I took the jacket of a 2
piece off-white skirt suit to a local dry cleaner. The assistant
asked if it was part of a 2 piece suit. When I told her that it was
she said that they needed to clean both pieces at the same time. Is
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Sadly, Miranda, it's a pretty standard response.
My position is that you should be able to dry clean the blazer
or slacks of any white, cream or pastel two piece suit by itself
without fear of "mismatched coloring". But your cleaner will
probably insist that you clean both pieces at the same time.
Why? Because they have zero confidence in the purity or
cleanliness of their dry cleaning solvent or fluid. And don't want
to have to deal with the consequences of "mismatched coloring."
The "rationale" behind the notion that you should always dry
clean all pieces of an outfit at the same time is that this might
help ensure that your outfits have "consistent coloring."
Truth is, this concept is, at the same time, both absurd and
appropriate, given the nature of ordinary cleaning today.
see, garments and household textiles should always be cleaned in
dry cleaning solvent or fluid that's both continuously purified and
continuously filtered. Every single drop. This way your garments
and household textiles are cleaned in dry cleaning solvent or fluid
that's absolutely crystal clear. As clear as bottled mountain
Continuous purification is much like boiling your tap water at
home to obtain pure water; continuous filtration is much like
filtering your tap water to remove any additional impurities.
Fact is, crystal clear, freshly purified and freshly filtered
dry cleaning solvent or fluid is your only guarantee against
grayish and dingy whites, creams and pastels; dull and faded
colors; and that all-to-familiar "dry cleaning solvent smell."
Unfortunately, very few ordinary cleaners both continuously
purify every single drop of their dry cleaning solvent or fluid
before and after each load, and continuously filter every single
drop of their dry cleaning solvent or fluid during each load.
So soluble impurities, such as bacteria, residual dyes, body
oils, oily-type creams and lotions, and food fats accumulate in the
dry cleaning solvent or fluid.
These soluble impurities arthen absorbed by the fibers of your
garments and household textiles during the dry cleaning "wash"
cycle. In particular, natural fibers, such as silk, wool, linen and
cotton, absorb these impurities like a sponge absorbs liquid.
Instead of your cleaner continuously purifying and continuously
filtering his dry cleaning solvent or fluid, your garments and
household textiles are functioning as your cleaner's "cleaning
In effect, your garments and household textiles are being
cleaned in "dirty dry cleaning solvent or fluid." It's just
like washing your clothes at home and reusing the same dirty water
over and over again.
That's why you've been told to clean all pieces of your white,
cream and pastel outfits at the same time. So that all pieces of
your outfit will then have "consistent coloring" -- "give-it-away
gray" or "dry clean dingy."
Cringe at your leisure.
If you have a question for Stu, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I help you?
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