Ordinary dry cleaning means average care for average consumers by average people
Almost every new entrant into the dry cleaning industry talks about delivering “quality” to their customers.
These new entrants believe that the “right” location, the “right” equipment, the “right” eco-friendly dry cleaning solvent, the “right” computer system, the “right” app and the “right” amount of effort will miraculously produce “quality” and, as a consequence, financial success.
They soon realize, however, that the overwhelming majority of their customers just want their garments “cleaned and pressed” for the lowest possible price and in the fastest time — two major impediments to delivering true quality cleaning.
In this post, I discuss why building a sustainable business that delivers true quality cleaning is so difficult to achieve and why these new entrants into the dry cleaning industry quickly shift their goal from “quality of product” to “growth in piece count” as a way to generate the cash necessary to keep the doors open.
Why would you allow your dry cleaner to destroy your buttons and other hardware?
You’ve invested in your fine garments.
Amongst other things, you believe that your buttons, logos, zipper pulls, buckles and the like are integral to the look of your garments.
In this blog post, I examine the need for your dry cleaner to protect your buttons and other hardware — even if that means removing your buttons and other hardware prior to cleaning and replacing your buttons and other hardware after cleaning.
Yes, I do understand that your dry cleaner told you that they “protect” your buttons and other hardware.
But do they?
If that were the case, why are some of the buttons and other hardware (logos, zipper pulls, buckles, etc.) on your fine garments scratched, chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged?
And, if that’s the case, why do you permit your dry cleaner to get away with damaging the buttons and other hardware on your fine garments?
What’s the safest (and best) way to clean my fine silk and wool ties?
An advise column that appeared in a recent issue of Esquire Magazine theorized that the “best” way to clean your fine ties was to:
(a) blot — not rub — the stain(s) with a napkin or paper towel,
(b) pre-treat the stains with specific product(s) and
(c) hand wash the tie with other specific product(s).
I agree with (a). I vehemently disagree with (b) and (c).
What’s the basis for my disagreement? I see the results of DIY tie cleaning disasters from all around the USA and Canada on an almost daily basis. Extrapolate that over a period of almost 30 years and that represents thousands of potentially ruined ties.
In this post, I argue that, when it comes to cleaning your fine ties, the first rule is to ignore substantially all internet-based advise.
Most of that advise is not based on experience — the actual cleaning and restoration of thousands of ties. Rather, the advise appears to be contrived: grab a few ties, stain the ties with various substances, apply specific “stain removal” products to be promoted (the true objective of the article) and write a “how to” article on the outstanding results achieved.
The second rule is to consult a true quality cleaner who specializes in the cleaning and restoration of fine ties.
In the dry cleaning business, average is just another word for mediocre
In June 2017, dry cleaners from all around the USA, Canada and beyond will descend on the Las Vegas for the Clean Show, a biennial trade exposition showcasing the latest in equipment, technologies and services.
They’ll all be searching for the holy grail: how to push more and more pieces of fabric (aka your fine garments and household textiles) faster and faster through their production facility using a mix of low skilled labor and highly automated equipment.
The problem for all these dry cleaners is that they’ll continue to face that same recurring dilemma — year in, year out — no matter how many Clean Shows they attend and no matter how many labor saving machines they buy.
In this post, I posit that success in the dry cleaning business isn’t a function of the number of trade shows they attend or the number of labor saving machines they install.
The answer is to say no to being average. That the answer is to stand for something instead of standing for nothing.
Cleaning fine bed and table linens in the metro Phoenix area and beyond
Luxurious, distinctive European and American bed and table linens – antique, vintage, or modern – are costly and can be easily ruined if mishandled in the cleaning process.
Fact is, these linens demand a level of care that shouldn’t involve merely tossing them into a washer with hot water, caustic detergents and bleaches, tumbling in a dryer and folding.
This blog post is not a “how to” guide for washing, drying and folding your fine bed and table linens. The internet is awash in such guides.
Rather, this blog post is intended to address various issues faced by the owners of fine bed and table linens for whom home laundry results rarely meet expectations.
This blog post also introduces readers to the processes that should be followed by specialized french laundries who clean and restore fine bed and table linens.
Summer’s here. Keeping those white, dry clean only garments brilliantly white.
The color white is truly timeless. White is classic, sophisticated, distinctive, versatile and soothing. All at the same time.
To put it bluntly, white – with all it’s countless variations in hues and intensity – is simply brilliant.
With Memorial Day just around the corner, it’s time to bring out those white cottons and linens from their winter hibernation.
But you’re anxious. Your dry cleaned whites probably look yellow, gray and dingy.
Don’t despair. It’s not your fault that ordinary cleaners have abandoned all quality standards in their never-ending quest to “produce” a garment ever more cheaper and faster.
In this post, we explain why your fine white, dry clean only garments turn yellow, gray and dingy. And what you can do about it.
Fire and water damage: what to do in a disaster situation
A fire and/or water disaster – natural or otherwise – can occur at any time.
Before you turn over your fine garments, household textiles (such as bed and table linens, bedspreads, coverlets, comforters, cushion covers, draperies and area rugs) and accessories (such as handbags, purses, wallets, shoes and boots) to a dry cleaner for restoration, there’s much that you can do – and not do – to mitigate further damage.
In this post, we identify many of those “do’s” and “don’ts”.
The most important “don’t” pertains to your selection of a restoration dry cleaner.
If you have a significant investment in bespoke, made-to-measure, designer, high fashion, specialty and couture garments, household textiles and accessories, it’s critical to understand the difference between an ordinary restoration dry cleaner and a true quality restoration dry cleaner.
It’s even more important to understand your rights under your insurance policy, particularly your right to choose your restoration dry cleaner without being “steered” or “prodded” — against your better judgement — to the restoration dry cleaner “selected” or “recommended” by the insurance company, agent or adjuster.
In this post, we explain your right to choose and why you should forcibly exercise that right.
A tale of 2 dry cleaners: Which one would you choose?
Imagine that there are only two dry cleaners in a particular city.
Further, imagine that they’re situated next door to one another.
One has a sign which that says True Quality Cleaners; the other sign says Ordinary Cleaners.
Let’s say that you mostly shop at high-end boutiques and department stores, that you have a relatively significant investment in your fine garments and that you have the financial resources to pay for the very best in on-going maintenance of that wardrobe.
Which of these two cleaners would you choose?
The purpose of this post is to help you make an informed decision by highlighting the differences between extraordinary (true quality) dry cleaners and ordinary (middle market) dry cleaners and the operating philosophies underlying those differences.