Source: Purdue UniversitySource: Purdue UniversityTwo engineering graduates from Purdue University have developed an environmentally friendlier alternative to dry cleaning.

According to its developers, Presso is a kiosk garment device that can clean garments in under seven minutes using just steam, a cleaning liquid and air drying. The device reportedly uses 100 times less water, three times less electricity and fewer chemicals per garment than traditional dry cleaning.

One such chemical that is commonly used in the dry cleaning industry is a chemical solvent called perchloroethylene, or PERC, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified as a likely carcinogen. Similarly, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has tied acute PERC exposure to dizziness, blurred vision and loss of coordination.

While the kiosk system for cleaning clothes is currently in development, the researchers describe Presso as the “microwave of laundry” for the speed at which it cleans clothes versus conventional dry cleaning, which is oftentimes expensive, time consuming and uses significant amounts of electricity. The researchers also suggest that the kiosks could be used as an alternative to conventional laundry, cleaning clothing in minutes.

"People have both microwaves and ovens, but microwaves are the ones you go to more often because they are quick," said Nishant Jain, co-founder of Presso Inc., who is an electrical engineering technology graduate from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. "Although microwaves don't do everything, you can certainly use them as an alternative to the oven in a lot of different situations."

Although Presso reportedly removed dirt, sweat, bacteria, odors and wrinkles from clothing during trials, the Purdue graduates are attempting to improve how well it removes stains and will launch a pilot program for the kiosks later in the summer with participating hotels.

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