Ditch the Dry Cleaning
If paying your dry cleaning bill makes you feel like you're being taken to the cleaners, it's time to reconsider. Your bottom line isn't the only thing being harmed. The chemical-laden dry cleaning process relies on perchloroethylene, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer reports is a potential carcinogen to humans, although some dry cleaners are switching to less toxic formulas like C02 [source: Chan].
If you're ready to ditch your dry cleaning bill, reading the label on your clothes is a good first step. Clothes labeled "dry clean" can be washed by hand or machine in a gentle detergent. "Dry clean only" clothes are usually made of silk, rayon or other materials that don't stand up well to detergent and water [source: Moreno]. However, even these fabrics can be cleaned at home by purchasing an at-home "dry cleaning" system. Most are comprised of a bag into which you place your clothes, along with a moist sheet infused with cleaning solution. You zip the bag shut and place it into your dryer, where the combination of heat and moisture create a cleansing steam [source: Bissonette].