Skip navigation
E. The Non-Toxic Future Of Dry Cleaning

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new dry cleaning machine using liquid carbon dioxide may provide a non-toxic solution to cleaning clothes. Researcher Craig Taylor of the Los Alamos National Laboratory says liquid CO2 can eliminate the current use of perchloroethylene, a suspect carcinogen, which has been banned in some countries.

Taylor: Wearing suspect carcinogens against your skin is a scary thought for most people and that's why most people when they take their dry cleaning home, they hang it in the closet for a couple weeks to let the rest of the perchloroethylene evaporate off before they wear it.

Narrator: Taylor says clothes treated with CO2 emerge dry, cool and wrinkled. Within minutes however, the clothes reabsorb moisture from the air and are then wrinkle-free.

Taylor: For the dry cleaner, it also eliminates a lot of the treatment that they have to do after a lot of the pressing steps and things like that are going to be much easier for them.

Narrator: Commercial CO2 machines are due out sometime next year. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.