To understand the answer to this question you must first understand “dry cleaning”. In brief, it is any cleaning process for clothing and textiles that uses a chemical solvent other than water.
Dry cleaning is used to clean fabrics that degrade in water and delicate fabrics that cannot withstand the tumble of washing machines and clothes dryers.
Many dry cleaners use the chemical perchloroethylene or “perc” in their cleaning processes, predominantly for its ability to clean fabric without shrinking or fading.
However, as more information emerged about perc’s toxicity, some dry cleaners like ourselves saw the need to use alternative methods that are “organic” or “green.”
Silicone cleaning uses a patented Siloxane D5 solution. It is not a classified air contaminant nor is it linked to any chronic illness making it a popular green choice.
The K4 System is a dry cleaning technology that does not pose a risk to air, water, humans or soil. Liquid carbon dioxide cleaning is a method that uses pressurised liquid CO2 in place of perc. In this process, at the end of the cleaning cycle, the liquid CO2 is pumped back into the storage tank to be reused.
Wet Cleaning is a version of laundering in which garments are cleaned with water, special detergents and high-tech machines and then put on tensioning equipment to reshape them. This method uses roughly the same inputs as your home laundry machine.
The green dry cleaning choice we’ve made at DryGreen Uk
Having listened to our customers’ preference for “greener” solutions, and as more information emerged about perc’s toxicity, today Dry Green Uk offer three environmentally friendly and extremely gentle green dry cleaning processes that bring a fresh, deep, odour free clean.
Research has shown that each of these processes are truly non-toxic – a safe and effective green cleaner for even the most delicate garments such as lace, silk, cashmere and beads.
The health benefits of Green Dry Cleaning
What most people don’t know is that most dry cleaners use a solvent known as perchloroethylene (perc) in the process of cleaning your clothes.
What everyone should know is that perc is toxic and contaminates the air we breathe. It is a hazardous classified substance and one of the top four dangerous contaminants found in our drinking water.
Perc can enter your body simply through inhalation or touch. In February 2012, based on new scientific evidence, the U.S EPA reclassified perc as a “likely” human carcinogen and concluded that chronic exposure to perc can cause harm to the nervous system, reproduction and development, kidney and liver disease, immune system and hematologic system at much lower levels than previously estimated.
In 2008, California became the first state to ban both the use of perc and the purchase of new perc machines, a move widely regarded as the beginning of the end of perc solvents in the U.S. In stark contrast the outlook for greener processes such as that of GreenEarth is excellent. GreenEarth Cleaning is the only alternative solvent to perform and openly report extensive testing on the environmental and safety profile of its cleaning system.
Over $30 million worth of independent testing and research has been done on D5 liquid silicone in the U.S to confirm that there are no risks to public safety resulting from its use in all of its many applications, including dry cleaning.
Independent waste stream and air exposure testing confirmed that liquid silicone as used in daily dry cleaning operation exceeds all requirements for water and air safety.
In 2008, after an exhaustive 18 month review of scientific data around the health and human safety of GreenEarth’s D5 solution, California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) affirmed GreenEarth as an acceptable dry cleaning solvent alternative and based on the available exposure information, the use of D5 in GreenEarth’s patented dry cleaning process will not pose risk to the public living near businesses using D5. GreenEarth meets and exceeds all regulatory requirements and regulations in all states.
Additionally, an evaluation by the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency also stated that
“No risks are identified from the production and all uses of D5 for the air, water and the terrestrial compartments, nor for man exposed via the environment.”
All of the above options are clearly better for the earth, dry cleaning industry workers, and our health – a greener dry cleaning option than conventional dry cleaning.