By Mike Kinney
A local family business is helping to make laundry and related services more environmentally friendly.
Sergio and Carmen Rios have lived in Richmond for more than three decades and operate two businesses in the city: Bob’s Green Cleaners at 777 23rd St. and the Laundry Bowl at 143 Washington Ave. in Point Richmond.
Sergio said he purchased Bob’s Dry Cleaners in 2019. The dry cleaning business had been operating there for 19 years. The following year, Sergio was trained in the advantages of using water-based European machines.
He not only brought those machines to the renamed Bob’s Green Cleaners, he became a trainer in the technology and would demonstrate it to other dry cleaners around the state.
Bob’s Green Cleaners was soon acknowledged as the first eco-friendly dry cleaning business in Northern California.
According to Sergio, the technology involves using biodegradable soaps in professional wet cleaning.
“We employ water with a small amount of biodegradable soaps and conditions for cleaning clothing,” he said, adding, “It does a much better job than dry cleaning and is good for our local environment here in Richmond.”
This more environmentally-friendly way of cleaning also guarantees clothes won’t be returned to customers with the chemical smell that is traditional to dry cleaning, Sergio said.
Bob’s Green Cleaners uses recycled bags to protect the cleaned clothes and also recycled hangers. The business’ services including laundry, wash and fold, leather cleaning, alterations, pressing, carpet cleaning and bedding such as sheets, blankets and comforters.
It’s second operation in Point Richmond is a full-service laundry mat offering dry and fold.
Bob’s Green Cleaners opens Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (510) 236-3471.