A Man’s Guide to Dry Cleaning

by Antonio on November 5, 2009 · 33 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style

dry cleaners

Image from Millie Motts

Why should a man care about dry cleaning?

  1. When your expensive clothing is damaged or lost, what can you do? I’m sure many of you reading this have been burned when it comes to having a garment come back missing buttons, torn, or in the worst case scenario-doesn’t come back at all.  You may have purchased your suit for $2,000, but if it vanishes you’ll be lucky to see 1/10th of that.  The key to preventing a loss is up-front preparation – which we’ll discuss below.
  2. Dry cleaning your clothing unnecessarily shortens the usable life of your garments. I’ve met men who dry clean their clothing once a week – others twice a year.  When should you dry clean and what are the effects of the dry cleaning solvent on your suit’s wool fibers?  We’ll get into the details here.
  3. You should understand what you are spending your money on. What’s the difference between the dry cleaner next to your house that charges 99 cents per shirt vs. the one near your office that charges triple that?  Is the more expensive one worth the money?  We’ll discuss ways to measure the quality of a dry cleaner and choose the best one for your needs.

What is dry cleaning?

Dry cleaning is a cleansing process that uses a solvent called perchlorethylene or DF2000 to clean clothing.  The perc (as it’s called in the industry) is run through the garment and then extracted along with dislodged oils, food, dust, and other unwanted dirt particles.  Since soap & water are not used in the process, it’s called “dry” cleaning.

Proper Dry Cleaner Tagging

Make sure your garments are properly tagged - this is where most problems start!

The dry cleaning process starts when you drop your clothing off; first it’s tagged and then sorted by whether it needs to be dry cleaned, laundered, pressed, or altered.  At this point the clothing is often moved to another location; in fact, it’s not uncommon for all the dry cleaners in an area to use the same contractor or be owned by a few companies.  This is why many cannot offer same day service or when “they” lose a garment you’re out of luck because the garment is lost in a much larger system than just the facility you dropped it off at.  Also, despite two cleaners charging different prices for the same service, if they use the same master cleaning facility, you are receiving no added benefit despite paying more.  I always look to use cleaners who do their work in house – I like knowing my garments are kept right where I dropped them off and handled by the person I gave them to.

Back to the process – after the drop-off stains are pre-treated (note – it’s very important you point out stains and label what the stain is so that it is treated properly) and the clothing is loaded into large machines where they sit in baskets and rotate in perchlorethylene – the perc is then drained using centrifugal force (shirts and other cotton garments are more often simply laundered with water and soap – it’s less expensive and does the job without damaging the fabric).  A good cleaning facility will then inspect clothing for any remaining soiled spots and post-treat if necessary.  Next the clothing is lightly steamed, pressed, and ironed where applicable.  Finally, garments are sorted out, shipped if necessary, and then stored for pick-up.

Always ask: Does your suit or shirt really need to be dry cleaned?

Most of us dry clean our delicate clothing way too much; more often than not simply brushing your wool sports jacket and hanging it in a well ventilated area will eliminate odors caused by light smoke or food.  If you spill food or drink on the garment, simply spot clean it as necessary by gently blotting the cotton or wool fabric with clean water.   Stains that require quick attention such as mustard or red wine, especially on light colored or silk fabrics, should be taken to the cleaners the next morning.  Immediate action after the spill should be to change the garment if possible, slip it off in the case of a tie, or carry on as if it doesn’t bother you.  Avoid home remedies such as club soda and salt and never rub a stain or put water on a fabric that can’t be washed in water (ties especially) – you’re just as likely to damage the fabric, especially if it’s fragile.

How often should a person dry clean their wool clothing?

There is no right answer here; an architect who wears a sports jacket to the job site in Orlando is going to soil his jacket much faster than a computer engineer wearing the same jacket in the Bay Area.  My guidance here is when brushing, spot cleaning, and airing out no longer do the trick….take the wool garment into a quality cleaner.  Dry clean when you must, not on a set schedule that will strip and weaken the wool fibers and damage their ability to crimp, thus unnecessarily aging the garment.

The specialized machinery that cleans, steams, and presses your clothing.

The specialized machinery that cleans, steams, and presses your clothing.

How should a man select a dry cleaner?

Selecting a dry cleaner is very similar to selecting a tailor – click here for my seven rules on that process.  In addition to the 7 tips on how to select a tailor, use the five rules below to significantly reduce the likelihood of disappointment at the dry cleaners.

