GreenYour Dry cleaning
Use home dry cleaning kits
Use home dry cleaning kits to save money on dry cleaning bills and avoid perc, the potentially dangerous chemical solvent used by a majority of commercial dry cleaners.
Find it! Home dry cleaning kits
DIY dry cleaners rejoice: The popular home dry cleaning solutions listed below are available for purchase online and at a number of drugstores and supermarkets nationwide. You may still have to iron and/or press the garment yourself and for truly unruly stains, seeking out a professional dry cleaner is recommended—there are a growing number of eco-friendly establishments—but for a quick, sweet-smelling fix, treat yourself and that soiled silk blouse to the below products.
The perc-free Dryel Home Dry Cleaning Kit cleans up to 16 garments that would otherwise be sent to a commercial dry cleaner. Based on the average retail price, the Dryel Home Dry Cleaning Kit cares cleans each garment for around $.60 cents.
Using home dry cleaning kits helps you go green because…
- Besides cutting back on commercial dry cleaning expenses, using a dry cleaning kit in the comfort of your own laundry room doesn't involve the use of the hazardous chemical solvents associated with traditional dry cleaning.
- Garments sent away to be dry cleaned often come back wrapped in a plastic bag and other packaging. Home dry cleaning doesn't involve any excessive protective packaging that ends up in your trash and ultimately, a landfill.
Standard dry cleaning, despite its name, is neither a dry nor "clean” process. Approximately 85 percent of commercial dry cleaners use perchloroethylene (perc) as the liquid solvent in their cleaning method. Perc, which is also known as tetrachloroethylene, has been known to cause short-term side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Prolonged inhalation exposure is linked to chronic kidney, liver and reproductive damage, and may also increase the risk of cancer. An individual cleaner only uses about 140 gallons of perc per year, but when this is multiplied by 30,000 businesses it amounts to approximately 4.2 million gallons of perc that are used annually.
Perc itself does not deplete the ozone, but when broken down it may combine with other chemicals and contribute to ozone depletion. All solvents, both industrial (e.g. dry cleaning) and non-industrial (e.g. paint thinners), release greenhouse gases. Dry cleaning solvents comprise approximately 6 percent of hydrocarbons emissions of overall solvent emissions and also contribute to carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
- Consumer Reports - Dry-cleaning alternatives
- Howstuffworks - How Home Dry Cleaning Works
- Drycleaning & Laundry Institute - Home drycleaning Kits: What They Can and Cannot Do
- US Environmental Protection Agency - Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Web Site: Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene)
- US Environmental Protection Agency - Compliance Assistance For Dry Cleaners
- US Environmental Protection Agency - Design for the Environment (DfE): Frequently Asked Questions About Drycleaning
- US Environmental Protection Agency - Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005, Chapter 5