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Green Dry Cleaning

Green Dry Cleaning

Dry Cleaning: Some Facts, Do It Less, and Go With a Green Cleaner Instead

1. You know that sort of chemical smell or dry smell on your clothes after they’ve been dry cleaned? That’s perchloroethylene (perc) and it’s a known carcinogen.

2. All those clothes that say “Dry Clean Only”? Not so. Polyester is plastic. So is rayon. Silk is the oldest material out there. (Do you think the Chinese were dry cleaning silk during the Ming Dynasty?) Wool is infinitely hand-washable. Wash all of the above, by hand, in cold water with a very little soap. Don’t even think about putting in the dryer.

3. Dry cleaning isn’t really dry. In the perc method, your clothes are immersed in a chemical bath to clean them.

4. The new Green cleaners are not perfect, but they are better than the old dry perc cleaners; for you, for your kids, for your planet. They employ one of three other cleaning methods, using C02, silicone or hydrocarbons, as opposed to the aforementioned Perchloroethylene. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great step in the right direction.

For a more in depth analysis of conventional versus green cleaners, read this Wall Street Journal article by Gwendolyn Bounds.

No time for the whole article? Check out Gwendolyn’s recommendation for finding green cleaners in your neighborhood: “For now, the Web is the best bet for consumers hunting for a non-perc cleaner in their neighborhood. CO2 cleaners are listed at findco2.com, wet-cleaners at professionalwetcleaning.com and GreenEarth cleaners at greenearthcleaning.com. There’s also nodryclean.com, which lists various cleaners by method, and igreenclean.org.”

Even though the article is from 2008, the dry cleaning chemical facts in this post by Melissa Breyer are detailed and accurate. Terri Hall gives some great instruction for hand washing wool, silk and rayon in her article, and Annie B. Bond points out various toxic chemicals lurking on our clothes and in our closets and how you can get rid of them.

-Jocelyn Broyles

Photo Blaze86 | Dreamstime.com

Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Fashion, Green, Health, Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning, ,

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102 comments

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8:08AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Noted, Thanks!

12:28AM PST on Feb 6, 2012

Thanks fore the article.

4:01AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Thanks

4:42AM PDT on May 4, 2011

Yes, I hope enough of the good.

3:05PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

Noted with thanks.

12:11PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

i clean my clothes on washing machines and it is good to know green dry cleaning

9:40AM PDT on Apr 4, 2011

Nature dried clothes are best

9:37AM PDT on Apr 4, 2011

I don't like dry cleaners. Their is nothing like the smell of fresh line dried clothes on the clothes line outside. I don't even use a dryer to dry clothes. At least this way is chemical free than having them dry cleaned. And I avoid buying clothes that have to be dry cleaned.

8:37AM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

By the way--Herman Cain for US president!

8:37AM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

By the way--Herman Cain for US president!

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