Recently I met with Ken Kinzer (above), a dry cleaner who has locations on Front Street in DUMBO and Court Street in Cobble Hill. After telling me about GreenEarth Cleaning, one of the methods he uses to dry clean — the other is wet cleaning, which simulates hand washing — I told him about a memory I have from when I was younger and got a sweater back from the cleaners. I smelled it, wanting to snuggle into my nice clean sweater, but I was immediately confronted by the most horrific chemical smell.
The smell was most likely perchloroethlyene (perc), a technically organic compound used by most dry cleaners. It's also a carcinogen. Kinzer's method, GreenEarth Cleaning uses silicone to clean clothes and it doesn't leave a smell.
“It’s safe for the clothes, it’s safe for the customer, it’s safe for the environment,” he said.
Read my story about Kinzer and his dry cleaning plants here.