All Natural, Chemical Free At Home Dry Cleaning Methods


 All Natural, Chemical Free At Home Dry Cleaning Methods

At the risk of sounding like a late night infomercial, you can dry clean any article of clothing without using chemicals. All it takes is some knowledge and practice on your part. The benefits? Your clothes will be cleaner and last longer because you are not using harmful chemicals that may cause harm to the environment or cost you money for unnecessary replacements sooner than later.

At home cleaning has been around for centuries but never came into popularity until chemical cleaners became prevalent in our homes. It's all in the technique. But to obtain this technique you must first understand the process behind dry cleaning and how it differs from home cleaning.

Dry Cleaning – What is it?
In conventional dry cleaning a solvent (a chemical) is used to dissolve oils and makeup in the fabric. This solution is passed through a filtering system which traps the solids (oils, dirt and makeup) from passing through to be treated with perchloroethylene (a fumigant, also known as 'perc'). This chemical is very flammable, toxic and leaves a residue on the clothing. At home cleaning you can use either vinegar or soda ash (sodium carbonate), to clean without using any harsh chemicals. The drawback is that you are not 'handling' the chemicals, so it's more safe in your opinion than dry cleaning.

Why Use Vinegar In Cottons?
You may be surprised to know that the natural pH of vinegar doesn't actually damage fabrics like conventional dry cleaners do. There are other benefits as well, such as lessening wrinkles and giving your clothes a fresh scent while refreshing them from drying out in the sun and rain.

Vinegar is recommended for most cottons as well as 100% wool, silk and synthetic fibers like nylon, acrylic and polyester. A 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle will do fine for simple stains but you can use a stronger solution if needed. Spray the stain with the vinegar solution from about an inch away on both sides of the fabric using a sweeping motion. Let it sit until the stain is gone then launder using a gentle wash cycle with warm water and an enzyme based detergent like Era or Ecos (not all detergents are made equal so read your labels carefully).

The Vinegar Method For Wool, Silk and Synthetic Fleece
This method is a bit more involved as you will need to use a stain remover and a wool wash. Don't panic, it will be easier than you think when you are done. Use the water out of the stain remover to wash the stain then apply a little damp stain remover on any areas that have not come out yet. Let this sit for 10 minutes, then launder your garment using vinegar or soda ash (as mentioned above) as described above. Repeat this process if necessary until all of the stains come out.

The vinegar method is safe and healthy for the environment and for you. It doesn't use harsh chemicals that not only harm the environment but are harmful to you as well. Vinegar is good for you, it makes salad dressing, removes grease from your stovetop and cuts through dirt needlessly built up on your dishes. Not only is it natural but it's cheap and easy to make at home with very little effort as well as much cheaper than buying a bottle at the store. You can also use soda ash instead of vinegar if necessary, but vinegar is better because it's more natural.

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