Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

State Passes New Environmental Regulations For Dry Cleaners

If you take your clothes in to get dry cleaned, you may notice a difference in the way they smell when you get them back.

That scent comes from a commonly used solvent called perchloroethylene or “Perc."

The California Air Resources Board has ordered dry cleaning businesses to start phasing out machines that use the solvent starting July 1st.

"The problem is perchloroethylene is recognized as a probable carcinogen and has a longevity of about 100 days when it’s put into the atmosphere," said Board spokesman Dimitri Stanich. "So the regulation was adopted in order to protect the general public around these facilities.”

The state is offering financial assistance to dry cleaning businesses so that they can replace their Perc dry cleaning systems with non-toxic machines.

All Perc machines 15-years and older must be removed by July 1st. Newer machines can be used until the year 2023.

Dry cleaning businesses that don’t comply could face fines or closure.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.