Evaluation and Demonstration of Wet Cleaning Alternatives to Perchloroethylene-based Garment Care

EPA Grant Number: R824737
Title: Evaluation and Demonstration of Wet Cleaning Alternatives to Perchloroethylene-based Garment Care
Investigators: Gottlieb, Robert
Current Investigators: Gottlieb, Robert , Tranby, Craig , Goodheart, Jessica , Bechtel, Laura , Sinsheimer, Peter
Institution: University of California - Los Angeles
Current Institution: University of California - Los Angeles , Occidental College
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through June 1, 1997
Project Amount: $129,968
RFA: Incentives and Impediments to Pollution Prevention (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development


The UCLA Pollution Prevention Education and Research Center has undertaken an evaluation of wet cleaning as a non-toxic alternative to perchloroethylene-based garment care. A contractual arrangement with a demonstration site, called Cleaner by Nature, allows evaluators to collect real-world performance, financial and environmental data on the operations of a 100% wet cleaning facility. The visitors to the Cleaner by Nature test facility, including dry cleaners, fabric manufacturers, and regulators, get a first-hand look at the new technology.

The evaluation of the Cleaner by Nature demonstration site has three major components. Each component addresses the question of whether wet cleaning is a viable alternative to dry cleaning. Comparable information of equivalent sized dry cleaners will also be included as part of the evaluation. The evaluation components include:

Performance Capability: Measured through a repeat clean wear test, a random telephone survey regarding customer satisfaction with the process, and an assessment of the demonstration site's ability to successfully clean a range of garments that are labeled dry clean only.

Environmental Evaluation: Measured by an analysis of resource use, such as water, energy and chemical use, as well as discharges and emissions.

Financial Viability Assessment: Measured by an analysis of start-up and operating costs, and external financial factors that affect the viability of the two processes.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Economics and Business, in-process changes, performance based systems, dry cleaning, cleaner production, hazardous emissions, economics, pollution prevention assessment, alternative materials, cost benefit, environmental evaluation, industrial process, process modification, wet cleaning alternatives, innovative technology, industrial innovations, perchloroethylene-based garment care, pollution prevention, source reduction, incentives and impediments

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • Final Report