TIPS OF THE TRADE
School Days Stains
Back to school time also bring with it new stains you have not seen in a few months.
Here is a quick tip for two common school days stains from washable clothing.
Crayon: 1) Put a folded white paper towel under garment and spray WD-40 on clean white towel and dab both sides of stain
2) With your finger, rub dishwashing detergent onto stain; let paper towel absorb crayon stain
3)When the stain has disappeared, launder as usual.
Pencil: 1) First try the eraser. Chances are it will remove most of the stain.
2) Rub or spray a pre-treater to the stain, let sit for 30 minutes and launder as instructed.
Getting married? Preserve your formal wear
According to statistics from the US Dept. of Health & Human Services, more than 2.2 million marriages took place in America last year. The peak months were June, July, and August, with May, September, and October close behind. As a result, it's a busy time for your dry cleaner to be cleaning newly-married couples' formal wear.
It is really “dry” cleaned?
The term "dry" in dry cleaning refers to the fact that there is virtually no water or moisture present during the cleaning process. Your garments are processed in a liquid, yes, but the liquid contains almost no water at all! Why no water? "Dry clean Only" garments are typically made of fabrics that are susceptible to damage by moisture. Wool, silk, and rayon are common dry clean fabrics that, if washed in water would shrink, mat, or lose strength while wet or when put into a tumbling drier, like the one in your home.
The loss of color during washing is another problem that is solved by dry cleaning. The liquids used are far less likely to dissolve the dyes used to color your clothes. I'm sure you've washed a new pair of jeans and noticed the difference in color even after one washing. This effect may be desirable on your jeans, but certainly is not on your vivid red silk blouse, your new wool suit or your cashmere sweater, items that just cannot be properly cared for at home.
Modern dry cleaning machines also use a process we call dry-to-dry. This means the garments are placed in the machine dry, are cleaned by a total immersion process in the dry cleaning fluid, and then spun and dried. All this happens in the same part of the machine, similar to the basket in your clothes drier or a front-load type washing machine at your home. The difference is that the garments do not go from a "washing machine" to a "drying machine", it all happens in one machine! Another big difference is that the liquids used to clean your clothes are simultaneously being filtered during the cleaning process. So, unlike your clothes in your washing machine at home, the liquid itself is being cleaned the whole time your garments are being cleaned in it.
Finally, the liquids are continuously filtered and distilled, again right in the single machine, unlike your home washing machine that flushes many gallons of dirty, soapy water down the drain. Your professional drycleaner is recycling their cleaning fluid using modern equipment that brings the liquid back to it's original state during and after each load. We keep it “green” wherever possible with proper earth friendly solution disposal and green clean products.
Who Cares About Care Labels?
Many people take virtually everything to the drycleaner because they can count on excellent cleaning and professional finishing, resulting in the best possible look and a long garment life. But why are some garments labeled “Dryclean Only” while others read “Machine Wash Cold”, or “Dryclean for Best Results”? Why does this all sound so confusing?
What this can mean is that a garment may have multiple “appropriate methods of cleaning” but, legally, only one method is required to be on the care label. Does this mean that a “drycleanable” garment could be tossed in your home washing machine? Maybe, maybe not. Even if it washed safely, meaning no damages like color loss, shrinkage, and distortion, it still would need to be dried and then pressed to remove wrinkles. Unless you are certain a garment is washable, you risk causing irreversible damage, even when using the utmost care.
But, when you see a “Dryclean Only” label or some other absolute instruction, then this is the one and only appropriate cleaning method for that garment. Your “Dryclean Only” garments must be cleaned without water for several reasons. One reason is the fabric composition, such as wool, silk, angora, or rayon. These and many other fabrics are susceptible to shrinkage and distortion if washed in water. Color loss due to water-soluble dyes in a garment is another important reason to follow this care label instruction. Faded jeans have character, a faded red silk blouse doesn’t!