The Green Cleaning

‘Organic’ and ‘Green’ Dry Cleaning

“The cleaning industry has a habit of stretching the ‘green thing,’ and the tags ‘Environmentally Friendly’ and ‘Organic,’ so you have to watch for that,” says Steve Boorstein, a former dry cleaner who dispenses clothing care advice on his website, www.clothingdoctor.com and in a new DVD, Clothing Care: The Clothing Doctor’s Secrets to Taking Control. Among the most common perc replacements is the petroleum-based solvent DF-2000, made by ExxonMobil. Because it’s hydrocarbon-based, to a chemist—and almost no one else—it’s considered an “organic” compound. The EPA cites risk of neurological damage and skin and eye irritation in workers using it, and since it doesn’t clean as well as perc on its own, dry cleaners often end up adding pretreatment chemicals.

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