Conventional dry cleaning services are not eco-friendly. They use petroleum-based chemicals to clean your clothes and those chemicals end up on and in your body and in the environment. The most widely used dry cleaning solvent is tetrachloroethylene, also called perchloroethylene; it's commonly abbreviation is perc. Perc is a dangerous chemical. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified perc as a hazardous air contaminant, needing to be handled as a hazardous waste. Conventional dry cleaning services also yield waste, like cooked power residue or cooked muck and sludge. Both the muck and the sludge wastes are considered to be hazardous. Thankfully, there is an alternative.
EnviroCitizen.org has found that more and more dry cleaners throughout the United States are adopting more eco-friendly practices. One such practice that is gaining momentum is the adoption of GreenEarth, a chemical-free dry cleaning solution. Instead of using petroleum-based solvents, like most dry cleaning chemicals, GreenEarth is a liquid silicone solution made from an abundant resource: sand.
The great thing about GreenEarth is that it doesn't damage your clothing like conventional dry cleaning solvents will. It is also better for your health and much, much better for the environment. GreenEarth effectively removes stains and soil from your clothing without actually “touching” the fabric fibers. The company GreenEarth, created, developed, patented and produces the GreenEarth cleaning solution. So, if you have to take your clothes to a dry cleaner, find one in your area that uses the GreenEarth solution. That way, you'll be assured that your dry cleaning will be better for your health, better for your clothing and much better for the environment.
Another alternative to conventional dry cleaning is to launder your dry-clean-only clothing at home. There are some exceptions to the clean only instruction. The Care Labeling law, which regulates those little tags on your clothing, only requires companies to communicate one method of cleaning to consumers, not all acceptable methods. Since companies want their tags to be small and cheap, they often do not offer more than the required one method of cleaning. Use your own judgment in this matter. In general, an item should be taken to a professional dry cleaner (who uses GreenEarth, of course) if the garment in question is made from acetate fibers, rayon fibers, leather or suede. When washing dry-clean-only clothing at home, hand-wash them with a biodegradable, gentle soap in cold water. Lay it flat to dry. For many items of clothing, this is sufficient to get it clean and won't ruin the garment. EnviroCitizen.org encourages you to use your own judgment and if you're in doubt, take your clothing to a dry cleaner that uses GreenEarth. That way, you can have clean clothes, better health and you'll significantly reduce your environmental impact.