  1. What is their lost garment/damage to clothing policy? Do they replace or give you depreciated value as listed in the International Fabricare Institute’s Fair Claims Guide?  What this means is that a three year old custom suit bought for 2K can be argued by a cleaner to only be worth 200 dollars.  So was saving that $5 worth it?  Always choose a cleaner with a great replacement policy.
  2. Are they clear on their pricing? Do they try the old “bait and switch” trick, and if so, what does this say about the integrity of the cleaner?  Make sure to ask how much you’ll be charged upon picking up your item – the lowest price guarantee that brought you into the store may only apply to one item, and even the listed prices may just be starting prices not including extra costs applied to specialty garments.
  3. How long have they been in business under their current name? Be wary of a cleaner that has changed ownership and names every few years.  In the case you do have an issue with a cleaner, take them to court, and win, collecting on a judgment is notoriously difficult because unless they voluntarily pay up, you need to force a withdrawal.  Dry cleaning businesses can often maintain multiple bank accounts under various names and you may end up filing with a court a half dozen times for a sum that quickly becomes not worth the effort.
  4. What level of training do they have? When you hand the person behind the counter a silk shirt and ask for it to be laundered, you want someone behind the counter to  suggest that the shirt be carefully dry cleaned instead, since a harsh washing method like laundering would destroy the shirt.  Don’t be afraid to ask about trainings and “test” their knowledge of the cleaning process.
  5. Are they environmentally friendly? Repeated exposure to large amounts of perc can cause cancer in humans. I am very pleased to see professionals in the industry such as Jerry Pozniak moving to a chemical free cleaning process that involves CO2.  In addition to being friendly to the environment, it is a superior cleaner to petrochemicals.

How to protect yourself in case of lost or damaged clothing

Do your homework. Do a Google search and locate any online reviews – what are others saying about how the dry cleaner reacted when something went wrong?  Now realize a customer’s view is only one side of the story and an upset customer is more likely to report a problem than a satisfied one is to give praise – so don’t let a single review scare you off.  But don’t ignore it either.  Give them a call and ask a few questions – are they friendly and competent or rude and unhelpful?  Are they on America’s Best Cleaners list?

Maintain your records. Ensure that when you drop off your clothing you receive a detailed receipt.  It should have a legible description of what you dropped off, when it was dropped off, who it was left with, and what you asked to have done.  For most shops this isn’t standard, and may be met with a frown, especially at rush hour.  But without it it’s your word vs. theirs if something goes wrong.  Also, you should have photographs or video of all your valuable clothing – the great part here is that this can also be used for your home insurance records as well.

Foster a relationship of trust. The best way to protect yourself is to create a long term relationship with a merchant that builds trust between both parties.  The men and women in the dry cleaning industry are like anyone else, and will often bend over backwards for a customer they like.  You have to understand the margins in this industry are paper thin, and many of these companies would go out of business if it wasn’t for family members pitching in.  However, they often do realize a long-term relationship isn’t about a single sale and are very interested in building loyalty and repeat business.  So strike up a conversation, tip if the service warrants, learn their names and ask about their family – because when you lose that receipt, and they lose the garment, more often than not an agreeable settlement will be reached.

A big thank you to Martin and Tanya Martin of Martin’s 1 hour cleaners in Shawano, WI for the images.  I’d also like to point out one of our commentors improved upon this write-up with her own dry cleaning article at Geek in Heels – it’s great so check it out!

Written by
Antonio Centeno
President, A Tailored Suit
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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt November 6, 2009 at 12:10 am

The main thing that attracted me to the cleaners I use now is that they do on-site cleaning. This means that they, obviously, do the dry cleaning/pressing/everything in the same building they operate in – they don’t ship anything away. I guess knowing where my stuff is gives me piece of mind. They also have a decent replacement policy and fair prices.

2 Khürt Williams November 6, 2009 at 7:14 am

None of the dry cleaners in my area are on the America’s Best Cleaners list and most of them contractor out the work. You mention asking about training but … what should I know about a dry cleaners training?

3 Paul November 6, 2009 at 7:47 am

Most of my life, I refused to wear anything but natural fibers. Because I’m a lawyer, I wear suits or at least a coat and tie every day. For years, this meant lots of wool and therefore, lots of dry cleaning. But, I hated the expense and the effect on the environment. So, last year, I decided to look for alternatives. I found that there are such things as washable wool pants and suits which, to my surprise, do not look like your father’s circa 1975 washable slacks from Sears. I bought two pairs of trousers, which have held their crease very well and look and feel fine. I haven’t bought a jacket yet, but I’m planning to do so. Retailers are M & S in the UK and Dockers (trousers only) in the U.S.

