- What is Dry Cleaning?
- Does frequent dry cleaning shorten the life of a garment?
- Should I use hairspray to remove an ink stain?
- Why am I allergic to starch?
- What causes yellowing or browning?
- Does the dry cleaning process and chemicals cause undue wear on my clothes?
- I have a professional suit jacket and slacks in summer white linen. I took the slacks to the cleaners but not the jacket. Now the two pieces are different colors of white!
- Why Dry Clean garments instead of washing them at home?
- I brought my clothes in for cleaning and they now have spots that were not there before. What happened?
- Can I use club soda to remove a spot?
- Should I store my clothes in the bags my cleaned clothes are returned in?
- What causes shirt buttons to crack or break?
- How long should my shirt last?
Dry cleaning is a process of cleaning textiles with a volatile solvent rather than water. The solvent used by most drycleaners today is called perchlorethylene or “perc”. Perc is a solvent that has no moisture or water hence the name “dry cleaning”. The garments are summered in solvent and agitated. Soaps and additives are injected into the cleaning process. Soils are removed from the garments and suspended with the aid of the soaps and additives. After the cleaning cycle the solvent is filtered through 2 types of filters, (carbon dye filters and micron filters). Each filter serves its purpose. The carbon dye filter is used to clean any dye that may have been removed during the dry cleaning process. The micron filters otherwise known as spin disc filters are used to capture any soils and sediments that have been suspended during the wash cycle. After the clothes are cleaned and filtered the solvent is extracted out of the garments and then dried. Warm air is introduced to the garments as they are tumbled in the wash wheel. After the garments are dry they are removed from the dry cleaning machine and ready to be pressed. To sum it up the garments go into the dry cleaning machine dry and come out dry.
Actually frequent cleaning of your goods can prolong the life of your garments. Not only do stains set with age making the garment unpresentable but ground in dirt and soil can act as an abrasive causing rapid wear of fibers.
Hairspray and water in some instances can remove ink depending on the ink and fabric type you are dealing with. Be careful as you can create a separate problem while trying to resolve one. Hairspray can contain alcohol and oils such as resins and lanolin. The alcohol in the hairspray can cause color damage. The oils and other ingredients can lead to additional stains.
Some people believe that they are allergic to starch. This is not true. Some dry cleaners may not be familiar with pH and can give a garment to their customer that is too high on the pH scale. When a shirt is properly laundered the pH in the water should be raise above 7 to an alkaline to remove the soil. After the shirt is cleaned the rinse cycle needs to have a product introduced to return the fabric back to neutral or 7 pH. If this is not achieved then a burning sensation may occur which is why some people believe they are allergic to starch.
Exposure to heat or the passage of time can cause stains from food, beverages and other oily substances to oxidize and turn yellow or brown. Once stains become yellow or brown, they are much more difficult to treat and often cannot be removed. Some fabrics react negatively to common chemicals such as antiperspirant, perfume and aftershave.
Applying these common chemicals before you dress can help avoid fabric breakdown or discoloration, but over a period of time damage can take place. Repeated contact to perspiration will eventually lead to permanent yellowing that is commonly seen on shirts and blouses.
No. Dry cleaning can extend the life of your clothing. Food and beverage spills or tiny crumbs can attract insects and cause damage unless garment is dry cleaned. Colors will change as well if the original dye lot is not colorfast or also be noticed if matching pieces are cleaned with different solvents.
Today’s “summer” whites may contain fluorescent brighteners that can be damaged by prolonged natural sunlight. If you own matching sets of clothing such as suits, sweater sets, or dresses with matching jackets, always have them cleaned at the same time, whether or not they appear to be soiled. Dyes and fabrics finishes will change over time and with repeated wearing. To keep your matching sets looking as new as possible and clean them together.
While there are many reasons to send your garments to a professional dry cleaners, the most important reason is to prolong the life of your garments while keeping them looking their best. One of the properties of dry cleaning solvent is that it is much gentler than water on your garments. Another property is that it cleans grease and dirt out of garments much better than water can. Dry cleaning your garments also increases the chances of spot removal due to the specialized spotting agents that a professional dry cleaner uses.
Among a dry cleaner’s worst enemies are “invisible stains” like spray from a grapefruit or apple, hair spray or perfume. It is normally these types of stains that consumers see on freshly cleaned garments, making them protest, “That wasn’t there when I gave it to you!”
“Invisible” stains such as fruit juice, hairspray or cologne can reveal themselves when exposed to heat during processing. These stains can not be removed by dry cleaning alone, a specialized treatment is necessary. If you are aware of such a stain on one of your garments, please inform us at drop off so we may remove the potential discoloration before the stain sets.
Club soda, considered for so many years to be a cure all for practically every mishap, usually just spreads out the stain and can make removal of oily stains like butter and gravy almost impossible. Club sode is NOT recommended! If you rub a stain with a napkin dipped in water or club soda, it breaks the fibers and causes color loss or crocking. It appears to be helping, when in fact the majority of the time a very expensive piece of your clothing investment is being ruined.
The bags we provide are intended to protect your garments until you get them home. Fabric needs to breathe. It’s best to store clothing uncovered or in fabric garment bags.
Buttons may crack during the pressing process, even though we keep our press padding in excellent condition. The majority of buttons are made from a polyester resin. The strength of the buttons depends on the amount of polyester in the resin; some importers use off-quality buttons.
Off quality buttons do not meet the requirements of the following criteria; color, visual inclusions, chips or cracks, and uniformity of size. Manufactures use these off-quality buttons to save money, but this results in higher than average breakage. We do our utmost to replace all missing and cracked buttons.
Industry experience shows that, on average, shirts have a two-year wear life expectancy. However the number of laundering is a better measuring method. The average shirt should have a wear life of 35 to 50 washings. This can vary depending on the amount of abrasions and strain placed on a shirt during wear, the fiber content, the type of fabric, and the laundering procedure.