Why “Dry Clean Only” Ought to be “Steam Clean Only”
Even worse, high doses of PERC have been linked to cancer and some people who have worked in the dry cleaning industry for extended periods of time have experienced reproductive problems thought to be related to PERC.
Another common dry cleaning solvent DF-2000 is not much better than PERC. DF-2000 is a hydrocarbon that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed as a skin irritant, eye irritant, and neurotoxin. Some dry cleaners bill themselves as “organic” and this may be true, as long as they are using a carbon dioxide based cleaner instead of DF-2000.
Steam Cleaning at Home is a Workable Alternative to Dry Cleaning
If you have clothes with “Dry Clean Only” tags, then the chances are good that you do not want to take a chance of ruining your wardrobe investment.
The good news is that many garments labeled “dry clean only” can be steam cleaned at home.
The steam cleaning solution is a gentle way to clean and refresh clothes, naturally. It sanitizes clothing, removes odors, and takes away wrinkles.
Although you can use portable steam cleaners, they can be labor intensive. New steam washing machines and steam dryers look a lot like conventional washing machines and dryers, but the similarities pretty much stop there. Steam washing machines use very little water, and they do an excellent job of sanitizing clothing, bedding, and other fabrics. If you suffer from severe allergies, a steam washing machine may be a good option, because the steam penetrates and breaks down allergens that standard washing machines can leave behind.
Steam dryers make use of superheated steam to penetrate tough wrinkles and soften fabrics. If you use a steam dryer to refresh and deodorize an item, be sure it has no spots or stains, because the superheated steam that a steam dryer uses may cause the stain to set and become permanent.
Old Fashioned Solutions
You can refresh “dry clean only” items by hanging them in the bathroom while you are taking a shower, or by tossing them into the dryer with a similarly colored item that is slightly damp.
Of course, this will not clean the clothes the same way that a steam device or steam washer will, but it will refresh them and get any wrinkles out. Getting more mileage out of a single laundering is a good way to save resources and help save the planet, too.