Dry cleaning isn’t as harmful as previously thought, in terms of the solvents used in the cleaning process. Unless you’re openly exposed to these chemicals (perchloroethylene–PERC) regularly, you should be in the clear. However, it is still a good idea to take the following precautions:
- Don’t dry clean all your clothing, only those items that require it.
- Once outdoors, open the plastic bag to let your clothes breathe.
- Avoid those at-home dry cleaning kits.
- Look for clothing that doesn’t require dry cleaning (washable clothes).
There are alternatives to the traditional, and they include wet cleaning or CO2 cleaning. Wet cleaning uses only biodegradable soap and a highly controlled amount of water. There is also CO2 cleaning, which uses recycled CO2 and doesn’t leave a carbon footprint.