You probably know that most dry cleaners use Perchlorethylene (PERC). But did you know that PERC is a suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin?
It’s true. Most dry cleaners use dry cleaning chemicals that are toxic.
PERC is a probable human carcinogen. You can be exposed by breathing it or through your skin.
Why It’s Time to Rethink Dry Cleaning Chemicals
It’s probably a good idea to reduce your exposure. But how do you reduce dry cleanings and still look great?
Try these five ways to rethink dry cleaning.
1. Consider Pressing Only
Many times your suits and other dry clean only apparel simply need pressing and not cleaning. Consider requesting “pressing only” as an option to reduce the number of dry cleanings. This will also extend the life of your clothes.
2. Remove Plastic & Air Out Clothes
Remove the plastic dry cleaning bags before hanging clothes in your closet. Take dry cleaned items outside to air out.
3. Find a Green Alternative
4. Try Hand Washing
Many apparel manufacturers use ‘dry clean only’ labels when dry cleaning is unnecessary. Consider hand washing some of your linen, silk and cashmere clothing, especially pieces without a lining.
5. Freshen Clothing Using Your Dryer
Use your dryer to freshen wool and cotton sweaters, scarves and slacks that are dry clean only. Set your dryer on medium for 15-20 minutes and add 3 or 4 items at a time. Use wool dryer balls and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil like Lavender or Clary Sage.
Not familiar with wool dryer balls? Learn about the ideal substitute for dryer sheets.
The key is to hang your clothes immediately and not let them sit in the dryer gathering wrinkles. Your clothes will smell clean and look great without a hint of dry cleaning fluid.
Admit it. You’re hesitating.
If you’re hesitant at first, try some of your older sweaters and convince yourself that the dryer method works. You’ll love the results.
PERC is Retained & Increases with Repeated Cleanings
Here’s a closing thought:
A 2013 study conducted at Georgetown University shows that PERC is retained in dry-cleaned clothes and that PERC levels increase with repeat cleanings.
Kinda scary, isn’t it?
But you can still look great and protect your health by rethinking dry cleaning.