4 Jonathan Cunningham November 6, 2009 at 8:09 am

Nitpick: The environmentally-friendly dry-cleaning processes such as Solvair or D5 are not “chemical free”. They are using different chemicals that are much less toxic than perc but they are still chemicals none the less.

5 Enhor November 6, 2009 at 8:58 am

My parents have been dry cleaners for about 15 years (small family business) and I’d like to add a few little things to this article.
First of all, the main reason it’s called dry cleaning is because the clothes come out of the machine perfectly dry.
Second of all, sometimes dry cleaning is not an option. Somes clothes (usually expensive ones) can only be dry cleaned. You should only buy these clothes if you are willing to take them to the dry cleaner every time you use it. Also, beware of clothes that are not washable ! I’m not kidding, I’ve seen marriage dresses or scarves that could not be dry-cleaned or washed in water.
Also, if one of your cloth both support perchlorethylene and water, some time perc will be more efficient, especially when it comes to greasy stains.
And as the author says, it’s best to go to a dry cleaner that does the dry-cleaning on location, and you can easily spot a good dry cleaner if he tells you straight away “I’d rather not clean that” whenever he’s not sure. A good dry-cleaner would rather take the risk of losing some money than upsetting a customer, ruining a cloth and damaging his reputation.

6 Robert November 6, 2009 at 9:11 am

It’s worth noting that perchlorethylene is a group 2A carcinogen, “likely to cause cancer”.

That doesn’t mean you should never dry clean… you just may want to save it for when it’s needed.

You really don’t need to dry clean most shirts. Most can be cleaned at home then ironed. Suit jackets, and pants don’t need to be dry cleaned after every wear. As long as you’re neat (as a gentleman should be) you should be able to air it out and put it away nicely getting more than 1 use out of it between cleanings. Just doing that alone can half or more your exposure.

Not to mention save you money.

7 Carson Chittom November 6, 2009 at 9:20 am

So what do you do when nobody in your area (or even state!) is on that America’s Best Cleaners list? Or have—as far as I can tell—any sort of review whatsoever anywhere? And while I don’t know that none of the ones in this area do their thing on-site, the buildings of the ones I’ve seen just seem too small for it. Am I just SOL?

8 Jerry Hahn November 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

Terrifficc insight on cleaning.. Love this stuff and never realized how much I did not know and the more I do not know the better I feel and relate. Thank you for THIS article and keep up the good work.

9 Brad Patrick November 6, 2009 at 10:47 am

There is an excellent blog regarding classic fashion and related things called “A Suitable Wardrobe”, run by a man who makes a living helping to clothe people well. Sadly I can’t afford much of the quality of clothing he posts about, but I still enjoy reading it. He suggests using Rave Fabricare as a mail-out service for dry-cleaning high-value clothing. I haven’t used their service yet, but I definitely plan to as they appear to be really on-the-level.

10 Isi November 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Luckily I have never had any issues with dry cleaning. Might be because I don’t use the service often and only for a few select items and they have to be pretty damned dirty. I do know lots of folks though that takes stuff in on a regular schedule. I had no idea the process decreased the life of the material – i guess it makes sense when thinking about – same applies to regular washing in a washing machine with detergent i assume?

11 James November 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Like many other things in life there are absolutely good cleaners and bad cleaners — but there is no reason why dry cleaning ought to shorten the lifespan of a garment. Other than that.. informative read!

12 Luke - AspiringGentleman November 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm

James,
Every tailor and seamstress I’ve met agrees that dry cleaning wears at your clothes, particularly those with natural fibres. The reasoning I’ve been told is that the perc and other chemicals rob the material of the oils in the natural fibres, weakening them. I’d like to see a scientific study on the issue though. There are a lot of sites on the web that claim dry cleaning has no negative effects, but they all seem to be dry cleaners and valet services.

13 Ykov November 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm

“There are a lot of sites on the web that claim dry cleaning has no negative effects, but they all seem to be dry cleaners and valet services.”
Why?

14 Vladimir Cupal November 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Nice research! Only thing missing is link to really objective (e.g. scientific) article why dry cleaning damages natural fibres.
I have read several blogs on the subject and they all mention that a lot of people dry clean their clothes very often (for example after every other wear), but I cannot see how that’s feasible for them both logistically and economically.

