Friday, April 23, 2010

eager for an organic dry cleaner

From a resident along Bloomingdale's business strip:
Any chance we can get the dry cleaners at 1st and RI NW -- City Cleaners -- to switch to using organic solvents? I went there for the first time today (it's a block from my house) and was dismayed to hear the workers coughing in the back room. Plus there is no excuse for non-organic dry cleaning these days, as the organic alternative is now proven technology, and the old style has significant environmental impact.

Also, does anyone know of a good organic dry cleaners in the neighborhood?


J. Bezos said...

City Cleaners sends their items out for processing. What you are asking will break their cost model.

The tens of thousands of cars, trucks and buses that swirl around your home each day pose a bigger threat to the environment and your health than does City Cleaners.

Anonymous said...

Their prices are pretty outrageous as is.. switching to organics might raise that price.. also good point J.B

Anonymous said...

I came on here just to make the exact same point as J.B. That dry cleaners is absurdly expensive. I'm not entirely sure how they get away with it.

Mat on North Capitol

Anonymous said...

Bezos, doesn't every bit help? Maybe we should as a community tackle GM before a local dry cleaner. Excellent point.

Righteous (re)Style said...

I wrote an article on the various environmental issues with dry cleaning on my blog last year. There is some good info, if you are interested.

But, bottom line, there really is NO good dry cleaning method - if you are really worried about it, I would avoid buying things that need to be dry cleaned or hand wash things instead of dry cleaning them (like sweaters, blouses, etc.)

Dave R. said...

As I understand it, the term "organic" has no meaning when applied to dry cleaning. I think there are various more earth- and worker-friendly methods of cleaning out there, but we should take any dry cleaner touting the word "organic" with a large helping of skepticism. Check out this article:

Bobby said...

Funny, that you would indicate that a worker coughing in the back must be from inorganic chemicals in use. That is a horrible scare tactic, one would presume might be coming from a potential competitor trying to move into the neighborhood that will presumably offer some "organic" alternative and plant some seeds for even higher pricing.

City Cleaners does a fine job, is always on time, always friendly and a very positive influenza on the local community. I agree that their prices are higher than many other dry cleaners, but that is also likely due to the lack of competition in the immediate vicinity. I would rather pay a little more than to have to go to Dupont or elsewhere to have my cleaning done.

Please be careful when you make statements about anyone and try to draw conclusions from a random coughing event. It is almost laughable, but you are clearly trying to make a point.

I would suggest that you ride your bike (surely, you don't drive a car) to the Hill to drop off your clothes at the "organic" cleaners.

minaah said...

I brought this up to the owners at City Cleaners. "Workers coughing in the backroom" was due to allergies, not the chemicals. They said that in order to go organic, they'd have to replace all their machines.

I did make them aware of this though...

Max said...

Wow, lots of ignorance in this thread.

The truth is that in chemical term, this cleaners already uses "organic" solvents. PERC, by far the most common, is a chlorinated hydrocarbon, persistent organic contaminant, and main poison of several superfund sites. The use of PERC as a cleaning solvent has been an environmental catastrophe, worse in my opinion than unleaded gasoline- and more preventable.

There is an alternative to PERC that works very well- it's liquid carbon dioxide, the same gas you exhale every moment of every day. Unfortunately, buying the machine and sending PERC cleaning hardware to oblivion is expensive.

Greed, apathy, and rationalization of environmental damage are the only reasons anyone still uses PERC.

-Max F.

Anonymous said...

There is an organic cleaners located in the 1500 block of U street NW. There you go!