Youth’s Perc Project Prompts University Research into Drycleaning Residuals


fabric swatch
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Staff Writer |

WASHINGTON — A high school sophomore’s science project about the chemicals that remain in drycleaned clothing prompted a university study and publication online in a peer-reviewed environmental journal, the Washington Post reported recently.

A Georgetown University professor and graduate students assisted 15-year-old Alexa Dantzler with her experiment. She sewed squares of wool, cotton, polyester and silk into the lining of several men’s jackets and then had them cleaned at seven Northern Virginia drycleaners who had no knowledge of the experiment.

The research team determined that perc stayed in the fabrics and that levels increased with repeat cleanings, particularly in wool, the newspaper reported.

Industry representatives told the Post that the study was incomplete because the tested garments had been drycleaned but not pressed, which helps remove solvent.

Click here to view the published study.


Who puts clothes in a

Who puts clothes in a freezer? This article has no merit! You have not given the full detail of the article. Clothes are frozen and re-cleaned without being worn, 6 times each. The perc ban is a old style witch hunt.

It seems to me that if the

It seems to me that if the adults supervising or assisting with this study were really interested in getting at the TRUTH, they would have taken the scraps out of the garments and allowed them to be exposed to ambient air for at least 24 hours prior to analysis...just like most garments are uncovered and hung in a closet for AT LEAST 24 hours, prior to wearing. It appears that they were only interested in controvery, and proving their own preconceived opinions...what a shock!

I am a 3rd generation

I am a 3rd generation drycleaner and I would bet that due to this study is being done by some kids and doing this study probably has limited funds they are probably going to low price or one price dry cleaners which can't afford to process clothes properly.Go to an experienced or high-end dry cleaner and I know their results would be different.

RE:3rd gen Dry Cleaner comment

I totally agree.....The 1 price cleaners,usually STUFF their machines and probably don't let the clothing or households dry and deodorize long enough.

YOU KNOW......''THE BOTTOM LINE''PROFIT!!!!! From a 2nd gen.Dry Cl.(in 36 years myself.)

Residue of perc.

The amount of perc residue on a garment will depend on the following.

1. WRONG classification of a load. If a load put in the washer was not properly classified i.e mixture of wool and silk or light and heavy weight clothes togather, will cause improper drying of the whole load. In that case drying time will be a factor. Programmed automatic drying may cut off the machine prior to complete drying.

2. HOW many clothes were put in the washer? The recommended load to be cleaned is 80% of the capacity. If a dry cleaning machine is 50 LB. 40 LB is proper for right cleaning and drying.

3. PROPER recovery temperature and recovery unit. If the hot air filled with perc vapors does not cool and leave right amount of perc vapors in the condensing /recovery unit, proper and odorless drying is not possible. Improper recovery temperature, clogged lint bag and condensing unit will lead to leave perc residue on the garments.

All the above factors l cause perc vapors to remain on a garment and to an unprofessional cleaning and drying process. Pressing a garment to remove the perc residue may be one solution but we must consider the health conditions of a presser who may be pressing loads of clothes day in and day out.

IQBAL K SHORE cpd.cpw. ced.
Over 50 years in Drycleaning Industry.
Former Garment analyst (IFI) DLI

Most of your comments are

Most of your comments are correct, but how can customers tell if their garments were processed properly? And applying steam on dry cleaned garments cause perc residue to settle in deeper on garments.

Who freezes clothing??????

Who freezes clothing?????? Who cleans garments that are clean? Just looking for another way to put the stones to the cleaners. Let the clothes air out of the plastic wear them then re-clean them. ORGANIC!!! What a crock of mularkey! Clothes that are not really clean with bacteria all over them! PLEASE!

Wake up dry cleaners!

I am a  10 years experinced 100% master Wet cleaners, with over 35 years experience in Perc dry cleaning business.   I was recognized as one of the best dry cleaners in New York City.     Most of the garments I wet clean at our plant were previously perc dry cleaned.    I see the dirt & perc residue pouring out of washing machine when the load drains after initial washing cycle.    Darker the garments, worse the dirt.    Some dry cleaners never clean out the reserve tank( # 1 tank)   It is disgusting.    Shame on you perc dry cleaners.
Do the right thing. We have been warned past 20 years or more.   Enough is enough.     When we did not know what we did was wrong, it is called  Ignorance.   But, if we continue after we have known the trith, it is called Evil.    The righteous person follows right things.


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