Dry cleaning. Let’s talk about it.
First of all, I stopped going to the dry cleaner years ago. Not for environmental reasons, but because they are SO expensive! Paying $8 in NYC to have a shirt cleaned? No.
Besides the cost of getting my clothes “professionally cleaned”, I began to learn about what they were actually being cleaned with. The truth is that the chemicals used by most dry cleaners can cause harm to air quality and to you.
When I started making my own laundry detergent, I tested it out on my delicates and to my complete surprise, it totally worked. I now wash wool, cashmere, soft cotton, silk, linen and other delicates by hand in my sink using my laundry detergent from The Simply Co..
Many dry cleaners use perchloroethylene aka perc. Perc is a volatile organic compound aka VOC. When you get a dry-cleaning bag, most likely when you open it up it will smell a bit sweet. That is perc. The gasses from perc can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and gasses have been said to exacerbate asthma.
My advice… stay away from the dry cleaners except for professional repairs, steams, and pressing (if they are all chemical free) and wash your own clothing by hand. For me I hand wash and let the item dry flat on a towel and then iron or steam as necessary.