The chemicals involved in dry cleaning are so harmful that you shouldn’t hang your freshly dry cleaned clothing in your bedroom, let alone allow it to touch your skin.
Perchloroethylene (perc), a solvent and volatile organic compound (VOC), is the strong-smelling chemical used at most traditional dry cleaners. Though very effective for removing odors and stains, perc is not removed from the clothing during the washing process—it stays in the fabric and lingers for days or even weeks. The toxins are not only absorbed through your skin when you wear dry cleaned clothes, but if you hang the clothing in your bedroom you are breathing in perc vapors eight hours a night as you sleep.
DRY CLEANING SOLUTION
Call around and look online for dry-cleaners who employ less toxic paraffin-based cleaning agents such as DF 2000®, Pure Dry®, and EcoSolv®, or who use any of the propylene glycol ethers marketed as Rynex®, Impress®, en-X®, and Solvair®. If you can, specifically seek out cleaners that use liquid CO2. It is effective, nontoxic, and easy on the environment.
Even dry cleaners that claim to be “green” may still use harmful chemicals. Always ask about their cleaning methods and what substances they use. If you’re unfamiliar with their process, do some research of your own to see if the toxicity is questionable.
Go to http://nodryclean.com/ to find some alternative dry cleaning options in your area.
You might find that you can carefully hand wash many of your “dry clean only”.