Q. What Is Dry Cleaning?
A. Drycleaning is a process that uses solvent instead of water to remove soils and stains from fabric in specially designed machines. In fact, the term “drycleaning” is misleading. It is called drycleaning because the solvent contains little or no water and does not penetrate the fibers as water does. Among the advantages of drycleaning is its ability to dissolve greases and oils in a way that water cannot. The drycleaning process begins with the pre-treatment of spots and stains using special cleaning agents. The garments are then loaded into a machine resembling an oversized front-loading washer. It produces similar mechanical action to loosen embedded dirt. Throughout the cleaning process, the solvent is filtered or distilled to ensure its clarity. The garments are dried in the same machine and should have no residual solvent odor after cleaning.
Q. What is Wetcleaning?
A. Wetcleaning starts with the pretreatment of spots and stains using special cleaning agents. Wetcleaning is the process of removing soils from garments and other textile items through the use of water and additives (such as detergent) and using precautions to prevent shrinkage, loss of color, and fabric distortion.
Q. What is Laundering?
A. Professional laundering for shirts and other washable items. It is another process your cleaner uses to keep your garments looking their best. Special detergents, additives, and finishes set commercial laundering apart from home laundering and professional pressing affords a crisper finish.
Q. Are suede and leather cleaned the same way as other fabrics?
A. No. Special procedures and additives are used on leathers to help retain their color and texture. Sometimes suede and leathers are redyed to replace color loss. It is not always possible to replace or match the colors.
Q. Does dry cleaning shrink clothes?
A. No. the dry cleaning process is carefully controlled by professional cleaners. Excessive shrinkage is usually caused by improper preshrinking by the manufacturer.
Q. Should I store my clean garments in the plastic bag they are returned in?
A. The bags are provided by the cleaner to protect the garment until you get it home. It is best to remove the plastic bags when you get home and store garments uncovered. If Sweaters, comforters and other garments are picked up in a white breathable bag they may be stored in them.
Q. The care label on a sweater indicates it is hand washable. Can I wash it in a machine on a delicate cycle?
A. There is some risk involved in using any care process not recommended by the manufacturer. Hand washing involves manual removal of soils with water, detergent, and a gentle squeezing action. A care label that calls for machine washing, in a delicate or gentle cycle, indicates the soil can be removed with water, detergent or soap, slow agitation, and reduced time in a washing machine. Hand washing is a restrictive care process that minimizes the amount of abrasion a garment receives in cleaning. If hand-washable garments are machine washed in a gentle cycle, agitation may be further minimized by putting the item in a net bag. Even this procedure is in violation of the care label instruction, however, and places responsibility for damages on the launderer rather than the manufacturer.
Q. Can I remove the care label?
A. It is not recommended. Garments are required to have a care label attached at the time of purchase so that you can take instructions into consideration when you buy an item. Removing the care label entails some risk, as full information or warnings regarding proper care will no longer be available to you or your cleaner.
Q. When a garment’s label says “washable”, does this mean it cannot be drycleaned?
A. Not necessarily. The Care Label Rule states that only one suitable method of care must be on the label. Cleaners usually follow the care instructions, unless otherwise requested. If you want your washable items drycleaned, the cleaner may ask you to sign a damage waiver.
Q. Should I use hairspray to remove a ballpoint ink stain?
A. Hairspray and water can remove ballpoint ink, but you may be trading one problem for another. That’s because hairspray could contain alcohol and oils such as resins and lanolin. The alcohol in the hairspray can cause color damage especially on silk; likewise, oils and other ingredients could lead to additional stains.
Q. How do you remove deodorant and antiperspirant residue?
A. Many people do not realize that prolonged contact with deodorants and antiperspirants may cause permanent damage. Combined with the effects of perspiration, the damage can be extensive. The most frequent damage is caused by overuse of these products, or infrequent cleanings. This leads to the buildup of a stiff, caked-up residue or to fabric damage.To prevent chemical damage, do not overuse the product and allow it to dry before dressing. Wear dress shield with silk garments.To remove the residue on washable garments, wash as soon as possible after wear in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Soaking in a detergent containing enzymes or an enzyme presoak may be necessary. If the stain remains, try using three percent hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach, according to fiber type or care label instructions. Before using, test for colorfastness.
Q. How should I clean my rayon garments?
A. First we must remember that rayon is a manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose derived from wood pulp or cotton linters. It is absorbent and comfortable to wear. There are different forms of the fiber know as rayon, viscose, cuprammonium, high-wet modulus and lyocel sold as Tencel™. With the exception of lyocel, rayon is very sensitive to water. Many dyes applied to rayon are not colorfast and will bleed or migrate upon contact with moisture. In addition, manufacturers often add sizing to rayon in order to achieve a desired body or drape. Some sizings are water-soluble, and washing will distort the shape of the garment. Drycleaning is recommended for most rayon garments. Although substantially similar in chemical composition to rayon, lyocel can be either drycleaned or washed. However, when caring for garments made of lyocel it is important to follow the care instructions carefully. If a garment made of lyocel is washed when should have been drycleaned, it may result in excessive shrinkage and a wrinkled appearance.
Q. Does frequent drycleaning shorten the life of a garment?
A. On the contrary, frequent cleaning prolongs the life of a garment. Not only do stains set with age, making the garment unwearable, but ground-in dirt and soil act as an abrasive, like sandpaper, causing rapid wear of fibers. Also, insects are attracted to soiled clothes and will cause further damage.
Q. What can my professional drycleaner not do?
A. Remove certain stains: The nature and age of the stain, plus the color construction of the fabric, sometimes make stains impossible to remove without damaging the garment. Prevent some colors from bleeding or fading: If the manufacturer does not thoroughly test the dyes to make sure they are colorfast to both solvent and water, some color may be lost during the cleaning process. This is considered the manufacturers responsibility. Prevent excessive shrinkage: If the manufacturer has failed to adequately preshrink all component parts before the garment is constructed, shrinkage may occur. Reverse worn or torn areas: Due to wear, perspiration, damage caused by insects, or liquid spills. Such holes or rips may not appear before cleaning, but they result from a previous weakening of the fibers. Prevent or correct holes caused by insects or acid spillage: Such holes may not appear before dry cleaning, but they result from a previous weakening of the fibers. Correct excessive shine on clothes: Caused by wear or extreme heat and pressure to home ironing. Correct poor home spot removal procedures! Such as color loss caused by excessive rubbing of delicate fabrics or color reactions or holes in the fabric caused by failure to rinse stain removal agents from the fabric.