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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) there are two different systems that are friendly to the environment: Eco-Dry Clean (Wet Clean), which uses a water base solution made of natural soaps and conditioners; and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Cleaning, which uses compressed liquid CO2 with detergents. Others claim to be green but according to the Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS)these systems contain products that are questionable.
These green cleaners may use names such as Green Earth, but they are really using a silicone based cleaning solvents; or they call themselves “organic”, but they are using a petroleum based solvents.
Pacific Heights Cleaners on Fillmore Street, in San Francisco, and on Bridgeway Road in Sausalito, are dedicated to using the Eco-Dry Clean system. According to the EPA, this system is the safest professional cleaning system. It uses no hazardous chemicals, produces no hazardous waste, and generates no air pollution.
ECO-DRY CLEAN’s cleaning action uses an extremely gentle drum rhythm, patented fiber protection and natural elements to coax dirt and stains from your most delicate silks, woolens, linens, rayon, cashmeres and cottons while leaving them more soft and supple than ever before. By utilizing a softer agitation, and ecologically-friendly detergents and natural conditioners, the system is gentle, not just to your clothes, but to the environment as well.
The most notable difference in cleaning with the Eco-Dry Clean system is the fresh clean scent (no chemical smell), brighter and more vibrant colors, a softer feel with wools and cashmeres, cleaner clothes, and a more versatile base for stain removal.
Since most dirt and stains are water soluble the Eco-Dry Clean system provides the perfect base to naturally remove the dirt and stains in the cleaning without using harsh detergents and stain removers. This means less agitation in the cleaning wheel which, in turn means less wear and longer life for the garments.
The machinery involved in the Eco-Dry Clean system is sophisticated and state-of-the-art. Made of high grade polished stainless steel they add style and durability to the life of the machines. The cleaning machine uses a special honeycomb pattern in the wheel with hundreds of tiny pin holes that protects the fibers from braking during extract. The computer controls everything from cleaning time and wheel speed to wheel rhythm. The dryer’s computer is also extremely sophisticated with multiple sensors to control everything from incoming and out going temperature, to the amount of moisture that remains on the garments. It uses heat from steam and a vacuum system to dry as opposed to gas, which leaves a carbon deposit on the clothes. There are also tensioning presses that allow the operator to form, shape and block clothes as necessary. These new generation machines are also more energy efficient than the traditional dry cleaning machines.
More information, including reports and studies, is available in the
Eco Links section of this page.