We provide extraordinary care for fine
garments & household textiles
over 26,000 dry cleaners in the USA and over 400 in the metro
Phoenix area alone. And almost every single one claims to be "best
of class" and to offer "exceptional" or "award winning" dry
cleaning and shirt laundry services.
Your intuition and experience should tell you that these claims
-- even those proffered by the so-called "better cleaners" -- are
nothing more than puffery on the part of ordinary cleaners.
More specifically, the vast majority of ordinary dry cleaners
commit the 10 Deadly Sins of Ordinary Dry Cleaners. They ...
1. Skip the stain removal process
load their machines and press the start button.
And if the spots and stains miraculously disappear based on a
combination of the dry cleaning solvent (the more aggressive the
better), the dry cleaning detergent (if any, and then, the cheaper
the better), the addition or injection of moisture into the dry
cleaning machine (a reckless undertaking), and the dry cleaning
machine's tumbling action, you're in luck; if not, that's your
problem and they'll simply hang one of those
sorry-we-tried-but-we-couldn't tags on your garment.
2. Use chlorinated and/or
hydrocarbon dry cleaning solvents
97% of all dry cleaners clean your fine garments and household
perchloroethylene aka perc (a chlorinated solvent branded
Dowper) or synthetic petroleum (a hydrocarbon solvent branded DF
2000 or EcoSolv).
These solvents are excellent on oil-based stains such as body
oil, butter, lotions and creams (about 10% of all stains a dry
cleaner sees), but, rather ineffective on water-based stains such
as perspiration, soda, coffee and wines (about 90% of the stains a
dry cleaner sees). More importantly, chlorinated and hydrocarbon
dry cleaning solvents are way too aggressive for fine bespoke,
made-to-measure, designer, high fashion, specialty and couture
garments in which I specialize. If I operated a uniform rental
business specializing in auto repair shops, I'd definitely want to
clean in perc. If I operated an ordinary cleaner, I'd definitely
want to clean in either perc or synthetic petroleum or both.
3. Reuse their dry cleaning
solvent over and over again
That would be fine if only they continuously purified every
single drop of their dry cleaning solvent before and after each and
every load. And continuously filtered their solvent during each
But ordinary dry cleaners don't do both.
Instead, they either filter with zero purification, filter with
inadequate purification, filter with irregular purification, or
filter with inadequate and irregular purification.
And the result? Greyish and dingy whites, creams and pastels.
Dull and faded colors. And that all-too-familiar "
dry cleaning solvent smell."
4. Use cheap dry cleaning solvent
detergents or none at all
Just like you add a detergent to your home wash, a dry cleaner
must add a dry cleaning detergent to their dry cleaning
Many are cheap; some expensive. Many are ineffective; some
effective. Most ordinary cleaners opt for cheap.
And, in many cases, where the pressure on costs is great, they
don't even use a dry cleaning detergent. Even the cheap ones!
5. Add fragrance or perfume to
their dry cleaning solvent
Ordinary cleaners love fragrance or perfume.
And the reason? A futile attempt to "disguise" or "neutralize"
the odor associated with dry cleaning in "dirty dry cleaning
solvent" -- dry cleaning solvent that has not been both
continuously purified and continuously filtered.
6. Add sizing to their dry
Ordinary cleaners also love
sizing. So they add or inject sizing into their dry
cleaning machines during the wash cycle. In much the same way that
you inject detergent or softener into your home washer.
According to one Phoenix, Arizona dry cleaner, it's to "keep
your garments feeling new and crisp" and to "retain your garment's
original shape, weight and feel" (I kid you not!).
Truth is, the more sizing, the more garments a presser can bang
out on a press in an hour. Which you've got to do if your entire
business model is geared to quantity and speed. Not quality of
7. Take unacceptable risks in
their cleaning process
It's all done in the name of cutting costs and cutting
risks involve: mixing garments of different colors;
mixing regular and fragile garments; overloading their machines;
adding or injecting moisture into their loads; reducing their
"wash" cycle times; and increasing their "dry" cycle
All of which produces the fastest, cheapest -- and worst --
8. Machine press your
Ordinary cleaning is all about pushing the maximum number of
garments (quantity) through their system in the shortest possible
machine press instead of hand iron. Typically, 30 to 40
pants per hour per presser and 20 to 30 non-pant garments per hour
per presser. About 1½ to 2 minutes per garment.
This gives true meaning to the term "bang and hang" cleaning.
The result? Crimes of fashion such as crushed nap; shine; seam,
flap and button impressions; and wrinkled seams and linings.
9. Fail to inspect your
It's the old story: why bother with a careful, thorough
inspection -- from top to bottom -- from inside to outside -- when
the entire operation is geared towards 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.
10. Stuff your garments into a
bag, then cram them on a holding rack or conveyor
Just look at the holding racks or the conveyor of any dry
cleaner with a reasonable volume of business. The orders are packed
like sardines in a tin. So instead of the
packaging reflecting and enhancing the "care and
attention invested in the cleaning and finishing process," your
garments are returned to you -- pressed and on a hanger -- looking
only slightly better than the day you turned them over.
There you have it. The 10 Deadly Sins of Ordinary Cleaners.
But I must confess. There are way more than 10. Were you to
spend some time on our site (www.ravefabricare.com) or
on this blog you'd probably come up with at least 100 all on your
own. All related to knowledge, expertise, skills, processes,
craftsmanship, technologies, equipment and facilities. And all
directly related to the cleaner minimizing costs and time and
maximizing piece count volume and revenues.
Then again, the 100 Deadly Sins of Ordinary Dry Cleaners just
doesn't have the same ring to it.
How can I help you?
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