Most people know that dry cleaning is anything but dry. Toxic solvents are used instead of water that can cause environmental issues and health problems. As Jerry Seinfeld said: “Let’s get one thing straight about dry cleaning right now. It doesn’t exist. There’s no such thing as dry cleaning. There’s no way of cleaning with dry. Dry itself is nothing. You can’t use it. You can’t do anything with it. It’s not there. Dry is nothing. Are you listening to me? And we walk into these places with the big signs out front, “Dry Cleaning”, and somehow never question how they were able to put this absurd concept over on us. If I gave you a filthy shirt and said, “I want this immaculate. And no liquids!” what are you going to do? Shake it? Tap it? Blow on it? Give me a break. You almost can’t get something dirty with dry, let alone cleaning it.”
However now a German company called Fred Butler uses a new technology that replaces solvents like perchloroethylene with recycled carbon dioxide that is collected from industrial processes, gas that would otherwise have been emitted to the air. Their method works by placing clothes or other textiles in a cleansing machine, removing the air and letting CO2 fill the vacuum. High pressure combined with bio-degradable cleansers ensures dirt particles are removed from fabric. The carbon dioxide used is a by-product of industrial processes and once a cycle has been completed, 98% of the carbon dioxide is filtered and reused.
Fred Butler claims that clothes cleaned using this procedure are less likely to lose their colour and shape than if treated with conventional methods because the cleaning is done at very low temperatures, 5-15 degrees Celsius, and with gentle detergents. The patented process has been certified eco-safe by Nordic Swan, and costs to consumers are on a par with traditional dry cleaning.