How to Keep Clothing Clean Without Contaminating Your Home Air Quality

July 14, 2016

Follow these suggestions to protect your home air quality when it comes to laundering your clothes:

Suggestion #1 Reduce the dry cleaning
Many dry cleaners commonly use a cleaning agent containing perchloroethylene, commonly referred to as PERC, which is a probable carcinogen that can cause numerous health related problems. Short term exposure to low levels of PERC can cause dizziness and respiratory irritation while longer term exposure to higher doses may cause birth defects, several types of cancer, central nervous system damage, liver and kidney damage, respiratory failure, and memory loss. Although some dry cleaners advertise that they use PERC free cleaning solutions the cleaning solvents they use can still contain harmful chemicals.

Protect your home air by choosing clothing that does not need to be professionally cleaned. Read clothing labels and try to choose materials that can be washed at home.

Suggestion #2 Read laundry detergent labels
The commercially available laundry detergent you buy regularly may contain toxic chemicals that are hazardous to your health. Avoid buying detergents that contain Sodium lauryl sulfate, 1,4-dioxane, nonylphenol ethoxylate, and phosphates. Not only is it dangerous to come into direct contact with these chemicals by wearing your recently laundered clothing, but they also threaten your air quality just by being stored inside your home.

Besides the chemicals mentioned above, detergents can contain parabens, chemical fragrances or dyes. We suggest you avoid detergents that list any of these items as well.

Suggestion #3 Avoid using mothballs or moth crystals
Mothballs contain Naphthalene and moth crystals contain p-Dichlorobenze which are both known carcinogens. They have been linked to causing eye irritation as well as kidney and liver damage. Both are also extremely toxic to pets and are highly flammable.

Prevention is the best way to avoid a moth infestation. Store clean clothes in plastic bags or boxes that are tightly sealed if you won’t be wearing them for a while. Do not bring clothes that have been sitting in storage into your home without washing them first. Avoid purchasing clothing or bedding from a warehouse facility where they may have been sitting in storage for an extended period of time.