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  • Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened?

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“Green” Dry Cleaner in Copiague, NY

Rozie’s Valet Cleaners at 1391B Merrick Road, Copiague, NY 11726 631-957-6221 uses CO2 cleaning method. Rozies was sold and no longer says they use CO2.

from Co-op America’s Real Money article Green “Dry” Cleaning

Liquid carbon dioxide cleaning is a method that uses pressurized liquid CO2 in place of perc, in combination with other cleaning agents. CO2 is a nonflammable and nontoxic gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It becomes a liquid solvent under high pressure.

In this process, clothes are placed in a specialized machine, which is emptied of air. The pressure in the chamber is raised by injecting gaseous CO2, and then liquid CO2 is pumped into the mix. Clothes are rotated in a cycle that lasts five to 15 minutes at room temperature. The liquid CO2 dissolves dirt, fats, and oils in the clothing. At the end of the cleaning cycle, the liquid CO2 is pumped back into the storage tank, to be reused again, if possible. The remaining CO2 is released in the air.

While CO2 is a main greenhouse gas, no new CO2 is generated with this technology, so it does not contribute to global warming, says Sinsheimer. Liquid CO2 companies recapture the CO2 that’s already a by-product of several manufacturing processes, and they then recycle it into the liquid solvent for cleaning clothes. The main drawback is that, while the CO2 itself is both cheap and abundant, the cost of a CO2 dry cleaning machine is very high—a new machine costs around $40,000. Few dry cleaners are adopting this technique for this reason.

However, in the long run, these machines will save money by eliminating the disposal and regulatory costs associated with perc. With both wet and liquid CO2 cleaning, your clothes are also professionally finished, so you get a wrinkle-free pressing and an attention to detail that likely surpasses what you can do at home.

Also, if a cleaner says it uses liquid CO2, ask if it does so with a Solvair machine. These machines replace perc with glycol ether as a solvent—which is a suspected neuro-, respiratory, and kidney toxin, and a possible hormone disrupter, according to the EPA. Solvair machines rinse the clothes in liquid CO2, and so cleaners using them may identify themselves as liquid CO2 cleaners, notes Sheldon Bray, president of the Carbon Dioxide Dry Cleaners Alliance. The Alliance does not allow Solvair cleaners to be members.

read entire article

Best Bets for Delicate ClothesOur top recommendations for dealing with your “Dry Clean Only” clothes:

Handwash your dry-clean-only clothes: Green living expert and Care2.com editor Annie Bond offers eco-friendly instructions on safely handwashing silk, wool, and rayon clothing.

Use wet and liquid CO2 cleaners: Occidental College recently launched a national directory of liquid CO2 and wet cleaners. (The liquid CO2 cleaners listed do not include Solvair cleaners, which use a toxic solvent as part of their process.) Also, keep in mind that some wet cleaners, like Chicago’s Greener Cleaner, allow you to mail in your clothes and will mail them back to you wet-cleaned and pressed. Contact Greener Cleaner at 888/875-8345.

Avoid hydrocarbon, greenearth, and solvair CO2 cleaning: Though somewhat better than perc, these methods all use toxic solvents.

Take our handy wallet card with you: We’ve condensed all the information in this article into a portable card you can take with you. Download the PDF wallet card here.

One Response

  1. […] Dry Cleaning is NOT Organic Jump to Comments I had stopped using the Dry Cleaner I found in Copiague because they were sold and the new owners took down the signs advertising CO2 Dry Cleaning […]

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