Guide To Dry Cleaning Your Cloths

They say dry cleaning is a man’s best friend. Or is it?

Here’s why you should care about dry cleaning. 

What will you do when your expensive clothing is damaged or lost?

The problem with sending your suits for dry cleaning may come back with missing buttons, some tears or your suit doesn’t come back at all. How unlucky could that be, right? 

Dry cleaning can shorten your garments’ life.

Some people dry clean their clothing at least once a week while others twice a year. When should you turn to dry cleaning and what are the effects of the cleaning solutions to your clothing? 

Is it worth your money?

How do you know it’s worth paying triple cost over a next-door dry cleaner who only charges 99 cents per shirt? 

Before you consider dry cleaning your clothes, let’s learn about the whats and hows of dry cleaning first. 

Question 1: What is Dry Cleaning?

This is a cleansing process that uses a solvent called perchloroethylene or DF2000. No soap or water is used in the process, so the DF200 is run through the garment and then extracted along with unwanted dirt particles in your clothing.

Proper labeling of stains is very important, so your clothing is also properly treated. The clothing is then loaded into large machines, sit in baskets and rotate in the perc solution. The perc is then drained using centrifugal force. Take note that shirts and other cotton garments undergo simple laundry process using soap and water since it’s inexpensive and does not damage the fabric. Some good facilities may carefully inspect any remaining uncleaned spots and do necessary post-treatment. When the clothing is clean and done, steaming, pressing, and ironing will follow. The garments are then sorted out, shipped, and stored for pick-up. 

When you drop off your clothing, dry cleaners will tag and sort it to whatever needs to be done such as dry cleaned, laundered, pressed, or altered. The clothing is then moved to another location. The fact is, it is very common for dry cleaning shops to be owned by several companies. This is the reason why a lost clothing is hard to trace because it might have been lost in a much larger facility than where you dropped it off. Two different dry cleaners may be using the same master-cleaning facility so paying more is not a guarantee. In-house dry cleaners are ideal and can do justice to your clothing, that is, not losing your garment anywhere untraceable. 

Question 2: Is dry cleaning necessary?

There are simple ways to clean your sports jacket or other garments so dry cleaning your delicates way too much is simply not recommended. You can hang your clothing in a well-ventilated area for odor elimination. Spot clean your clothing as necessary by blotting the area with clean water. Some stains also require quick attention, especially when spilled on light colored fabrics. Take it to the dry cleaners the immediately or first thing in the morning. Do not resort to home remedies such as club soda and salt or rubbing a stain or putting water for fabric that cannot be washed with water such as ties as this will only damage the fabric. 

Question 3: How often should you dry clean a wool clothing?

Actually, there is no definite number or a right or wrong.  Just ensure the quality of the dry cleaner you are dropping your clothes to. Dry cleaning should only be when needed, not on a scheduled basis that will eventually weaken the fabric strength. 

Question 4: How Should I select a dry cleaner?

Just like selecting a tailor, selecting a dry cleaner is as crucial.

You should consider the following:

1. Clothing policy for a lost or damaged garment.

They should replace or give you a depreciated value as per the International Fabricare Institute Fair Claims Guide. A quality cleaner always has a great replacement policy. 

2. Are they transparent about pricing?

Do they have a clear list of prices or are they trying the “bait and switch”? Be sure to ask them the estimated cost so there will be no hidden charges once you pick them up. There will always be extra costs so be sure you are prepared for it. 

3. Consider their length of service.

Be conscious and cautious before choosing a dry cleaner. If they have changed their names quite a lot, I think their business might need some double checking. Their credibility along with the length of service under their name should be taken into consideration. 

4. Are they trained to provide such service?

You do want to test the person behind the counter before handing them over your garments. Ask questions such as what method should be best done to the type of stain in a particular fabric and any other necessary questions concerning your stuff. Do not be afraid to test their knowledge about the process. This way you ensure that your clothing might not end up to a bad quality in the end. 

5. Do they practice environment-friendly processes?

Exposure to a large quantity of perc can cause cancer. So, consider choosing a dry cleaner that uses a chemical-free cleaning process that only involves CO2. This way they are being environment-friendly and cleanses petrochemicals as well. 

Question 5: How should I protect myself in case of loss or damages?

1. Try to research and look for reviews before handing over your clothing. Reviews may include negative and positive ones, but it still pays to be cautious about it. Try giving them a call and ask a few questions. Also, see if they are friendly and courteous or are they rude and unhelpful at all.

2.  Keep your records. Always check for receipts upon dropping off your clothing. It should clearly describe what and when you dropped off, who handled it and what should be done. Make sure you have a photograph or any documentation of your clothing.

3. Build relationships. Not only should the store reach out and build the relationship but the customer should do the same. It’s also a way of protecting yourself. A healthy relationship is not a single line service but a repeat business. Soon enough you’ll realize how helpful this is in reaching an agreeable settlement in the long run.

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