There it is, hanging limply

There it is, hanging limply

Hanging limply (and let’s face it, rather messily) in the laundry room are several dry clean only items that I’ve been staring at for several months. Since my journey into green started, I’ve heard about the perils of conventional dry cleaning, though the solutions weren’t as readily known. So I’ve waited until I can wait no longer to deal with them.

It’s finally time to clean-up my dry cleaning pile with greener options!

As usual, I’ll provide a little background on why the dry cleaning shop around the corner may not be the best choice in terms of my health or the environment:

  • Perchloroethylene (commonly known as “perc”) is a commercial cleaner used in most dry cleaning shops. A liquid solvent, it has been implicated in many health problems: nausea, headaches, kidney and liver damage, and even cancer.
  • Most “finished” dry cleaned clothing comes home in a plastic bag and on one of those wretched wire hangers. I won’t keep the wire hanger so that’s wasted resources and the plastic is basically useless as well.
  • Bringing home prec-infused clothing pollutes my indoor air as it off-gases, which isn’t good for my family or the animals living with us.

Three potential alternatives to perc include a silicone solvent called GreenEarth, decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (known as siloxane or D5), and hydrocarbon solvents, which go by names like DF2000. So I could look for a dry cleaner that uses one of these chemicals, though it seems like that would be a slim possibility in my neighborhood.

Instead, I’m going to opt to dry clean my clothing at home. There are a couple of options now—Dryel and Dry Cleaner’s Secret—neither of which contain perc. You’ll pay more to buy the kit than to dry clean a few things commercially, but the upfront investment should pay for itself, since the kits do many sets of cleaning and last for a good long time. They’re cheaper and they’re greener!

And for future reference, I’m going to be looking out for the “dry clean only” tags on new clothing, steering clear of those options if I can to save the expense and the hassle of cleaning.

– Lucy goes green


8 Responses to “There it is, hanging limply”
  1. Bev says:

    I’m always bummed when I buy a new outfit, go to wash it and realize it’s “Dry Clean Only.” I need to make more of an effort to use my Dryel kit (I think I have one…) instead of bringing it to the dry cleaner. Those plastic bags drive me nuts!

    Stopping by from SITS!

  2. I’m curious to know if there is a dry cleaner near me that doesn’t use perc. I’ll have to do some digging.
    Nicole Robinson @TheBookWormMama recently posted…3 Things Wise Parents Do Before Saving for Their Child’s College EducationMy Profile

  3. Stephanie says:

    This is why I don’t like to get the dry clean only items. I like easy and simple.
    Stephanie recently posted…Constantly in MotionMy Profile

  4. Kendra @ Mommy, In Demand says:

    The thought of something off-gassing in my home is giving me the heebie-jeebies!!!! My mind has never gone to that before but goodness. Now I feel like my home is needs a good clean! Visiting from SITS! Thanks for the info!

  5. Seana Turner says:

    I agree on avoiding “dry clean only” tags whenever possible!
    Seana Turner recently posted…When To Hire HelpMy Profile

  6. I’ve avoided Dry Clean Only for years because I knew I didn’t have the time to take the clothes in and didn’t have the money to pay for the cleaning. Sometimes you can wash a dry clean only item if you are careful. I have bought Dry Clean Only items that I needed for special occasions. Thanks for the review of the products that can be used more or less safely at home. Enjoy your SITS Day.
    Sheila Skillingstead recently posted…The rain didn’t endMy Profile

  7. Karma says:

    Love this post!!! I am all about DIY-if you can, type of attitude in today’s world! My boyfriend was actually talking about bringing his shirts to the cleaners this weekend….guess we’re gonna out your recommendation!!

    Thanks! 🙂
    Karma recently posted…NOTthatkindofday: “Maniac” MondayMy Profile

  8. I’ve bought a few dry clean only things in the two years I’ve had this new job, but since it’s an office, I tend to wear them a few times before I worry about cleaning them. It makes picking the kids up after school more of an adventure, that’s for sure!
    Rabia @ TheLiebers recently posted…Happy Monday!! Oh, Wait! It’s Tuesday!My Profile