Liquid silicone: An eco-friendly dry cleaning solution | KEYE Austin - Green Right Now Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - HOME
Jun 302009

By Ashley Phillips
Green Right Now

Once, people pounded clothes with rocks to get them cleaned. Now we’ve come full circle, with dry cleaning  headed back to those Earthy roots.

Many people are familiar with the use of hazardous chemicals in modern dry-cleaning solution. The primary cleaning solvent used in most dry-cleaners is perchloroethylene or “perc”. The Environmental Protection Agency classified this petroleum chemical as a Toxic Air Contaminant and a probable human carcinogen and many environmentalists believe that the residue on your clothes can’t be a healthything.

Now there is a better alternative and believe it or not, it is made essentially from liquefied sand.

GreenEarth Cleaning developed this non-toxic and non-hazardous liquid silicone dry cleaning solvent, which is safe for you and the environment. It is made of three natural elements: sand, water, and carbon dioxide. Liquid silicone is used in many products you use everyday such as lotion, shampoo, and conditioner.

This technology also is better for your clothes, according to GreenEarth. It will not cause fabrics to fade or shrink, allowing your garments to last longer. “Perc and other hydrocarbons are aggressive as they interact with the fabrics, dyes, and trims of today’s fashions. The GreenEarth silicone system is gentle due to the low surface tension of the silicone fluid and its characteristics of remaining inert rather than interacting with the fibers and trims,” said Tim Maxwell, President of GreenEarth Cleaning.

There are approximately 1,500 GreenEarth Cleaning machines being used by dry cleaners today, from single store businesses to large dry cleaning chains. Nextcleaners is a chain of dry cleaners in New York and New Jersey that has been using the new liquid silicone solvent.

“We believe GreenEarth solvent is presently the most practical eco-friendly solution without compromising the dry cleaning service quality in the marketplace. It’s is also the most widely used eco-friendly solution and the only one presently approved by the State of California,” said Kam Saifi, President and CEO of Nextcleaners. In addition to the use of GreenEarth Cleaning, they are making additional strides to benefit the environment, such as the use of bicycle transportation for delivery and pick up.

Thanks to efforts made by GreenEarth and its affiliates, the dry cleaning industry is beginning to change its ways.

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