While you most likely know, traditional dry cleaning involves toxic chemicals. Dry cleaners use tetrachloroethylene (generally referred to as “perc”), that is considered a probable human carcinogen, with exposure conferring an elevated chance of cervical and esophageal cancers, lymphoma, vision problems, and Parkinson’s disease. Perc enters the blood stream via respiration or through skin absorption, also it results in the water and air, so many of us are uncovered with a amount of these things.
Exactly how should we minimize our contact with perc?
Most dry cleaners continue using perc (yes, it’s still legal, even though it has been eliminated in certain states), but you’ve without doubt observed “organic” dry cleaning establishments appearing on your neighborhood. “Organic” gives mind stuff that are wholesome and healthy, which means this should be good, right? Well…it depends.
Where meals are concerned, the word “organic” describes an approach to growing that eschews using traps, herbicides, and fertilizers which may be dangerous to humans and also to the environment–yay! In many other contexts, however, “organic” simply describes any “compounds that contains carbon.”
Well, the majority of things on the planet fall under that category, including–you suspected it–perc! So technically, since the market is largely unencumbered by annoying government rules, any dry cleaner can place a big ORGANIC register their window.
So what’s a concerned lady with dirty cashmere sweaters to complete?
The good thing is that the growing quantity of establishments who promise themselves as organic cleaners truly are leaving perc, possibly since the people probably to suffer health issues from perc are individuals with chronic exposure (I cringe after i see women that are pregnant behind the counter of my local cleaners).
Some perc alternatives are secure, while some are simply illustrations of greenwashing. And merely to confuse the problem, they all are organic.
Gimme the good things exists to split up the good things in the bad and sneaky stuff, so let’s begin:
With regards to drycleaning, perc isn’t good stuff, obvi. I really hope I’ve sufficiently scared you out of trouble of ongoing to create your clothes to old-school dry cleaning places.
The Sneaky Stuff
- DF-2000. Some “organic” dry cleaners really don’t use perc nowadays. This sounds great, but you’ll have to ask if they’re utilizing a oil-based solvent known as DF-2000 instead. Created by Exxon-Mobile, DF-2000 is classed like a neurotoxin through the Environmental protection agency, even though I do think it’s less concerning than perc, it’s not, by stretch from the imagination, non-toxic.
- GreenEarth Cleaning. Your “organic” cleaner could use the GreenEarth Cleaning method, which depends on D-5 silicone (technically referred to as decamethylcyclopentasiloxane–spell check just put up) to wash garmets. This method sounded best to me initially since I’ve done lots of research on silicone also it appears to become harmless, however that D-5’s potential toxicity is basically unknown (some animal studies suggest that it could be cancer causing in large doses.) Overall, GreenEarth Cleaning is unquestionably much better than old-school perc dry cleaning, however the safety of D-5 continues to be questionable.
The Good Things
There are just two techniques that Personally i think comfortable classifying as “good” at this time:
- Liquid CO2 method. This method requires the conversion of co2 to the liquid form (then back to a gas) and it is entirely chemical-free. The gear needed with this technique is very pricey (up to six figures), so that your town might not have a cleaner who offers this. Note: In case your cleaner uses the Solvair tactic to do its CO2 cleaning, it uses Dipropylene Glycol n-Butyl Ether (or DPnB) as you component in the cleaning fluid. Whilst not natural, DPnB doesn’t confer the concerns connected using the ethylene glycols, that it’s frequently confused. Many bloggers (including this writer), as well as the Sierra Club, have incorrectly identified the solvent utilized by Solvair as highly toxic propylene glycol.
- Professional wet cleaning. Apparently , most “dry clean only” products can securely be cleaned with water and detergent, provided this is accomplished by special computerized machines available at select dry cleaning establishments.
Bottom line–here’s how you can securely have your clothes dry cleaned:
Disregard the “organic” sign. It’s meaningless. Rather, ask your dry cleaner when they offer wet cleaning, and when they don’t, locate an establishment that gives the liquid CO2 method.
Oh, and if you reside above or alongside a dry cleaners, it’s most likely worth getting the environment in your house tested to be certain you aren’t being uncovered to high (or perhaps low) amounts of perc every day.
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Organic Dry Cleaners
INAPPROPRIATE: There is one other solvent the fail to mention and that is Green Earth. It’s a liquid silicone.. Most dry cleaners shy away from it because it’s expensive.
Smart: Organic laundry using a Green soap… laundryorganiccom
Smart: Organic laundry using a Green soap…
justin thingy: nothing cleans like perc, which when handled responsibly, is no danger to anyone.
soylentgreenb: @mig189189189 In the 1930’s it was not uncommon to do dry-cleaning at home by handwashing clothes in gasoline. Needless to say, this is was very dangerous.
maxinebendix: Oh I think we’ve all just about heard enough of your dry cleaning obsessed desires, treacle! \r
What a liberty!
mig189189189: I would like to see a model of a Dry Cleaning Machine to use at home! Why they don’t make them?
mig189189189: I think it’s better than tradicional dry cleaning!
imlkrsfn: Organic dry cleaning is just marketing crap