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Want to live longer? Here's why green dry cleaners trump traditional dry cleaners in keeping you healthy

by , 12 July 2013

Green living is all the rage - from organic food to environmentally friendly clothes made from natural fibres, everyone is looking to improve their health by avoiding chemically-laden food and clothing. But did you know that there's a trend occurring in the dry-cleaning industry?

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According to Going Green Cheap and Easy, traditional dry cleaners are known for the use of harsh solvents to remove stains from clothing.

The chemical most widely used is called perchloroethylene. This dangerous chemical can cause major ill illnesses, including cancer.

And depending on your exposure, it can irritate your upper respiratory tract and eyes, affect the functioning of your kidneys, liver and central nervous system and cause dizziness, loss of coordination and even unconsciousness.

With this type of track record for the potential to poison in the name of cleaning, it’s no wonder green dry cleaners have been born.

Here are the three types of green dry cleaning you can use:

#1: Wet cleaning: This cleaning method uses water, but with milder detergents than what’s used in conventional dry cleaning. There are no hazardous chemicals used or waste products created, which means a lower risk of environmental contamination into the soil or water.

#2: CO2 cleaning: This method uses carbon dioxide and detergent to clean clothing. The CO2 is the same non-toxic type that’s used to carbonate cool drinks. The CO2 is actually captured from other industrial processes rather than allowing it to be emitted into the air as a pollutant. There aren’t as many of these cleaners as wet cleaners because they require an industrial source for their method.

#3: Hand washing: Another way to green-clean clothes is by hand-washing them. Many clothes that say ‘dry clean only’ can withstand a gentle hand washing using a mild soap. Try not to twist the garments, as this is generally what causes them to lose their shape.
Also, use cool water when hand-washing items, since hot water has a shrinking effect on some fabrics.

There you have it. Living a healthier and environmentally friendly lifestyle also involves the method you use to dry clean your clothes. It may be worth it to consider making the change. After all, your health is at stake.

To locate a green dry cleaner near you go to www.goinggreen.co.za/directory.

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