Urban Hippie

  • Dry cleaning conviction and cancer

    The name of the blog is Urban Hippie and sometimes I am more Urban than Hippie.  I like modern conveniences. I like "services" that the city provides. I like dropping of my husband's shirts and my dresses to my very friendly dry cleaner and having them come back pressed and beautiful with no effort from me whatsoever. However, this weekend as I removed my organic silk dress from its plastic wrapping and was bombarded with the smell of chemical solvent, I was convicted. My ORGANIC SILK dress reeked of chemicals. Do you not find that as ironic as I do? I went out of my way to seek out organic clothes and then I sent them off to be doused in PERC, a chemical known as perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene. Even Web MD has an article about the cancer-causing nature of PERC. Article 


    So, I have come to the conclusion that I am going to need ironing lessons. I need to start washing my husband's shirts and stop buying "dry clean only" clothes. I need to say farewell to my very friendly, local dry cleaner and mourn the loss of drop and dash. How can I buy organic food, make organic skin care, buy organic sheets, clean my house with virtually nothing more than baking soda and vinegar and somehow justify dry cleaning with terrible chemical solvents known to cause cancer!?

    Here are some tips if you NEED to have something dry cleaned:

    • Take dry cleaned clothes out of wrapper and let it air out in a well ventilated area -- in the garage, on your balcony, in the back yard...
    • Try to dry clean your clothes as infrequently as possible.
    • If you do have to go to the dry cleaner, try to find a "green cleaner" that uses CO2 cleaning -- ASK -- there is no regulation on the term "green dry cleaner."


  • ← Next Post Previous Post →
  • Comments on this post (1 comment)

    • JCF says...

      Ah yes, the one thing that I deeply wish I could (in good conscience) go the easy way. I iron all of Chris’s work clothes for this exact reason, and I’m not a fan, to say the least. But usually every other Tuesday, I put on a movie, pour a drink, and iron two weeks worth of dress shirts and pants, plus whatever has piled up for the kids and me. Blerg. Just make sure you have a good iron!

      On July 24, 2012

  • Leave a comment