GreenEarth Cleaning is the world’s largest brand of environmentally friendly dry cleaning. The GreenEarth brand name refers to an exclusive dry cleaning process that replaces the petrochemical solvents traditionally used in dry cleaning with liquid silicone. Liquid silicone is an odorless, colorless solution that is an excellent carrier for detergents, has ideal properties for fabric care and is better for the environment
Eighty-five percent of dry cleaners use a solvent known as perc, short for perchloroethylene, a chlorinated hydrocarbon classified by the EPA as a Toxic Air Contaminant. Use of perc is highly regulated because indiscriminate disposal of perc can seriously contaminate soil and groundwater, and exposure can irritate eyes, nose and throat, as well as cause headaches, dizziness or fatigue. Perc is also classified by the EPA as as a likely carcinogen.
In contrast, GreenEarth’s silicone is so safe the EPA does not regulate its use in dry cleaning or any of its many other applications. It is recognized as safe for the air, water and soil. When released to the environment, liquid silicone safely degrades back into its three natural components: sand (SiO2), water and carbon dioxide. What’s more, the GreenEarth solution is not a volatile organic compound (VOC) and it is non-toxic and non-hazardous. If you wanted to, you could safely rub it on your skin. In fact, you probably already do. That’s because GreenEarth’s solution is pure liquid silicone-essentially liquefied sand. It’s the same base ingredient found in everyday shampoos, soaps and lotions.
Cleaning in GreenEarth silicone solution is different in two important ways. First, it has very low surface tension and is very light in weight. Surface tension is what causes water to “bead up” on fabric. GreenEarth’s low surface tension allows it to more effectively penetrate the fabric fibers and lubricate away the dirt particles. And because it weighs a lot less than perc, silicone cleans and rinses more gently, reducing wear and tear on fabrics. Second, liquid silicone is chemically inert, meaning it does not chemically react with textile fabric or dyes during the cleaning process. This minimizes abrasion to and/or swelling of fabric fibers, eliminates traditional issues with dye removal and dye bleed, helps maintain the soft hand of garments, and prevents shrinkage. Result? A wider variety of clothes can be safely cleaned with GreenEarth. Delicate silks, suede and leather trims, beads, sequins, painted garments, specialty buttons and trims, couture garments, heirloom fabrics and other “problem” items are no problem at all. And, unlike petroleum based solvents, liquid silicone is odorless, so there is no lingering chemical “dry cleaned” smell on your clothes.