What Health Benefits are there to using a Green Dry Cleaner?

Despite the use of the Word “dry”, all cleaning processes use liquid solvents to clean garments. The problem is, some of the traditional solvents are highly toxic and not only risk the workers who are exposed to these chemicals every day, but also create a health risk for the customers who wear the garments that are cleaned by these chemicals.


The chemical most commonly used by the Dry Cleaning Industry, “Perc”, is classified as a Toxin. Toxins are defined as “poisonous compounds that have an adverse effect on the immune function.” The Human body is designed to detoxify itself, but, if too many external sources are exposed to the system, and the toxins build up, and the body becomes overwhelmed. Organs like the liver, one the body’s primary tools for detoxification can get stressed with this build up and will eventually fail.

Some of these Toxins also cause stress by mimicking the hormone estrogen and causing imbalance in the body. This imbalance of hormones creates inflammation as well as stress to the thyroid which stimulates the body’s natural defenses, thus having a detrimental effect on the Auto Immune system.

One Direct way to cut down on exposure to Toxins in one’s day to day life is to use a Dry Cleaner that uses a “Wet Cleaning” method of cleaning and caring for clothes. With new machines that control the moisture content, temperature and stress that the clothes are exposed to, this “wet” method uses basic soap and water so the chemical use, waste and exposure, is all but eliminated. With “wet cleaning” your clothes are cleaner, better cared for and don’t have that harmful, chemical smell!

Pacific Heights Cleaners, an eco friendly dry cleaner, is the first of its kind in Marin County. They are an Industry leader, Marin’s first and only certified green dry cleaner. Using a wet cleaning system, Pacific Heights Cleaners are dedicated to Sustainability. They are making changes by using plant base laundry soaps, reusable polypropylene garment bags, reusable/recyclable polypropylene hangers, biodegradable plastic bags and reusing as much as feasible. Pacific Heights cleaners is not a business capitalizing on the green movement, they are an established dry cleaner changing an industry. Pacific Heights Cleaners also trains other dry cleaners in green dry cleaning, and hosts demonstrations so that other dry cleaners can see how green systems work.

They have been awarded:

Esquire Magazine 2006, 2007 best cleaners in SF bay area

Sausalito Sustainability Commission – Green Business of the Year Award 2008

Zero Breast Cancer 2009 Francine Levien Activist Award

California State Assembly – Certificate of Recognition – Jared Huffman

California State Senate – Certificate of recognition – Mark Leno

California Air Resources Board (CARB)

Pollution Prevention Center, Occidental College

Family owned and operated

In business since 1969

2 locations: Pacific Heights Cleaners, SF, and Pacific Heights Cleaners, Sausalito.

Written by Bianca Stark-Falcone

Owner of Well Dressed a wardrobe consulting company and author of IMAGE POWER

www.bwelldressed.com 415.302.5659

Other Articles of Interest:

Angela’s Journey with Breast Cancer by Stefanie Atkinson

The 2008-09 annual report of the President’s Cancer Panel

The Dirty Little Secret About Dry Cleaning!

California Air Resources Board Report

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