I’m stoked to learn that my aversion to buying “dry clean only” clothing serves more than just my personal laziness — it’s actually beneficial to the planet. We all know that all too familiar dry cleaner smell, right? Well, it turns out that the sweet yet sour, steamy aroma has a name: “perc”. Which sounds kinda cute until you find out it’s short for perchloroethylene. According to the EPA (as quoted by Plenty): “Perc is a nervous system toxin and probable human carcinogen [which] has been linked to headaches, nausea and reproductive problems.” Apparently 85% of dry cleaning shops use this chemical solvent. And it doesn’t end at the cleaners. The toxins then exude from the clothes that are bound in plastic dry cleaning bags and find their way into our homes. Scary, huh?
Luckily, Plenty offers us some alternatives: