AB Cleaners, Westwood
AB Cleaners Converts to Wet Cleaning Technology
Joon Han, owner of AB Cleaners in Westwood, knew for a long time that using perchloroethylene (perc) to clean clothes was not healthy but was unsure of his options. The impetus for change came when his wife, who works daily in the shop, became pregnant.
“We knew that perc was not good for us,” he says. “I was concerned for the health of my pregnant wife and baby and also for my employees. You know perc is in the air especially when you see the dust build up and smell the air when you first come in the shop. I always had a bad feeling about it.”
About three years ago, he read articles about how professional wet cleaning is an effective and safer replacement to perc, a toxic chemical characterized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a “likely human carcinogen.”
“We made the switch to wet cleaning and are very happy with the results,” says Han. “There has been a huge improvement in the way the air smells and the clothes come out cleaner without any shrinkage or the feel of chemicals.”
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell awarded AB Cleaners a demonstration grant to show other dry cleaners how professional wet cleaning technology allows for “dry-clean-only” clothes to be effectively washed with water and detergents in computer-controlled machines and finished with tensioning and pressing equipment. Read more.
View videos of the demonstrations: