Get Your Dry Cleaning Wet

Last week we reported the good news about a new environmentally friendly laundromat service in Tel Aviv.  But what about those delicate items that you can’t just throw in the laundry?  Things like silk, wool, or garments with sequins and embroidery?  Usually you’d just take these to the dry cleaner’s, right?

Well, think again.  Most dry cleaners use tetrachloroethene or perchloroethylene (PERC), chemical compounds that dissolve organic materials. 

The problem with these chemicals is that constant exposure poses a serious risk to the workers in contact with the dry cleaning, to you (causing both short term and long term health damage), and to the environment.

The short term health effects of exposure to these chemicals are dizziness, confusion, nausea, skin irritation, and unconsciousness.  Long term effects include spontaneous abortions, fertility problems, and liver and kidney damage.

The environmental effects aren’t pretty, either.  Tetrachloroethene and perchloroethylene are double whammy air pollutants and soil contaminants.  That’s no good.

Luckily, there’s an alternative.

Wet cleaning is a method that uses biodegradable soap and water, and which can clean most “dry clean only” fabrics (including leather, suede, most woolens, silks, and rayons).  Though it is not as widely available as dry cleaning (since it requires some special equipment and knowledge), more and more businesses are adopting this method so keep your eyes open.

For our readers in Jerusalem, 35 year-old Jerusalem laundry landmark – Superclean Laundromat – offers this service.

For more green lifestyle advice, see Green Prophet’s :: Green Prophets Start at Home: The Living Room ::Green Prophets Start at Home: The Bedroom

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8 thoughts on “Get Your Dry Cleaning Wet”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been concerned about the chemicals involved in dry cleaning ever since I noticed that the clothes I’ve had dry-cleaned in Israel have come back with a distinct unpleasant odour.
    While I’m happy about the green dry-cleaners in Jerusalem, would you happen to know of any in the Shfela area? (I’m mostly in Ashdod and Rehovot, and bringing my clothes to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to have them dry-cleaned strikes me as a bit excessive.)
    Glad to have found your site!

  2. We offer drycleaning franchises that use GreenEarth alternatives to perc. We have Irael wide open for an enterprising developer.
    Visit http://www.drycleaningstation.com
    http://www.greenearthcleaning.com if you wish to learn more.

  3. Amitai says:

    I’ll fulfill my organic, local-breed, csa/beekeeping/cheese-making/jam-making small business fantasy first. (Maybe someday??…)

    But once I figure out how to do that one… environmentally-conscience dry cleaning in Tel Aviv is on the list.

  4. Maybe y’all can open one?

  5. Karen says:

    Hey Amitai,
    I’ve been looking for one, but haven’t found any yet. If you find any then please let us know!

  6. Amitai says:

    any heads-up on where there’s one in Tel Aviv?

  7. Karen says:

    Maybe you just naturally sense which places are green…

  8. When I went to get my drycleaning done in Jerusalem, this is where I went. I didn’t know they were environmentally-friendly. Does that make me green by default?
    Karin

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