Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Greenwashing: literally!

Hooray for “green” dry-cleaners! Until today, I knew of only one in the Baltimore area (Cranbrook Shopping Center in Cockeysville), which is outside my usual errand-running area. But now there is another: Sparks II Cleaners at 7206-C York Road in Towson, near Stevenson Lane. The original Sparks cleaners is on Fila Way near Loveton Farms, in Sparks.

The cleaner/tailor shop is open Monday to Friday 7am - 7pm and Saturday 8am - 5pm. They also offer pickup and delivery service. You can phone them at 410-832-5326.

According to the article at, "Instead of using the standard dry cleaning solution known as perc (perchlorethylene), which is a petroleum-based solvent regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Sparks Cleaners uses a silicone-based cleaner. It is made from water, sand and carbon dioxide..."

This article also mentions that traditional dry cleaners are the single largest users of perc, and that the dry-cleaning machines that use this substance are to be phased out by the year 2020.

Let's hope so! Until then, patronize your local green drycleaner.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Ah yes. I worked on several dry cleaner sites at my old job. The freaky thing is that for those sites, the dry cleaner had been there long, long before. I.e. no trace that a dry cleaner had been there at all. Prime areas would be newly built shopping centers (you know, those huge ones that have the standard facade and have a Borders or Barnes & Noble). The perc also has nasty breakdown products and they linger for a long time. I remember doing quarterly sampling at one particular site not too far from my house. Back in the old days, dry cleaners would just basically throw the used cleaning agent out the back of the shop. Really scary when you think how long the stuff stays in the ground (and contaminates the ground water of course).