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

Dry cleaners need a code of ethics

Non-toxicSeinfeld fans may recall an episode in which Jerry accuses his dry cleaner of wearing a jacket that Jerry left to be cleaned and pressed. The dry cleaner indignantly responds to the (truthful) accusation by telling Jerry that no dry cleaner would dare to do such thing because "its contrary to the dry cleaners code of ethics."

I wonder if mischaracterizing or lying about the dry cleaning solvent or fluid a cleaner uses is also "contrary to the dry cleaners code of ethics?"

Apparently telling clients that they clean in a specific dry cleaning solvent or fluid -- perchloroethylene (aka perc), synthetic petroleum, siloxane, pure liquid carbon dioxide, hybrid glycol ether/liquid carbon dioxide and/or water -- is far too specific for most cleaners. So they distort, misrepresent or lie about the dry cleaning solvent or fluid they use. This is particularly true of those cleaners who clean (or claim to clean) in synthetic petroleum.

Instead of telling you the specific dry cleaning solvent or fluid they use, they proffer nuanced answers such asNon-perc

  • "We're a green dry cleaner."

No, you're a dry cleaner. And before I can make a determination as to whether your dry cleaning solvent or fluid is green or not, you need to tell me the generic name of the specific dry cleaning solvent or fluid you use. 

  • "We're an organic dry cleaner.

 No, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. And synthetic petroleum is notOrganic dry clean organic in the same way that a consumer understands the word organic.

 

 

  • "We're a non-toxic dry cleaner."

 Environmental friendlyNo, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. And synthetic petroleum is toxic. In this regard, it's no different than perchloroethylene (aka perc).

 

 

 

 

 

  • "We're an environmentally-friendly dry cleaner."

 Eco-friendlyNo, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. And synthetic petroleum is not environmentally friendly. In this regard, it's no different than perchloroethylene (aka perc).

 

 

  • "We dry clean in an alternative dry cleaning solvent."

 No, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. If you cleaned in siloxane, pure carbon dioxide, or hybrid glycol ether/carbon dioxide, you surely would say so.

  • "Our dry cleaning solvent is DF 2000."

 No, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. DF 2000 is just Exxon Mobil's brand of synthetic petroleum.

  • "Our dry cleaning solvent is EcoSolv."

 No, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. EcoSolv is just Conoco Phillips' brand of synthetic petroleum.

  • "We're a hydrocarbon dry cleaner."

 No, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. OK, I admit it. Synthetic petroleum is a hydrocarbon solvent. So you're not technically lying. Just intentionally and consciously confusing your customers about the nature of your dry cleaning solvent or fluid.

 No, your solvent is synthetic petroleum. And DF 2000 isn't a generic form of siloxane. Never has been. Never will be.

  • "We're a carbon dioxide (CO2) dry cleaner."

 No. You're a hybrid CO2 cleaner. Your solvent is glycol ether, not CO2. You only rinse in liquid CO2 after first cleaning your garments in glycol ether.

It is my understanding that Jerry Seinfeld will deliver the keynote address at the Clean Show, the next major dry cleaning convention scheduled to take place in Las Vegas in 2011.

And the title of his address? "How to achieve a competitive advantage by misrepresenting, distorting and lying. And avoid getting caught."

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