Ever pick up your newly cleaned garment from the dry cleaners and notice that funny smell? Maybe you simply recognize it as “the dry cleaner smell” as many others do and simply ignore it. However, few might find it hard to ignore that smell if they have ever experienced green dry cleaning.
Traditional, or “old fashion” dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent called perchlorethylene or “perc” to lift stains and dirt from garments. Perc comes from petroleum and is what can give your clothes that unpleasant smell. Perc has also been proven to have negative health effects on the body and be a harmful pollutant to the earth. For this reason, many dry cleaners today are switching to greener methods of dry cleaning.
So whats the difference? Why was the green dry cleaning customer not accustomed to that unpleasant smell? It’s all in the solvent that is used. Green dry cleaning eliminates the use of perc and substitutes with less harmful solvents. The most common one today is Green Earth. Green Earth is made with pure liquid silicon which means it comes from sand, not oil. Unlike perc, it is completely odorless so there is no “dry cleaner smell” in your clothes afterwords. Green Earth doesn’t pose any environmental or health threats either. It can even be reused, and if not, simply breaks down into three basic components: sand, water and CO2.
So why aren’t all cleaners already green? Why are they still using that harmful chemical if everyone knows it’s bad? Change takes time and even know the demand is there, it will be a while before every dry cleaner eliminates the use of perc in there machines. Theres no doubt it’s coming though. In fact, the state of California has banned the use of perc altogether.
Keep an eye open in your area for green dry cleaners. If you find one, check it out! You’ll notice a difference and will know the owner has taking action towards a better future