Go green when you dry clean! Did you know that more than 70% of dry cleaners use perchloroethylene (perc), a chemical solvent that’s been linked to cancer? Even short term exposure to perc can cause headaches, dizziness, and other neurological side effects, making it hazardous for dry cleaning workers as well as the environment.
Luckily, there are alternatives to perc. The first is so-called “wet cleaning,” using special non-toxic detergents that are milder than home products and won’t damage clothes. Combined with professional pressing, steaming, and finishing, this method is as effective as traditional dry cleaning.
The other way for dry cleaners to go green is to use liquid carbon dioxide as a cleaning solvent, along with detergent. Liquid CO2, the stuff used to carbonate soft drinks, is non-toxic and reusable and–because it’s a by-product of existing industrial processes–environmentally friendly. This method also requires less energy than traditional dry cleaning because the solvent doesn’t need to be heated.