Dry-cleaning, most commonly used for our silks, wools, linens and leathers seemed to be a harmless way to get the job done. However the most commonly used chemical in dry cleaning is perchloroethylene, which to our misfortune has been labeled as a carcinogenic chemical. Studies show that perchloroethylene can cause menstrual irregularities, fertility problems and even spontaneous abortions among women who work at dry-cleaning facilities. Aside from the toxicity of the cleaning agents there is also the issue with dry-clean extras such as the plastic bags and hangers. Often time customers forget about these and end up throwing them away which later end up somewhere in a landfill.
There are alternatives to dry-cleaning, such as the most recent developments with hydrocarbon technology as well as a take home application where a plastic bag is used to run your clothes through the drying machine. Another alternative option that dry-cleaning places are offering are Wet cleaning. Instead of using toxic chemicals a temperature controlled computer device and combination of steam remove stains. 85% of stains are water soluble and the last 15 are oil based. For this reason Wet cleaning can achieve optimum results with simple water and mild detergent. Although dry-cleaning is not the hottest topic on how we can support our "going green" ways of living, it is yet again another way we can show the earth and those bearing children at our local dry-cleaners, that we care.