Tuesday, 9 October 2012

What’s Dry about Dry Cleaning?

Location: New York, NY, USA

Ever wonder how dry cleaning got its name? An old myth circulates the dry cleaning beat, with long-time cleaners swearing the process was invented in France in the 1800s. According to legend, an elderly dye-worker spilled some kerosene on his dirty tablecloth.

The stains magically disappeared, and the dye-worker knew he was onto something big. He developed the first petroleum based dry cleaning process and birthed an industry.

But kerosene is still a liquid, right? Yes! Despite the name, the dry cleaning process does use a liquid solvent—it just doesn’t use water, thus the term “dry.”

However, petroleum is incredibly hazardous (think about all the potential for fire and spontaneous combustion!) and so in the 1930s “perc” (perchloroethylene) was developed.

But perc isn’t very safe either… in fact it was the first chemical to be classified as a carcinogen! That’s pretty scary.

Thankfully new eco-friendly cleaning methods have been developed, like the GreenEarth Cleaning Process! Dry cleaners committed to sustainability (like DashLocker!) can use green dry cleaning methods that are healthier for workers, customers, and the environment.

The liquid solvent in GreenEarth Cleaning is silicone—basically, liquid sand! Now that’s pretty all natural (although not exactly dry!). 

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