The viability of professional wet cleaning as a pollution prevention alternative to perchloroethylene dry cleaning

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2007 Feb;57(2):172-8. doi: 10.1080/10473289.2007.10465320.


The vast majority of dry cleaners worldwide use the toxic chemical perchloroethylene (PCE), which is associated with a number of adverse health and environmental impacts. Professional wet cleaning was developed as a nontoxic alternative to PCE dry cleaning but has not been widely adopted as substitute technology. In the greater Los Angeles, CA, region, a demonstration project was set up to showcase this technology and evaluate its commercial viability by converting seven cleaners from PCE dry cleaning to professional wet cleaning. The demonstration site cleaners who switched to professional wet cleaning were able to maintain their level of service and customer base while lowering operating costs. The cleaners were able to transition to professional wet cleaning without a great degree of difficulty and expressed a high level of satisfaction with professional wet cleaning. Crucial to this success was the existence of the demonstration project, which helped to develop a supporting infrastructure for professional wet cleaning that had otherwise been lacking in the garment care industry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
  • Air Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Algorithms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Laundering* / economics


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational