Modern environmental concerns have led to a need for more environmentally friendly dry cleaning. Luckily, more and more cleaners are switching to more eco friendly cleaning solvents to attract customers concerned about the environment. But what are green dry cleaners? How do you know that you’re really getting the eco friendly service you’re paying for?
There are many different eco-friendly cleaning options out there, but some may not be as green as the cleaner makes them out to be. But, before you get too discouraged and start bemoaning the horrid nature of the world remember, all you need to do is find out which methods are most eco-friendly and then ask the cleaner which method they use. There are also a few websites that list green dry cleaners throughout the country. Here’s a look at the different environmentally friendly methods of dry cleaning to look for.
This is more similar to actually washing clothing than to dry cleaning, but has been found not to damage most clothing. The soap used is environmentally friendly and the process of cleaning involves cleaning in water and then reshaping the fabric afterwards. This is considered to be one of the most eco-friendly options available, but you may want to check whether or not a chemical is used to pre-treat stains.
This is a method that is similar to traditional dry cleaning in the sense that no water is used. However, there are no toxic chemicals used. Carbon dioxide is converted to liquid, combined with detergent and then back to gas for removal after cleaning. Some cleaners use traditional dry cleaning for tough stains while some stick to eco-friendly plant enzymes. You may want to check with the cleaner to learn the specifics of their methods.
This is a patented method by GreenEarth Cleaning, which is gentler on fabrics, nontoxic and biodegradable. There is some concern over research that showed tumors formed in rats. Other tests dispute this and some feel that the concerns don’t relate to humans anyway. Basically, no one can yet say definitively whether or not the method is completely safe, but more than likely it is.
This is petroleum based, but not hazardous like perchloroehtylene. However, it still contributes to smog and some may question how eco-friendly a product made from petroleum is. This method has fewer hazards, but to call it environmentally friendly when it comes from petroleum and contributes to smog is a little ridiculous.
Remember, if your dry cleaner doesn’t advertise which specific method is used for dry cleaning ask a couple questions to find out. This is the best way to make sure you get what you pay for.