Eco Friendly Dry Cleaning Alternatives
Dry cleaners have a notoriously lousy reputation. Some don’t trust them because they have ruined or lost an article of clothing. Mine has more to do with personal and environmental health and safety. Dry cleaning isn’t really “dry.” Dry cleaning involves using a liquid solvent called perchloroethylene, commonly called PERC. These chemicals help remove dirt and odours from clothing garments. What really scared me was learning that these solvents are then filtered or distilled from the water they cycle in because of they must be disposed of separately – as a hazardous waste. Yet, it seems perfectly okay to allow these chemicals to be used on clothing we wear against our skin. Wet cleaning on the other hand, uses detergents and water. Professional wet cleaning services and machines have the ability to control agitation and temperatures based on the type of material being cleaned. With the wet cleaning method, dry cleaners can make a choice to use non-toxic detergents. And while it seems that not all garments can be cleaned using the less harmful wet cleaning process, it is definitely a step in a greener direction. (Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency: Wet Cleaning Report) So, how can you know that your local dry cleaner is going greener? We’ve been digging up some dirt to make your quest to find a lesser toxic solution easier: 3 things to ask your dry cleaner What solvents do you use to clean garments and is it biodegradable? Do you have a hanger recycling and reuse program? Is the plastic or poly used to protect clothing garments recyclable or biodegradable? Online searching terms to use to find your perfect fit: Eco-friendly dry cleaner [enter city here] Environmentally friendly dry cleaner [enter city here] Wet cleaning vs dry cleaning [enter city here] And if you live in Vancouver, you’re in luck – we’ve used our own tactics to find local, eco friendly dry cleaners Shirtland on Powell Street in East Vancouver has convenient hours of operation and a great location for anyone heading in or out of downtown. They also offer same day service. West Boulevard Cleaners is located in Kerrisdale. Their water based system is gentle yet effective. They are committed to going even greener by eliminating dry cleaning all together because of their new technology. Helping Hand Cleaners is located in the Cambie district. They are Certified Wet Cleaners, and according to a press release, were the first Canadian dry cleaners to achieve this certification.