Our History

Laundering in the Vallabh family is not just a commercial enterprise, but dates back to the 1800s in the town of Navsari, India, when laundry was part of our culture and tradition.

Mr Vallabh, great senior, employed several staff and operated what was then deemed a ‘commercial laundry’ at the family home’s backyard with several ‘laundry stones’ used to beat the clothing on, which would then be rinsed in stone troughs filled with water. Back then this was a major improvement to having washing done on the river banks.

Washing was dried on traditional washing lines and then hand-ironed with huge hand irons filled with piping hot coal to heat them. It was an arduous trade, which nonetheless had to be performed to deliver service to our many loyal customers from around the settlements.

In the mid 1930’s, Mr Vallabh, senior, arrived in South Africa full of hope and promise of new frontiers. Destined to continue the family tradition and determined to operate his own laundry business in South Africa, in 1941, after stringent checks by the local authority, he began trading once more as a ‘laundryman’ under the banner of Queens Dry Cleaners and Launderers.

The passion and enthusiasm of the trade was then passed onto Mr Vallabh, junior, who in 1991 assumed control of the company.

As the years passed, new regulations were introduced with the implementation of SABS standards for laundry; and later the global drive for environmentally friendly processes. Rising to the challenge, in 2011 Queens Launderers embarked on its mission to rebrand the company with the view of a national footprint of environmentally friendly laundry and dry-cleaning stores. The ‘Refresh™’ brand was born.

Refresh™ Dry Cleaners became the first dry cleaner, not only in South Africa but on the African continent, to offer its customers environmentally friendly dry cleaning when its store opened in Durban, KZN. We introduced the GreenEarth brand and concept to our customers - a process imported from the Green Earth Cleaning company based in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

As the years passed, new environmentally friendly concepts were introduced with SYSTEMK4 and LANADOL Wet Cleaning as well as bio-degradable detergents used in our laundry processes.

Detergents and solvents are imported directly from European suppliers and, realising the need to supply commercial laundry clients with modern, reliable, value for money equipment, the decision was taken to also directly import laundry and dry-cleaning equipment from several European manufacturers.

The need to expand our national footprint further, created the idea of franchise stores.

Proudly, we offer South Africans the first wet cleaning and comprehensive laundry franchise. We continue to evolve and grow!

If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place. Step forward with our Refresh™ brand... with us, every day is Earth Day!