|Processes Used At Our Locations
Different processes are used based on which gives the best result based upon a customer's request for a certain outcome or to resolve a particular issue. In some cases with the full understanding of the customer in advance, other times staff doing what they feel will take care of a customer's particular request.
We are happy to recommend what we think but don't want to have a customer dissatisfied or frustrated because they have been requesting or receiving cleaning advice that does not give them the result they expected. Hopefully the following explanations will prove useful in aiding customers assess which process will give them their preferred result:
- Dry Cleaning: Dry cleaning is machine washing without the use of water. The machine looks like an oversize front loading washer but does not use water hence the term dry clean. It uses a liquid solvent that is thoroughly filtered between uses. The clothes go in the machine dry and come out dry then are pressed dry on low temperature machines, steamed on various form finishers and touched up with irons by hand with special accessories that cannot scorch. The dry clean process performs best on fabrics that are water sensitive causing them to lose their shape or color if cleaned with water. Unless specifically prohibited most machine washable garments will do fine using the dry cleaning process.
What the dry clean process does not do particularly well is remove water stains from spilled liquids, food, perspiration and other water based soil. We sometimes combine dry cleaning and wet cleaning (see wet cleaning explanation below) to cover stains that are combinations of oil and water soluble soil. Bright whites don't do their best in dry cleaning either. In spite of our best efforts to filter and clean the solvent it is never as good as wet cleaning which rinses with brand new water after washing. Screen printing and some plastics do not perform well in dry cleaning sometimes dissolving or hardening and glued on decorations may fall off.
- Laundry: Laundry sounds simple enough. It is machine washing with water but the term includes wet pressing on hot head machines. The laundry process is best used on lighter colored natural fibers such as cotton and some linens and cotton/poly blends that are high percentage cotton where a smooth hard finished is desired. Because laundry pressing involves laying garments on machines or presses wet then applying 300 degree metal hot heads against them at high pressure to achieve a smooth hard finish it is inherently harder on clothes. Precious items are better off wet or dry cleaned depending on their care label or desired result.
- Wet Clean: Here is where confusion seems to begin. Wet clean means washed then pressed dry using the same process as garments that are dry cleaned. Sometimes cotton and linen garments will be finished on laundry hot head presses. They are given a spritz of water and the hot head lowered on them for just a second or two giving the fabric surface a smooth texture. The wet cleaning process is best used on water washable garments and some dry cleanable types that have heavy soil and a smooth but not hard finish is desired.
- Machine Washing: All our machines are front loaders. We do not use top loaders for any of our machine washing processes. Front loading horizontal drum type machines are gentler on garments. They pick them up and drop them to squish out the dirt and soil versus twisting the clothes as top loaders do. Our smallest washers used on their gentle cycle gives a better result than hand washing.
- Spot Clean: Some garments have care labels that recommend spot cleaning only. Instead of machine washing stains and soil will be blotted off or gently steamed out then wrinkles will be gently pressed or steamed out.
- Hand finish: Refers to how clothes are pressed. Hand finish is done on flat utility presses and may include steaming and ironing.
- Machine Pressing: This refers primarily to laundered shirts. Laundered shirts are pressed on an assembly line using three different types of machines. Collars and cuffs first, the body second and finally the sleeves then any touch-ups necessary. Machine pressing gives laundered shirts a smooth hard finish at a quicker pace than hand finishing. Sometimes dry and wet cleaned garments may be put on the machines but are then returned to the hand finishing area for touch-up.