15 Gryphon MacThoy November 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

King Country in WA state has been considering banning perchlorethylene by 2015. There are lots of cleaners now who don’t use perc simply because it’s not as good a cleaner as the carbon dioxide based cleaners.

16 Geek in Heels November 7, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Thank you for this article. My parents have been in the dry cleaning business for 22 years, and so this held a special interest for me.

One thing I would like to make clear is that these days, it is harder and harder to find cleaners who do on-site cleaning. Larger companies are buying out the smaller ones so that many dry cleaning stores are actually satellite locations that send the work to the central location or a dry cleaning plant/factory. Even if you check the “America’s Best Cleaners” list, you will see that many of the cleaners on the list are part of a chain.

In addition, many cities/states are looking to ban perc. I know that in the borough of Manhattan, perc use is banned, so practically ALL dry cleaners in Manhattan send their cleaning to other locations.

Regarding the use of perc, there is a reason it is still the most widely-used dry cleaning substance: it is the most economic, and it does the job the best.

When cleaners advertise the use of “organic” dry cleaning, what they are almost always implying is that they use isoparaffin hydrocarbon, which, like perc, is a synthetic petroleum distillate. The public should be aware that it is also is inferior to perc in terms of cleaning ability, but just as toxic.

CO2 cleaning was all the rage a few years ago, but it really does not do as good of a job as perc, as clothes needed to be run through multiple times to get the same results. In addition, CO2 is expensive.

The link that is included in the article pertains to the Solvair cleaning system, which was developed to improve on the CO2 system by using propylene glycol ether to clean, and CO2 to rinse. The problem with the Solvair system is that propylene glycol ether has been proven to be just as toxic as perc, and studies have shown it to have carcinogenic properties as well.

So as you can see, perc is still the preferred chemical for most dry cleaners for the reasons listed above. All dry cleaners are fully aware of the toxic properties of perc, and I too worry every day that my parents will develop cancer as a result of their profession. However, the fact remains that at this point, there is no better alternative.

My advice? The author of this article has made some great points, so keep to them. I also advise you to only dry clean clothes that NEED to be dry cleaned, and sparingly, as the process does wear down fabrics over time. Yes, I am telling you to keep your dry cleaning to a minimum.

@Mr Miyagi – I find your comment offensive, as I am a Korean-American whose parents own a dry cleaning facility. It seems to me as if you’re lumping all Koreans (or all immigrants who do not speak English well) into one group whose businesses should be avoided.

17 Hayley November 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Why do they even make garments that can only be dry-cleaned?

Go with ease of use, I say.

18 Brad Keeling November 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I’m a dry cleaner owner and I agree with most of the articles info. I would recommend that people who are looking for a good cleaners should look at the presentation of the store front, customer service, how busy the cleaners is, and what cleaning processes they offer. A cleaner that uses perc. is most of the time an old school cleaners. If the cleaners is using newer technologies to clean garments that means the cleaners probally has newer pressing equipment as well, which means that they will do an over all better job cleaning and finishing than others. I offer perc. hydrocarbon and wet cleaning technologies to all of my clients. Some garments turn out better in different processes. We are green everywhere we can be, but the bottom line is a perfectly clean garment and prefectly pressed garment is what we focus on everyday. If your in the Phoenix, AZ area and what to ask any questions of me please feel free brad@organicdrycleaners.com. PS we were nominated for America’s Best Cleaners, but declined to pay the monthly fees. THX Brad Keeling President Of OrganiCare Fine GarmentCare Centers.

19 Oscar January 14, 2010 at 11:57 am

The problem for me is interviewing the dry cleaner. Puts the dry cleaner on edge and they do seem reluctant to answer everything you ask and inevitably there are customers waiting behind you.

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20 Tom January 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Even though, I’ve lived in the same area for the last fifteen years, I recently found a shop that has been opened for over fifty years. I just had to try the shop. On my first visit, I was greeted very nicely by the staff. On the visit to pick up my clothes, I was greeted by my name! Instead of using tags to identify customers, the shop stamps initals on the inside of the collars. While they may change more than the other shops, the service and attention to details can’t be beat.

21 college papers February 3, 2010 at 1:10 am

There is a misconception that if a man is so neat and clean then he is gay. It’s so not true. There is nothing wrong on being clean and being organized. Nice article.

