Hard To Be Green When You Need To Dry Clean

Help! My healthy, green lifestyle has produced a serious conundrum. On one hand, I am making genuine progress with my health. Acupuncture and massage have improved my sense of well being while giving up dairy has alleviated my chronic sinus condition allowing full, relaxed breathing. Much better.

On the other hand, I am a big admirer of fashion and although I have a very meager wardrobe in comparison to the typical woman, I am left with a tough decision. Where to take my dry cleaning? Although I have many clothes made from eco friendly, organic materials that are able to be laundered, I have a variety of vintage and second hand items that genuinely require dry cleaning.

Honestly, I am very spoiled. Since my family business was dry cleaning, I have logged countless hours of discussions about proper spotting and pressing techniques for every fabric on the planet. I can spot a double crease from twenty paces and a shiny iron-job even farther. I am a snob. I also glow in the dark thanks to the thousands of barrels of petroleum I ingested through close personal contact my entire life. And the toxicity was the impetus for me to detox my lifestyle and get healthy. See how it gets confusing!

So I can’t go to a conventional dry cleaner and I have tried green cleaners here in Chicago with little success. The last time I tried the eco friendly dry cleaner you see advertised everywhere, they left a tissue in my pocket and crumbs on my sweater. My husband’s Hugo Boss suit I picked up looked just as ragged as it did when he walked in the door soaked after the storm. Trust me, I called. They accepted my complaint without apology or explanation. In my opinion, their “green”ness refers to their inexperience not their process.

Fearing irreparable damage to the expensive suits my husband wears everyday as a result of improper handling and the health effects associated with hazardous chemicals, I am faced with a dilemma that requires some quick action. While I cautiously research my options in Chicago, share your story with me. What are you doing to get past this hurdle in an environmentally friendly way?

An Original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Jen also shares her journey going green while raising a family as The Eco Chic Organizer. Subscribe at www.ecochicorganizer.com.

5 Responses to Hard To Be Green When You Need To Dry Clean
  1. Beth (Coming Up For Air)
    October 22, 2008 | 9:08 am

    Wow…that is a riddle! With my husband in construction and me a SAHM and gardener, we have absolutely no dry cleaning. But I am anxious to read what other people have to say about this! Good post!!

  2. Jen
    October 22, 2008 | 10:25 am

    Me too! Thanks Beth.

  3. PCLicious Video Tutorials
    October 22, 2008 | 12:00 pm

    I feel you should continue to use dry cleaning, as it is the best method so far, at least you tried the eco friendly way but the proprietors ineptness has failed to do a good job.

    With all the other ways your being eco it balances out in my opinion :)

  4. Lisa
    October 22, 2008 | 2:07 pm

    I got to review a product that is meant to help reduce the need for dry cleaning-

    It works really well and is super easy.

  5. Jennifer (The Eco Chic Organizer)
    October 26, 2008 | 1:11 pm

    Thanks Lisa! I checked it out & the sheets are really interesting. I wish they came with a presser for all the details! :) I’ll try it.

    Thankfully I grew up with natural petroleum solvents, not perc which is known to give people a myriad of health problems form just being near it on your clothes!! Petroleum is not eco-friendly but is the lesser of two evils.