True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

Ask Stu: Your questions answered


Ask StuAfter getting my clothes back from the dry cleaners I get the feeling that no one has inspected the items prior to putting them in the plastic bag. I see stains and poor pressing that I should not get.

Aren't cleaners supposed to make sure the clothes are right before putting them in a bag?

Chicago, Illinois


Girl checking garment 79Steve, yes they should. But very few cleaners thoroughly inspect every garment. Inside and out. Of course, that fact won't stop ordinary cleaners from swearing that they do. But they don't.

You see, careful, thorough inspection takes a full-time commitment. And, if the cleaner has any quality standards, an uncompromising position on every aspect of the process. Including stain removal, cleaning, finishing, repairs (buttons, snaps, hooks, eyes, shoulder pads, seams, hems, zippers, etc.), and packaging.

The problem is that many ordinary cleaners claim that they inspect each and every garment. They even use the term "hand inspect", implying that their inspections are careful and thorough. Yet, these same cleaners typically assign the inspection task to the first customer service employee with some free time on their hands.

A bigger problem is that the "inspector" is very often also the garment bagger. Whose primary focus is on getting your garments into a bag and onto the conveyor or into the delivery truck, and who simply doesn't have the time to carefully and thoroughly inspect each and every garment. From top to bottom. From inside to outside.

Patchwork 20Let's assume, for argument's sake, that the garment bagger did, in fact, find something obvious on a garment -- a stain or wrinkle on a garment; a rippled collar on a blazer or sport coat; a missing ornamental button; a loose hem; a broken zipper; etc.

What would they do? Return it for recleaning, refinishing, replacement or repair? Highly unlikely!

After all, why bother with a careful, thorough inspection when the entire modus operandi of the ordinary cleaner is geared to getting your garments into a machine, onto a press, and into a bag. ASAP. They're in by 9:00 and out by 5:00; or picked up on day 1 and delivered on day 3.

At ordinary cleaners, careful, thorough inspections just get in the way of their "production system".

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