University of Minnesota
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
http://www.mntap.umn.edu
612.624.1300

Alternative Technologies

A number of alternative cleaning systems are available to reduce perchloroethylene (perc) from dry cleaning operations. You can benefit from reducing your perc use by:

  • Saving money on disposal and purchase costs
  • Reducing regulatory requirements
  • Reducing employee exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Providing greater environmental protection
  • Reducing current and future liability

Many opportunities to reduce the amount of perc you are using exist including:

  • Improving operating and maintenance procedures
  • Increasing equipment efficiency
  • Implementing alternative cleaning products and systems

Resources

The following resources provide examples and tips on reducing perc through alternative technologies.

  • MnTAP Fact Sheet: Dry Cleaner Alternatives to Reduce Waste and Emissions (2010). This fact sheet provides an overview of improved operating techniques, perc equipment upgrades, and alternative cleaning systems that help cut costs by reducing perc use.
  • Award Winner: East Metro Clean'n'Press (2010). East Metro Clean’n’Press has recently been recognized by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) with the Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Project award.
  • Source Article: Dry Cleaning Equipment Upgrades Cut Costs and Reduce Perc (2002). Changing to new or add-on dry cleaning equipment that efficiently uses and recovers perc can significantly reduce operating costs. Efficient equipment can make your perc go further through recycling and recovery and by significantly reducing evaporative losses. [PDF 1.2MB]
  • Award Winner: Colonial Cleaners (2000). A small dry-cleaner that initiated a combination of conventional dry-cleaning with a new wet cleaning process with MnTAP’s help, as well as help from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT).
  • Source Article: Alternative Aqueous Cleaning Systems for Dry Cleaners (1996). Wet cleaning is a viable alternative to traditional perc dry cleaning methods. This article discusses the emergence of wet cleaning among dry cleaners.
  • Article: Mr. Green Clean—Dry Cleaner Switches to Eco-friendly Method (2007). Like-Nu Cleaners received coverage from the Mankato Free Press for switching from perc to a petroleum-based hydrocarbon solvent for cleaning. [PDF 180KB]
  • Web Site: Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) Dry Cleaning Topic Hub. This site provides background information on dry cleaning, pollution prevention solutions and case studies, and resources for assistance.

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