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Organic and Green Dry Cleaning

Posted Dec 10 2008 4:11pm


Want to go green and look sharp doing it?
Choose an organic dry cleaner instead of a conventional one. But before you give them your business, make sure they are using a CO2 cleaning process. This process involves non-toxic liquid CO2 - the same stuff used to put the pop in your soda-pop. The liquid CO2 is captured as a by-product of industrial processes, thus caputuring and putting to good use carbon that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere. Plus, CO2 cleaning processes use less energy than traditional cleaning methods which require the chemical solvents to be heated.
But consumer beware, just because a dry cleaner advertises itself to be “organic”, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is chemical free. Some dry cleaners advertise themselves as organic when they actually use a carbon-based solvent called DF -2000. It’s not as toxic as PERC (a skin and eye irritant and neurotoxin). It is a petroleum-based method that still contributes to global warming.
To minimize your exposure from toxins when picking up an item that has been dry cleaned, remove the wrapper outside or in your garage. Let your clothes air out for a day before wearing them. In the future, try to purchase clothing that doesn’t need to be dry cleaned. Save dry cleaning for the special occasion items like suits and dresses. Also, keep in mind that many clothing items are labeled “dry clean only” because the clothing manufacturer does not want to be liable for any damage, even though most fabrics are easily cleaned at home.
Also, you can return those hangers and plastic garment bags to the cleaners so that they can be reused.
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