22 Brandon August 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Geek Heels…

You are incorrect about claims of Solvair being toxic. People often get it confused. See how the Sierra Club did and reversed it decision to recommended Solvair.

http://www.ravefabricare.com/conveniences/nationwide-clean-by-mail-service.aspx

Also, you might want to investigate the cleaning ability of Solvair again. Does your Perc machine eliminate 70% of stains without any pre-spotting efforts?

23 Presssed4Time December 11, 2012 at 4:50 am

Great article! It really is important for everyone to know that dry cleaning is the way to go and/or that there are alternatives to keep yourself.

24 andrew February 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

@Geek in heels,
just like your parents, my parents have worked in the dry cleaning business as owners of a small shop for more or less 22 years but you need to realize that your views on perc are skewed. My parents use a mixture type hydrocarbon and it is less toxic than perc in many ways. Between the usage of perc and hydrocarbon, Perc causes cancer while the other doesn’t. Other than the major difference, there are smaller ones like how the boiling point of perc is higher thus could damage the buttons of clothing or worst melt them and forcing the tailor to replace, perc takes longer to heat or cool compared to hydrocarbon,hydrocarbons today are naturally occurring so the only toxicity is just smog but not a living carcinogen compared to perc. Reason why many dry cleaners refuse to switch from perc to hydrocarbon or any other is that their old machines need extensive maintenance and be either rebuilt or have its major parts or even the programming switched that would seriously cost the owners a fortune. Hydrocarbons dont necessarily do a bad job compared to perc but just need more time in the machine to be extracted to be reused so the author of this article did make one good point out of many. Many owners still refuse to switch from perc to other solvents because the costs are way too high to bear and no customer would ever want to pay more money for drycleaning if any of you have dealt with the complaints of customers despite good work on getting the stains off their clothes. Sure, there are so people who would like a better environment but those are the exception but not the rule. Many customers would rather pay less than more because money talks.

25 Rachit April 18, 2013 at 4:09 am

Awesome insights into the dry cleaning domain. I am from dry celaner’s family and my father is in business for last 30 years. I have developed a software for dry cleaners and have shared my thoughts with more than 100 dry cleaners. yes it is true that PERC is hazardous to health and same can be said for hydrocarbon as well the only difference being it is less aggressive and less toxic but it is yet to be proved that it is organic. in reality many of the cloths are not required to treated by PERC and/or Hydro carbon. Best treatment is water wash though in same cases you might need to make use of some checmical for stain removal during pre cleaning processes.

26 mg November 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

Any thoughts on why dry cleaners (at least in Los Angeles) are notorious for not posting their prices? Why is this one of the only retail businesses that seems to be able to get away with this?

27 Starr Lara December 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hello,
I recently tried to dryclean a coat that I’ve repeatedly dry cleaned, a fake fur coat. Now my dry cleaner that I’ve had for over 15 years refuses to dry clean it, as there is no tag. The tag wore off.

What can I do? It is a coat made out of acetate?
thank you,
Starr

28 Joshua L March 3, 2014 at 8:54 am

appreciate the article here. A lot of good information. I am a general manager for a dry cleaners my self. It is a family owned dry cleaners. I like what he said about the profit margarine being paper thin in this industry, every thing is very labor intensive. A few things I would just like to add.
Regarding the issue of finding a good cleaners. He had mentioned Americas Best Cleaners list. It is not necessarily the “Best Cleaners” in America. If you look at the requirements list here: http://www.americasbestcleaners.com/Certification_Requiremen_HD.html
Some of those requirements are rather difficult to meet for smaller family owned dry cleaners. Which doesn’t make them a bad dry cleaners. I know the president of this company, he has helped us with a lot of stuff for our company. However, we are not on that list. Simple because we do not have the gross sales, nor do we need to invest as much in marketing. We are a very reputable company that receives most business though loyal customers and word of mouth.
Another thing is regarding the solvents used. Someone mentioned that perc is a ” group 2A carcinogen, “likely to cause cancer”.” So that means there is not really many confirmed studies proving it does cause cancer. Just to reiterate that point. But another thing regarding the cleanability of the solvents, there was a European study done a few years ago ranking the different solvents against each other. Perc was number 1 in overall cleanability. #2 was SolvonK4, which is what I use, then down the list was Hydrocarbon, DF2000, and at the bottom was a specific machine that used DF2000 and CO2 machines with the worse cleanability. When looking at Hydrocarbons vs. Perc, there are different classes of Hydrocarbon. For instance DF2000 is a Class 2 vs. K4 being a Class 3. K4 is better on the environment and still breaks down grease.
Finding a good cleaners. I would agree with what was mentioned before. The store front is a dead give away. If it is messy and unkept, take your clothes else where. Ask the Customer Service Reps (CSR’s as we refer to them) questions about their process and what they are doing. They may not know all the answers because they normally are not the ones doing the cleaning; however, they should have a good idea on what is going on and what is the best way to clean them. If they don’t know the answer they should be able to get it for you.
Regarding wearing on the life of the garment. Yes, cleaning it will have an effect on the wearable life of your garment. I clean all of my jackets, pants and sweaters regularly. Mainly because I wear sweaters and blazers while I am working in my plant
(and I like to maintain a solid crease in my pants). The temperature of these plants normally hang around 85-115 pending on where you are located, so my jackets build up oder faster than the average. I have not noticed to much wear show up on my clothes. But consider that leaving clothes dirty effects the usable life of your clothes also. Try to balance that out.
On the self stain removal suggestion. All I have to say is be careful when doing this. As the author said NEVER RUB. Blot as needed. But keep in mind, trying to remove a stain by yourself can leave a water ring on your garment if it is not dried evenly. As a dry cleaner, I do recommend leaving stain removal to the experts when dealing with dry clean garments. If you are dealing with Dockers or your dress shirts, I would recommend saving money and doing it yourself. But remember if you don’t get the stain out properly you can risk setting that stain and it will not be able to come out later.

