Before I started working for a dry cleaner, I was pretty naïve about how to care for clothes. Shortly after I graduated from college, I dropped off my first dry cleaning order and the customer service representative asked me if my order was all dry cleaning or did I have laundered items as well. “Ummm, I don’t know,” I said, feeling a bit embarrassed. Just imagine how confused I’d been if professional wet cleaning was an option back then. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you several things I have learned over the years.
Clothing Care Information
- Clean Your Clothes Often
There’s No Such Thing as Cleaning Your Clothes too Often. I once read an article that said dry cleaning clothes too often causes them to wear out more quickly. That’s simply not true. In fact, not cleaning your clothes often enough can shorten their life span. First instance, get a stain on a blouse or pair of pants, don’t address it immediately, that stain becomes permanent, and now that garment is no longer wearable. Frequently not dry cleaning your suit after 2-3 wearings will cause the dirt to become embedded in the fibers ultimately causing them to wear out more quickly.
- Garments Can Shrink
When shrinkage is involved, it’s not necessarily the cleaner’s (dry cleaner or home launderer) fault. If fabric has not been preshrunk during manufacturing and processing, the garment will likely shrink. An acceptable amount for shrinkage is usually 2-3%.
- Care Labels Aren’t Always Right
While we always say to follow the directions on the care label, sometimes we don’t because we know better. We recommend that you follow them so that if something goes array, you can return the garment to the place of purchase. The truth is that the FTC does not require that the suggested cleaning method be tested before placing the label on the garment; they just require that manufacturers provide reasonable basis for the instructions they provide.
- Not All Stains Can Be Removed
Stain removal is part science and part art and depends on so many factors including the type of stain, the kind of fabric, the colorfastness of the dye, how long the stain as been on the garment, and if any removal attempts have already been made. Certain stains like ink, paint, and varnish can be a real challenge, even for a professional.
Fortunately, we have an expert to call upon when it comes to caring for our clothes. If you’re ever in doubt, simply drop by one of Shores’ three locations and speak to the manager or contact us online. That’s why we are here.