Helpful Dry Cleaning Tips

Helpful Tips

  • There exist "invisible stains" known as tannin stains. Most often, these stains remain invisible until heat or age turns it yellow or off-white. Usually this happens while the garment has been hanging in a closet or during the heat of dry cleaning and pressing. Soda, liquor, and fruit juices are the most common items containing tannin.
  • Fabrics can also be affected by acids or alkalis. A common strong acid to be aware of is battery acid. Damage can also be caused by chloride salts which are found in many beverages, foods, and perspiration. Silks seems to be the most affected by acids and alkalis.
  • Some stains need special attention and the chances of removing these stains is improved by letting your dry cleaner know. Special techniques are used to clean the following stains: blood, medicine, nail polish, lipstick, and other cosmetics.
  • The alcohol contained in perfumes and colognes may damage fabric dyes and cause color loss. Discoloration and fabric weakening can be caused by antiperspirants, deodorants and perspiration. Hair wave treatments can also cause loss of color to fabrics.
  • Water stains from radiators, leaks, open windows, animals, etc. are extremely hard to remove. These stains become visible with age or after dry cleaning.
  • Sun light causes havoc on drapery fabric causing deterioration and fading of colors. Lined draperies will last longer.
  • Furniture covers are subject to shrinkage and sun fading. When washed replace them on the furniture before they are fully dry.
  • Never wash wool fiber-filled comforters. Dry Clean only! They are prone to dramatic shrinkage. Inform your dry cleaner of the wool filling.

What is Dry-Cleaning?

Dry-cleaning is not a process of cleaning that is “dry” in the sense of the word. It is a method in which garments are cleaned with special liquid chemicals that do not contain water.

Here is an example: If you were to take an aspirin and put it into a glass containing dry-cleaning solvent, the aspirin would not dissolve. If you were to take the same aspirin and put it into a glass of water, it would dissolve. The water causes similar reactions to fabrics and dyes. As it dissolved the aspirin, it may remove color, shape, and even shrink a garment. Where-as dry-cleaning did not disturb the aspirin; it would not harm the fabric colors, shape, or size of the garment. Since there is a possibility of damage to your garments during a cleaning process, manufacturers recommend dry-cleaning as the safest method.

When a garment is damaged in dry-cleaning, ninety percent of the time, it is caused by a manufacturers defect and not dry cleaner error. Almost all garments will have a care label attached by the manufacturer as to what the proper method of cleaning should be. If the label states ‘Dry clean only” and the dry-cleaner follows the instructions and damage occurs, it is more often the case that they manufacturer did not properly test the entire garment.

Usually it is determined that the base material or fabric is dry-cleanable but the added accessories of beading, sequins, leathers, buttons and or other materials used to manufacture the garment were not. If you have a problem or question relating to this, please feel free to contact us.