Some of the chemicals and processes used by dry cleaners can damage your clothes (and even more can damage the environment). Go to 1-800-DryClean.com or call 1-800-379-2532 or check out the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute’s website at http://www.ifi.org/consumer/search/index.php for a reliable dry cleaner, and make sure to bring problems to the attention of the drycleaner immediately.
I found another post of someone asking a similar question.
Perchloroethylene is a solvent that can cause health problems or leave nasty side effects. It has been linked to liver failure, kidney damage, or menstrual instability.
PERC, the solvent typically used in dry cleaning is nasty, just as tinkerbell stated. Checkout the EPA and Southern California Air Resources Board recommendations at the citations below.
Currently Wet Cleaning and CO2 dry cleaning are the most environmentally-preferrable methods on the market.
CO2 Dry Cleaner Listings:http://www.findco2.com/
Wet Cleaning & CO2 Listings:http://www.nodryclean.com/
The question was: is it bad for clothing. I think we all agree it’s bad for the environment and health in general. Wool, for example, has a natural fat called lanolin. Perchloroethylene is a degreaser and partially depletes the lanolin from the fibers. After several dry cleanings, the wool can lose its suppleness as the individual fibers become brittle and scratchy. So since it changes the textile material for the worse, I believe it is bad, at least for natural animal fibers like wool and leather/suede.
BTW, 1-800-dryclean.com is a franchise delivery service only. They contract with dry cleaners to do their cleaning.
And finally, the IFI is lobbying congress and the EPA hard on behalf of its members (dry cleaners) to keep perchloroethylene despite its known problems. Yes, they focus on cleaning up contaminated sites, but this is a self serving act to turn down the heat on the real issue–perc.
Depending on your neighborhood, dry cleaning is often (but not always) just steam-cleaning. This is not bad for the environment, but it is also not good for getting your clothes clean.
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