Natural Alternatives to Dry Cleaning
Why choose natural alternatives to dry cleaning? The answer is because the toxin PERC, which is used by dry cleaners, is polluting the air, water, and can cause innumerable health conditions if one is exposed to it. To this end, here are a number of natural alternatives you can utilize:
* Wet cleaning. Wet cleaning is the process by which water and detergents (which are non-toxic) are used. It is also a viable solution and one that has been approved by the EPA.
* Dryel cleaning. Using a product called Dryel, which is available in sheets much like fabric softeners, you place your clothes in a dryer and add the Dryel. It also comes with spot treatments for stains. While this product isn’t 100% natural, it is a far safer alternative to dry cleaning which contaminates your clothing (and air) with PERC.
* Home washing. Believe it or not, there are clothes which, while the label says “dry clean only” can be washed at home. Whether you use cold water, gentle cycle, or slightly warm water, simply lay the items out on a towel to dry. This is especially true if you think shrinkage may occur. For example, sweaters can be reshaped just after you take them out of the wash and lay them on a towel. In addition, rayon and silk clothing has successfully been washed as well. Note: For items that absolutely need to be dry cleaned, find a store that uses CO2.
* Avoid buying clothes that need to be dry cleaned. This is probably the safest and most practical way to avoid toxins. Moreover, look at the money you will save on dry cleaning bills.
* Snow cleaning. This is a process described in detail in the book Organic Housekeeping. You literally use snow to clean items such as wool and carpeting.
* Check online listings of dry cleaners that utilize safe methods. You can go online and check the list of dry cleaners that do not use perc, as well as check with your state EPA to obtain the laws applicable to dry cleaners.
* Take care of your clothing. Experts suggest that in order to avoid having to dry clean your clothes, clean up spills immediately, brush those of your clothes that contain lint, and wear an undergarment that will prevent the underarm stains that sometimes appear on clothes.
* Use steam cleaning. Another suggestion by experts is to hang your garments in the bathroom and turn on the shower, or to hang them up while showering.
* Teach by example. How many times do you tell your kids to hang up their clothes as soon as they undress? Well, this is great advice for keeping clothes fresh. Experts suggest you air out the clothes before hanging them in the closet. Good advice.
As the world community continues its commitment to saving our eco-system and our environment, we as citizens of this earth can help in this regard by finding natural alternatives to dry cleaning. It is a small price to pay for the greater good, don’t you agree?