It was in the mid-1800s when Jean Baptiste Jolly, the French owner of a dye works company, accidentally discovered a fabric cleaning method after his maid tipped over a kerosene lamp on his tablecloth. The kerosene was surprisingly effective at cleaning off the stains. Thus was born a new method of removing stains, named “dry cleaning,” even though clothes are soaked in a liquid solvent to clean them. The evolution of cleaning methods continued to progress until a product known as perchlorethylene (perc), became a standard.
Today it’s easy to run up a $500 annual dry cleaning bill without even noticing how costly the service can be. Not only that, the harsh chemicals and starch in products such as perc can be damaging to your health and shorten the life of your favorite jacket or pair of pants. What if instead, you took the time and used a relatively inexpensive stain protector to protect your clothes from ever needing to be dry cleaned in the first place?
Smart Dry Cleaning Alternatives
Wardrobe experts recommend steaming your clothes at home with a steamer or hanging your wrinkled clothing near the shower while you scrub to avoid wear and tear on your wardrobe. It may feel a bit crowded in your bathroom but may be well worth the inconvenience to save money on your dry cleaning bill as well as frequent clothing replacement. Not to mention all the environmental benefits such as chemical avoidance and eliminating the need to use unfriendly clear plastic bags. You’ll be saving time, money and your health by choosing a different alternative to dry cleaning.
Though at home products such as Shout and Oxiclean are touted as quick liquid stain removers, it’s always wiser to prevent damage from spills, rather than treat them after the fact. One life hack to consider – choose clothing with patterns. That way those pesky stains can be better camouflaged. Perhaps even more practical would be to choose a great non-toxic liquid stain repellent, preferably one with no fluorochemicals that will help prevent stains on your clothing, and other fabrics from happening in the first place.