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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » dry cleaning alternatives?

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Author Topic: dry cleaning alternatives?
WPinVA
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So I know that I'm now sensitive to dry cleaning solvents. But I have some clothes that are dry clean only and I need to figure out an alternative.

What do you do for dry cleaning when you're chemically sensitive?

Posts: 1737 | From Virginia | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Abxnomore
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Have you tried an organic dry cleaner that uses different products to dry clean your clothes?

I pretty much wear natural fabrics and rarely have the need for a dry cleaner.

Posts: 5187 | From Lyme Zone | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
WPinVA
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Yes, I have used one that is "organic" but the clothes still have a scent that bothers me.

Organic is a vague term. So I am wondering what processes specifically would be better?

Posts: 1737 | From Virginia | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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http://www.thankyourbody.com/green-dry-cleaning-alternatives/

Six Green Dry Cleaning Alternatives (Say no to toxic chemicals)

1. Steam it

Steam can be a great way to clean clothes. You can place your delicates in the dryer with a damp washcloth and run a normal cycle.

[Not for silk or rayon, though, as they can shrink with heat.]

You can hang your garments in the bathroom and turn on the shower. Or you can by a garment steamer [link below].

The heat kills bacteria which helps with odors and other nastiness.

2. Brush it

3. Hand Wash it

Things like sweaters and other unlined garments can usually handle a hand washing with water and a mild soap just fine.

In fact, the chemicals in dry cleaning can be really harsh on these more delicate pieces. Just be sure to reshape the article of clothing before letting it line or air dry.

[Silk: cool / tepid water. Heat can cause shrinking. Rayon: any water can cause some shrinking, though best to keep on the cool side, too. DO NOT DRY IN THE DRYER SILK OR RAYON as they will really shrink, then, unless you want them to shrink.]

4. Spray it (with Vodka ! - see detail at link above)

5. Actual Green Dry Cleaners - Google Search: Virginia "Green Dry Cleaners"

[there is a "ECO Dry Cleaners" in Charlottesville, VA, for instance]

6. Rethink your wardrobe


At Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/obez7j9

Steamfast SF-407 Fabric Steamer - $60.

1,589 customer reviews - average 4 stars - 115 answered questions

Most reviews are splendid, yet, some of the reviews give me pause regarding safety. If you buy this or a similar model, just be sure the safety is all there and not used around little kids or animals that can dart about.
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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I added some notes about silk & rayon above. Wool can shrink, too, but some is washable. I just can't wear wool so don't have detail.

A web search can help you find how to wash certain fabrics.

Many fabrics that state they need to be dry cleaned do not need that, though, and a nice hand washing will be just fine.

I've done this for 17 years now.

But a STRUCTURED jacket will loose its shape if hand or machine washed - never to come back (mistakes I've made).

Best to steam any structured jackets / coats.

And even for a nice suit or winter coat, "just steam" at a dry cleaners will do just great - I used to do that all the time -- but still best not to have it exposed to the fumes at the typical place and take it instead to one that free of the noxious chemicals.
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
WPinVA
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Thank you Keebler - this is exactly the info I needed! I think I will be calling around to some local dry cleaners to ask what they mean by "organic" or "eco" and thx to this article I finally know what the better processes are.
Posts: 1737 | From Virginia | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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One thing to remember for some searches is that the term "green" may not mean what we NEED it to mean, though that seems to be more about building or material goods.

"Green" can just mean it may be better in terms of a footprint or heating costs but may not be in terms of our body. It's all about context.

Another site to check out might be EWG, Environmental Working Group. They are generally for products yet may have some detail about dry cleaning businesses & options.

If you need to steam coats / jackets or even dresses, you could probably buy a nice body stand (to hold clothes' shape) and a professional quality (and safe) steamer that will save money in the long run. It would require a bit of research regarding safety of the hose connections, etc., & tip over / balance / weight factors.

Safer ones have the hot water NOT in your hands or being carried in a sling to wear (some models are out there but they are not wise). Rather, the water vessel is safer sitting either on the ground or on a cabinet and the hand held part without any seams from which steam could escape from the hose.
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[ 01-03-2015, 01:21 AM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
valeriedc
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Cashmere is best cleaned by hand washing, so no dry cleaning needed. This is a good site about cashmere: http://cashmereconnoisseur.blogspot.com/2007/03/care-for-your-cashmere-sweaters.html

Here's an oldie but goodie regarding "green" dry cleaning:
http://www.greenamerica.org/livinggreen/drycleaning.cfm

Posts: 72 | From washington dc | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
randibear
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somebody recommended baking soda but ive never tried it.

I use gentle wash and chemical free detergent

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

Posts: 12262 | From texas | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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