San Francisco Department of the Environment

Garment Cleaners

Garment cleaners that advertise their services as eco-friendly, biodegradable, green, natural or non-toxic might not be what they claim to be. Traditional dry cleaning solvents have been known to cause cancer, reproductive harm and damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. More than 75% of dry cleaning sites in the US are contaminated with hazardous substances. This affects the water and land around those sites thus harming the environment.

The traditional dry cleaning solvent, perchloroethylene (perc), is a known carcinogen and is persistent in the environment. Long term exposure can lead to neurological effects, reduced fertility and spontaneous abortions. The hydrocarbon solvents used as common substitutes to Perc often contain carcinogens like benzene and are known to be neurotoxicants and skin and respiratory irritants capable of aggravating your asthma. Another alternative, GreenEarth®, contains a chemical that is a suspected carcinogen and reproductive toxicant.

Professional wet cleaning has been identified as a truly environmentally friendly, non-smog forming technology that is the safer choice. Most items labeled “dry clean only” can be professionally wet cleaned without shrinkage or damage.
 

Find a Wet Cleaner near you.

(View larger map)

 

Wet cleaners in San Francisco:

Nob Hill
Bay Breeze Cleaners
1018 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 474-5524

South Beach
Mulberry's Garment Care
244 Townsend
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 546-0629

Potrero Hill
Vermont Cleaners
600 Vermont Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 647-8080

Alamo Square
Budget Cleaners
536 Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 552-3736

Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights Cleaners
2437 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 567-5999

Marina/Cow Hollow
Mulberry's Garment Care
2295 Filbert Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 440-3355

West Portal
Portal Cleaners
181 W. Portal Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 681-5011

Mission Bay
Mulberry's Garment Care
207 Berry Street
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 284-9544

Presidio
SF Green Clean
222 Halleck Street
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 567-2100

Don't see your garment cleaner on the list?

Ask your local garment cleaner to become a wet cleaner. For businesses trying to switch to wet cleaning, the Air Resources Board offers $10,000 in grants for transition to non-toxic garment cleaning technology as part of Assembly Bill (AB) 998. Contact the Toxics & Health team at  415.355.3700 to learn more about switching to non-toxic garment cleaning. 


Related Content
Comparison of various garment cleaning methods (PDF)

Additional Resources
FAQs on Wetcleaning, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Dry Cleaning Worker Safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


 

 

professional garment cleaning example photo