Organic Dry Cleaning, is it truly Organic?
Can organic dry cleaning be truly organic if there isn’t a certified agency to control such measures? The simple answer is no. It cannot be truly organic, but there are ways to make it more eco-friendly. Luckily, the state of California is leading the way by helping the future generations phase out the use of perchloroethylene by 2023. This chemical, also known as perc, is how the clothes become clean without the use of water; hence dry cleaning. The Environmental Protection Agency considers perc hazardous to our health and environment. Since the 1990’s alternative methods in dry cleanings, such as wet cleaning, silicon-based solvent, liquid carbon dioxide cleaning, and DF-2000 hydrocarbon solvent, have become more popular.
Wet cleaning and liquid carbon dioxide cleaning are the two safest:
Wet cleaning is precisely that, wet. Water and mild detergents along with computerized washers and dryers are used to make the clothes look their best. Due to this gentle cleaning method, the EPA considers it as one of the safest because of “no hazardous chemical use, no hazardous waste generation, no air pollution, and reduced potential for water and soil contamination.” The other option, liquid carbon dioxide, uses CO2 along with detergent as the cleaning solvent. Although this technique is considered eco-friendly, most dry cleaners opt out of using this method. The machinery used to administer CO2 is very expensive making it the least favored of the two.
Next time you need dry cleaning, ask which technique they use in the cleaning process. If your favorite dry cleaner doesn’t offer either method, let them know the state of California provides grant money to dry cleaners that switch from perc to either wet cleaning or CO2 to help promote healthy alternatives to the consumers and owners. Spread the word about eco-friendly methods and remember to look for either wet cleaning or liquid CO2 as the healthiest options.