Unlike ordinary cleaners, we never add or inject moisture into our dry cleaning machines.
Of course, there is some naturally occurring moisture in all wools, even in a relatively dry climate such as Arizona. Beyond that, however, we never add or inject additional moisture into our dry cleaning machines.
Why do ordinary cleaners add or inject moisture into their dry cleaning machines?
Before we can answer that question, you first have to know a little about dry cleaning – at a very conceptual level.
You see, the vast majority of stains fall into one of two categories: dry-side stains and wet-side stains.
Dry-side stains are oil-based stains such as butter, salad dressing, steak juice and body oil, creams and lotions. To remove a dry-side stain, the garment must be “pre-spotted”/flushed with steam, hang dried and then dry cleaned. Dry cleaning should emulsify or dissolve the residue of the oil or grease stain that hasn’t been flushed out with steam during pre-spotting. About 10% of all stains a dry cleaner encounters are oil-based stains.
Wet-side stains are water-based stains such as soda, juice, champagne and perspiration. To remove a wet-side stain, the garment must be “pre-spotted”/flushed with steam and hang dried. Alternatively, the garment must be wet cleaned and hang dried (no dryers). Prior to being dry cleaned. About 90% of all stains a dry cleaner encounters are water-based stains.
And here’s where the problem arises.
You can dry clean a garment with a wet-side stain as many times as you wish. More often than not, that stain won’t “move” with dry cleaning alone. Conversely, you can wet clean a garment with a dry-side stain as many times as you wish. More often than not, that stain won’t “move” with wet cleaning alone.
Now you know that
Briefly, they should:
True quality cleaning is a relatively expensive proposition. Amongst other things, true quality cleaning requires the hiring, retention and continuous training of skilled stain removal technicians.
On the other hand, you can hire “a warm body”, teach them how to sort garments into lights and darks, show them the location of the green “start” button and teach them how to unload the machine when they hear the “finish” buzzer.
And you can probably teach them do that in 1 or 2 days.
Then, after one or two months, you can claim that your dry cleaner is “experienced”.
So next time you see a sign in a dry cleaner that says “Experienced Dry Cleaner On Premises”, you’ll understand that claims of “experience” are irrelevant. In the dry cleaning industry, “experience” is rarely equivalent to skill.
It’s been our experience – over a period of almost 30 years – that “dry cleaners” who claim to have “years of experience” have few, if any, relevant skills.
True quality cleaning takes time. Lots of time.
At the very least, garments must be pre-spotted/flushed with steam and completely hang dried prior to placing them into a dry cleaning machine.
However, when you offer same or next day service and/or pickup and delivery service that promises pickup on day 1 and delivery on day 3, the focus of all employees is diverted to getting the work out as quickly as possible.
There simply isn’t the time to do the job right.
Ordinary cleaners believe (or rather want to believe) their own twisted logic.
It goes something like this: We know we need dry cleaning solvent to emulsify or dissolve dry-side stains, and moisture to remove wet-side stains. So why don’t we just add or inject moisture into our dry cleaning machine during the “wash” cycle.
This way we’ll kill two birds with one stone: the dry cleaning solvent will “take care of the dry-side stains” and the moisture will “take care of the wet-side stains”.
Voila! Problem solved.
With absolutely no investment of time, effort or skill.
And absolutely no impact on their sacred in-by-11:00-out-by-5:00, picked-up-on-day-1-delivered-on-day-3 “production system”.
Unfortunately, adding or injecting moisture into a dry cleaning machine has consequences … consequences that ordinary cleaners won’t tell you about or will strenuously deny.
Consequences such as:
Which, of course, is why your dry cleaned garments still smell of perspiration after they’ve been “professionally dry cleaned”.
And why simple wet-side stains such as soda, juice, coffee, beer, wine and the like still remain on your garments after they’ve been “professionally dry cleaned”.
Because moisture in a dry cleaning machine is the single most important contributor to the shrinkage of garments. And to the bleeding of water soluble dyes on “dry clean only” garments.
True quality dry cleaning involves the application of skill, expertise, judgment, care and time.
Unfortunately for ordinary cleaners, there are no simple, shortcut solutions.