What is an alternative to traditional dry cleaning? When most people need to have their clothes cleaned, there are usually two options: laundry, or dry cleaning. For special, delicate fabrics like silks, wools, linens, and others, dry cleaning is usually the most accepted way of cleaning these items.
Even though the process is known as “dry,” the cleaning method isn’t exactly dry. Water is not required; rather, dry cleaning uses other liquid solvents to clean the delicate fabrics.
But most cleaners use “traditional” dry cleaning solvents – which can be harsh petrochemicals that are harmful for you, your clothes, and the planet. Read more to find out alternatives to these potentially harmful cleaning methods.
Different chemicals such as kerosene, turpentine, and gasoline were chemicals used from the very early days of the dry cleaning industry. Unfortunately, most cleaners are still using chemicals that are similar to these harsh chemicals, such as Perchloroethylene (PCE) and hydrocarbon, which are still the two most widely used chemicals these days.
These chemicals are made from petroleum and are referred to as “petrochemicals”, and if you think about it, it is kind of like giving your clothes a bath in gasoline. These traditional dry cleaning solvents contribute to air pollution and water pollution, and some of the most dangerous chemicals, like perchloroethylene, have even been banned in many states and even some countries.
If you buy dry cleanable clothing, you should know that there are now many widely accepted alternatives to traditional dry cleaning. We recommend educating yourself about one of the many green cleaning alternatives out there, so then you can wear any garment you would like and still minimize the impact on our planet.
1. Hand Washing
It may not always be feasible to hand clean clothes that are for dry cleaning only, however it is possible. There are mild eco-friendly detergents available in the market that can clean such clothes.
Just make sure to be careful while washing those clothes and be gentle with them. An example of such detergent can be Planet Inc.’s delicate laundry wash. You can use detergents as such to clean fabrics such as silks, lace, sweaters, etc. We do not recommend ever washing these items in a laundry machine, and definitely air-dry and never dry in a machine dryer.
2. Professional Wet Cleaning
This process is one of the most eco-friendly dry-cleaning alternatives you can find, because it uses water to clean clothes that have the “dry clean only” label. The origins of professional wet cleaning dates back to ancient times, and in fact shares a lot of similarities with hand washing!
Professional wet cleaning accomplishes the same eco-friendly cleaning as hand washing by using specialized equipment that mimics the natural hand cleaning methods, but with machines. This process also uses milder soaps and detergents to clean items with water and then specialized pressing equipment to prevent wrinkling while also making sure that items do not shrink while drying.
Nearly all experts agree that this is the most eco-friendly option if you want to use a professional cleaning service to make your clothes look their best and minimize the impact on the earth.
3. GreenEarth Dry Cleaning
Another good substitute for dry cleaning can be GreenEarth dry cleaning (liquid silicone) cleaning. This cleaning process, used by select dry cleaners around the world, is one of the most eco-friendly dry cleaning solvents, since it is biodegradable and breaks down into three trace elements of sand, water, and CO2. GreenEarth is one of the most earth-safe processes for dry cleaning.
GreenEarth is odorless and colorless, and leaves clothes cleaner, brighter, and softer than ever before.
4. Steam cleaning
The next on the list is steam cleaning. To try steam cleaning, place any non-wool or silk item in the dryer along with a damp towel. For 20-30 minutes, run the dryer until the towel is dry. The combination of the damp towel, heat, and air-flow, will remove some of the stains and odors that were present on the clothes previously.
5. Wash bags
Wash bags, also known as dryer bags, can sometimes be a useful alternative to traditional dry cleaning. While not terribly effective as a stain remover, wash bags can be somewhat effective for odor removal. The was hbag contains a cleaning solution in small amounts and has some stain treating abilities. To use them, simply place your clothes in the bag. There is a sheet that comes with the bag will draw impurities out from the clothes without damaging them. Wash bags are best for light cleaning.
We need to consider more eco-friendly dry cleaners to reduce the harmful impacts that traditional dry cleaning has the plane. Eco-dry cleaners are better for us and better for the plant, as they ensure a safer and cleaner process to clean your clothes.
Greener Cleaner is the very first cleaner in the United States to offer wet cleaning, and so we have the most experience of anyone else you will find. We can you’re your clothes always look their best, and we do so with very eco-friendly processes. From bridal gowns to leather items to household items, all clothing types can be cleaned by us, so you’ll never have to worry about harsh chemicals on your clothes again.
If you are searching for an organic dry cleaner in Chicago, then Greener Cleaner has been considered the best green cleaner in Chicago for more than two decades. You can come to one of our stores or get pickup and delivery of our green dry cleaning service at no extra charge. We have one of the largest dry cleaning delivery services in Chicago and can even ship your clothing to you if you live too far.
Our clothing is a huge part of who we are, and a big part of our unique identities. For any occasion, we need to have clothes that represent us well, and are always clean and neatly pressed. With the knowledge you’ve gained from this article, you now never have to worry about harsh chemicals cleaning your clothes again, because you can now choose any of the green dry cleaning alternatives which you have read about here.
Lastly, we know that it can sometimes be hard to find eco-friendly dry cleaner to provide organic cleaning at a reasonable price, so Greener Cleaner now delivers to nearly all of Chicagoland. In addition, we have begun a mail order service so that we now service the entire United States. So now, everyone in the US has access to high quality green dry cleaning services!