Because of these concerns, many dry cleaning companies are taking a look at non-toxic dry cleaning. One of these green alternatives to dry cleaning is the use of a pressurized CO2 process. Although more expensive than PERC, the cost in terms of human and environmental health is greatly reduced.
More and more consumers are demanding eco friendly dry cleaning in order to protect their health.
But did you know that you can take action and actually learn to dry clean at home?
This not only eliminates the concern of toxic chemicals, but also removes the need for plastic or wire hangers, or excess plastic, which just gets thrown into the landfills.
Home cleaning of your sensitive fabrics is much more environmentally friendly.
#1. To avoid the problem altogether, simply skip over clothing that requires dry cleaning.
Not only is dry cleaning expensive and time intensive, but the clothing typically costs more as well. Simple? Yes – but also effective!
#2. Hand Wash
Wool, angora, cashmere, and even rayon and silk can be gently washed by hand. Use a kind of mild soap designed for this purpose. Woolite or Castile are both quite effective if you plan to dry clean at home, and there are many earth friendly detergents as well. Be sure the water you use is warm, but no hot. You want to be able to comfortably dip your hands into the water for this purpose.
** Fill up your sink with warm water – about 100 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficiently warm. Use your gentle detergent and let the garment soak for a bit. Agitate the water and garment gently with your hands, and then rinse. Some experts advise adding some distilled white vinegar to the rinse water. Now simply reshape the garment and dry flat on a colorfast towel placed on a flat surface.
** If you are washing your silk items, the water can be a little warmer – 115 degrees F is acceptable.
#3. Garment steamer and other tools
If you have washed silk or other garments that tend to wrinkle as they dry, simply employ a garment steamer to get rid of the wrinkles. An added plus is that the heat from the steam will kill any bacteria.
** If you have an item of clothing that has debris or caked on dirt, you can use a linen or soft bristled brush to simply brush it off. If there is no stain remaining or no sign of soiling, a steamer can finish up the job for you.
Remember, unless you notice a stain or a piece of clothing is visibly dirty, you can wait to wash with soap and water. Items don’t necessarily have to be washed after a single wear. Your clothing will last longer and you’ll save money if you follow this practice.