because there is "no hazardous chemical use, no hazardous waste generation, no air pollution, and reduced potential for water and soil contamination."

For the things that can’t be wet washed, there’s dry cleaning. These garments can be dry cleaned in 4 different ways, using a variety of cleaning solvents. We opt for a process that uses a 100% PERC-free cleaning solvent to remove impurities in the clothing.

Cleaning Rental Clothes Sustainably

Is there a way to do all the things outlined above in a way that’s cheaper and easier? Absolutely—we could skip the reusable bags that need to be sanitized and send everything out in cardboard boxes and plastic bags. We could say “heck with 100% PERC-free solvents!” But if we weren’t looking out for the planet, why would we even be in the rental clothing business to begin with. Because the truth is, no matter where we send your Nuuly—to Turks and Caicos, back to the office, to the dentist, to your best friend’s wedding—we always want it to find it’s way back to us. No landfill detours included on the itinerary.