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Green Dry Cleaning

Updated on October 7, 2011

Green Dry Cleaning

Have you walked into a  typical dry cleaners lately? If you have, you couldn't possibly be surprised to hear that there are dangerous chemicals being used there. You can smell them when you walk through the door!

You are paying to have your finest clothing soaked in chemicals that are toxic to both you and the planet. Green dry cleaning techniques provide an excellent option in clothing care.

The Problem With Dry Cleaning

The solvent used by the majority of dry cleaners is a chemical called perchlorethylene or perc. This chemical is responsible for a long list of negative health effects from headaches to kidney damage.

The EPA has classified perc as a likely human carcinogen. Stricter regualtions are on the way, but perc has already been proven hazardous to the health of workers employed in the dry cleaning industry and to the people who live in close proximity to a dry cleaning facility.

Green Dry Cleaning
Green Dry Cleaning

Environmental Pollution From Dry Cleaning

Unfortunately, even if you aren't exposing yourself to clothing cleaned in perc, you may be exposed to it in other ways. It pollutes the air, ground and water as well. It is thought that the amount of perc in the environment at large is too small to have a negative impact on the average person’s health, but there have not been extensive studies done to prove this.

What if you mix it in with other chemicals - like pesticides or chemical additives in our food, home cleaning and personal care products? No one knows what this lovely chemical cocktail is doing to our health long term. Care to venture a guess?

Getting the chemicals out of your life is a challenge, but worth the effort. Green dry cleaning stores are beginning to pop up across the country, making going green just a little bit easier. It won't even cost you more money to do the right thing!

Green dry cleaning is completely non-toxic, it's gentler on your clothes and harmless to the environment. Green dry cleaning will eliminate the need for chemical dry cleaning entirely.

Green Dry Cleaning in Pittsburg, PA

Green dry cleaning may not be available in your neighborhood just yet, but will likely open soon! While you are waiting, here are some options to dry cleaning that will help you avoid the chemical exposure and protect the health of your family and the planet.

What are the other options for caring for your sensitive fabrics? I discovered (accidentally) that many of the items marked dry clean only can be thrown in the washer with good results (try the gentle or handwash cycle). Many items will last longer if they are hand washed rather than dry cleaned.

  • Hand wash as many items as possible to avoid dry cleaning. Save money and avoid the toxins!
  • Use the hand wash or delicate cycle on your washing machine.
  • Air out natural fabrics after wearing. Wool, for example, doesn't need to be cleaned as often.
  • Ask your local cleaner to investigate and consider adding a non-perc option to their services.
  • In the future, buy clothing doesn't require dry cleaning. This may not always be possible, but more designers are using natural eco-friendly fabrics that require less care. Keep an eye out for them!

If you do use traditional dry cleaning methods, be careful to air out your clothes outdoors before putting them on. If you transport them home in the car, keep your car windows open to prevent inhalation of the dry cleaning fumes.Put a little pressure on your local dry cleaners to go green. Ask them to investigate green dry cleaning possibilities!

Keep the dangerous chemicals away from your skin, and the toxins out of your home. It's only a matter of time until there is an green dry cleaning service in your area!


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    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the suggestion - I'll check it out!

    • profile image

      FreshCloz 

      8 years ago

      Great hub, thanks for sharing. Now we have a new product called FreshCloz, it is also a green dry cleaning alternative, you can fresh up clothes at home, don't have to go to the dry cleaning.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the info greenercleaner. Best of luck with your business!

    • profile image

      greenercleaner 

      8 years ago

      Sydney Australia has one of the best Eco Friendly dry cleaners

      If you are looking for an Environmentally Friendly dry cleaners in Sydney, then go to Greener Cleaner dry cleaners and ask for Kris Anderson on 1300 796 776 or email him kris@greenercleaner.net.au for his free home delivery service!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Foxility and Mr. Nice! So many people use dry cleaning services but have no understanding of how it works or how it effects the environment and their own health. I wrote this hub in the hopes of sharing this knowledge so everyone can make an educated choice. Green dry cleaning eliminates all of the toxins that traditional dry cleaners have used for years, and the people who work or live near by have sometimes suffered the fatal consequences of overexposure to perc. Thank you for reading - spread the word!

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 

      9 years ago from North America

      Majority of people are not aware of these health risks. Thanks for sharing the info.

    • foxility profile image

      foxility 

      9 years ago

      Wow! I didn't know any of this, I never even thought about it. I will look for a safer alternative, maybe one I can use at home or something. Well I'm really glad I read this... thanks

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      You're welcome, Equusport! I hate that smell too and am glad to be rid of it. The sooner consumers dmand green dry cleaning practices, the faster we will see traditional cleaners make the switch! Thanks for reading. :)

    • equusport profile image

      equusport 

      9 years ago from Horse Captial of the World

      Just the mention of that "smell," is nauseating. I am so glad you've brought this to the attention of other's. I will be looking for 'green' dry cleaner's in my area and it will be nice not to have to mix a nice perfume, with that nasty smell that always seems to linger. Thanks for another noteworthy hub!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you all for the comments! Green dry cleaning will hopefully become the only method of dry cleaning in the near future. Perc is dangerous for us all and the EPA should regulate it's use carefully. Green dry cleaning may seem like a small change - but it really would make a huge difference for your health and the health of the planet!

      (Thanks dayzeebee - it's good to be back! :) )

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Wow, this is an eye opener. Thanks for another great informative hub. Glad to see you making more hubs again. Missed you. Take care now.:)

    • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

      Julie-Ann Amos 

      9 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

      This is useful and I had wondered whether there were green ways to deal with things that need dry cleaning!

    • Reynolds_Writing profile image

      Reynolds_Writing 

      9 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Interesting Hub. I learned a few things!!! Too bad most of my work clothes require dry cleaning...

    • profile image

      Recycle Dude 

      9 years ago

      This is a very good article. It is helpful that many people are becoming aware of this issue with dry cleaning chemicals. More people knowing and asking will help the community. There is always room for improvement and this points out a sure way to get things moving in your community. Com'mon people, we can do it ;)

    • profile image

      Catherina Severin 

      9 years ago

      Great hub... most people are unaware of the influence of these toxins not only physically but energetically as well. The influence can actually trigger imbalanced emotional states like depression, anger and anxiety because the system is stressed by the toxins. A way to know is if the pulse rises when dressing in chemically cleansed clothes. xx

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