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Carousel Cleaners goes green

Mike Miller, of Carousel Cleaners, knew he needed to change his cleaning processes as the chemicals used in traditional dry cleaning machines were linked to health and environment issues. He worried, however, that making the change to a more environmentally friendly product would reduce the quality of the cleaning. After researching for two years, he switched to a new dry cleaning machine that runs with Gen X, an environmentally friendly solvent. Much to his relief, he has found the clothes to be cleaner, brighter and softer than they had been before.

“I had real trepidation that the clothes would not be as clean, but I was very happily surprised to see them come out of the new machine with whiter whites and brighter colors. We even noticed that the clothes have fewer wrinkles as they are softer.”

GenX is a glycol ether blend that replaces  Perchlorethylene, the chemical linked to health and environmental issues. Perc, as it is called in the industry, sinks to the bottom of water creating environmental issues. Gen X floats on top of water breaking down without causing the same issues. Gen X also does not off gas in the same way Perc did. The scent of the old Perc associated with dry cleaning smell is not to be noticed when entering the cleaner at the corner of 38th and Quitman.

Miller rattles off the chemical compounds and their relative strengths and weaknesses in a way that shows he has been deeply involved with coming up with a  cleaning solution that doesn’t hurt himself or his workers and makes the customers happy with the cleanliness of the clothes they entrust to Carousel Cleaners.

When showing off the huge new machine that utilizes the new chemicals, Miller describes the process of taking down all of the items between the machine and the wall. “We had to take out the windows and the stonework on the outside of the building to get this machine in.”

As the seasons change, and crisp, cool mornings awash in the beautiful changing colors of the trees have residents reaching into their closets for their cool weather sweaters and jackets Miller hopes these items had been stored clean. Although quite content knowing he can get clothing clean, clothes eating moths drive him crazy. Beautiful high-end clothing gets eaten year round by these moths who live in quiet dark clothes.

“The best protection against moths is to store your clothing clean. Moths eat body oils and stains,” says Miller. Carousel Cleaners does offer cedar bags for newly cleaned clothes, but the cedar bags will not prevent moth eggs from hatching inside the bags and destroying clothing that has been placed inside the bags with stains.

Carousel Cleaners offers a token system which enables customers to earn a $.50 token for every $5 they spend. Miller hopes residents consider the value of the clothing and bring in their summer clothing for cleaning before rotating their closets for the winter.

Now that Carousel Cleaners uses this biodegradeable solvent, residents who worried about the harmful side effects of dry cleaning should reconsider this mode of cleaning again.