29 Lorne Tontegode March 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm

My company has been involved in the dry cleaning industry for nearly 60 years. Not as a dry cleaner but as a service and sales company. Because of this, I get to see a lot more plants’ insides than most people including dry cleaners. There are a couple of things that I would like to correct in both the article and the comments.

First, Soap is used in dry cleaning. It is not the same as the soap in laundry but it is needed to remove water-soluble stains that the dry cleaning solvent can’t.

Perchloroethylene is not a proven carcinogen and believe me there are a lot of people that are trying to prove it is. It is one of the most widely used chemicals and has been in widespread use since the 1930s. and there has been lot’s of time to study it. What perc breaks down into over time has been proven to be carcinogenic but not perc. Most people don’t realize that perc (aka tetrachloroethylene) is also used in spray cans by automotive shops, homeowners, etc. as brake cleaner, electrical contact cleaner, etc. It is readily sprayed in driveways, garages etc. all over the world and is often not controlled. Dry cleaners maintain very tight control over the solvent and very little of it is released to the environment. That can of perc that you can buy at a local auto parts store is prohibited in a dry cleaning plant. All of the perc has to be in the closed circuit dry cleaning machine.

There are probably 6-7 different dry cleaning chemicals in use currently and all of them have their benefits and detriments. Some are very safe for humans but hard on the environment. They have very long cycle times that consume a LOT of energy. So which one is best? Depends on your perspective. If you’re okay with a huge carbon footprint in order to have a slightly safer solvent, you then have one perspective. Not right or wrong; just different.

Wear and tear on a garment comes from many things. If you don’t clean your clothes, your clothes will hold onto dirt and particulates. This will abrade the fibers and wear out the clothes. Cleaning these away will help with keeping your clothes looking good longer. Over-cleaning them will also damage them. Keep it in the middle and you will be fine. Nothing lasts forever though.

I agree that most of the time, a plant is a better solution than a depot but there are good and bad in both. There are many large plants that do a far better job than the mom and pop around the corner. There are also stand-alone plants that you can drop your clothes off at that will do a better job. It isn’t true though that if depot A and depot B send their clothes to the same main plant, you will get the same service. Large plants will tailor the service based on the depot’s needs and business plan. Many large plants have 3 levels of service with the “diamond” service possibly being a corner of the plant that has someone hand finishing the clothes. There also might be a depot that requests that the clothes aren’t spotted (removal of stains that don’t come out in the main process) and steamed, not pressed, in order to keep the price down.

Hydrocarbon (aka DF2000) IS “organic”. So is perc, Solvon K4, NpB, Rynex and others. The term “organic in chemistry only refers to chemicals that have carbon. The only processes that I know of that aren’t organic are GreenEarth (silicon based), water (no carbon present), and some CO2 processes. Organic chemistry is TOTALLY different than organic farming. Not related in any way.

As in all industries, there are the good and the bad. Try not to judge too quickly until you have all the facts. Oh, and by the way, you will never have “all the facts”. I suppose that means that you need to be careful when you judge. Just my 2 cents.

30 Josh L March 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm

@Lorne Tontegode as always great explaination. I always enjoy your information on the Fabricare Forum.

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