Sometimes discoveries find you. A scientist working on a cosmetic formulation was absent mindedly stirring a beaker of silicone with his finger, waiting for the Super Bowl to come on TV. When he pulled his finger out, he realized the silicone had removed the fats and dirt from his finger without drying it out. He wondered if could do the same for clothes. A search of the nation’s top dry cleaners led him to Jim Barry, then CEO of the nation’s largest dry cleaning company. Jim was sceptical. Over the years he had looked at a lot of alternative solvents and none of them had panned out. Mired in multi-million dollar environmental clean-ups, he was actually thinking about getting out of dry cleaning altogether. But the idea was irresistible. If silicone was an effective dry cleaning solvent, it could be the environmental answer dry cleaners so desperately needed.
Jim flew out to see a demonstration. And what he saw was unbelievable. In a simple home-made dry cleaning machine, the silicone was able to remove soiling from garment after garment. And the fabrics came out looking and feeling better than they went in. It was serendipity. The solution was christened “SB-32” (what else would you name something invented during Super Bowl XXXII?) and the process was patented worldwide. Jim called two other dry cleaners, Ron Benjamin and Jim Douglas. “Meet me in Reno,” he said, “and bring your check books, this is big.” They did, and GreenEarth Cleaning was born.
In the ten years since that phone call, over 1,400 licenses have been sold to the best and the brightest operators in the industry. GreenEarth is now the world’s largest solution provider for environmentally safe dry cleaning ways.