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True Quality Cleaning: The difference between a dry cleaner and a fabricare specialist
By: Stu Bloom
At Rave FabriCARE, we hear many questions every day. Questions like
- “What makes you different from ordinary cleaners?”
- “Why don’t you dry clean in perchloroethylene (Dowper), synthetic petroleum (DF 2000 or EcoSolv) or formaldehyde dibutyl acetal (K4 or Solvon) like ordinary cleaners?”
- “Why don’t you offer same or next day service like ordinary cleaners?”
- “Why don’t you pick up and deliver in 2 or 3 days like ordinary cleaners?”
While each of these questions is perceptive and probing, no question digs deeper into the essence of true quality cleaning than “why isn’t there a ‘cleaners’ in RAVE FabriCARE?”
What may appear to be an omission or oversight is really a conscious decision.
Simply put, we’re fabricare specialists – true quality cleaners. Not ordinary, “bang and hang” cleaners.
There is a difference. And it’s not just one of semantics.
In a nutshell, we could …
- Load all garments into a dry cleaning machine and maybe post-spot them like ordinary cleaners instead of pre-spotting them prior to loading them into our dry cleaning machines. Pre-spotting is targeted stain removal by a skilled technician prior to cleaning the garment in a dry cleaning machine.
- Clean your garments in a fabric aggressive, dye stripping, toxic solvents (such as perchloroethylene, synthetic petroleum or formaldehyde dibutyl acetal) like ordinary cleaners instead of cleaning them in an odorless, crystal clear, dermatologically-friendly, fabric-gentle dry cleaning fluid.
- Wet clean or wash your cottons and linens and toss them in a drier like ordinary cleaners instead of dry cleaning them as you requested or as specified by the care label.
- Add or inject moisture, sizing and fragrance into our dry cleaning solvent like ordinary cleaners instead of operating our dry cleaning machines with zero moisture, zero sizing and zero fragrance.
- Machine press all your garments like ordinary cleaners instead of hand ironing them.
- Conduct cursory look overs of your garments like ordinary cleaners instead of detailed, individualized inspections of every garment – inside and out – prior to packaging.
- Shuttle your garments around our facility on a roller coaster-like automated system like ordinary cleaners instead of moving them gently by hand.
- Return your garments in a manner that adds to our bottom line like ordinary cleaners instead of customizing the finishing of your garments to your personal preferences.
- Assign all necessary repairs to your garments to the first customer service representative with nothing to do like ordinary cleaners instead of employing skilled, on-site tailors and alterationists to make those repairs.
- Use non-contoured non-shoulder supporting hangers, acidic logo-printed tissue and thin poly bags like ordinary cleaners instead of packaging your garments using premium packaging materials that are technically aligned with and supportive of your garments over the long and short term.
- Stuff multiple garments into a narrow poly bag like ordinary cleaners instead of packaging them individually.
- Offer same or next day in-store service on your garments like ordinary cleaners instead of the 4 to 5 days necessary to “do the job right” (in most cases).
- Pick up and deliver your garments in 2 or 3 days like ordinary cleaners instead of the 4 to 5 days necessary to “do the job right” (in most cases).
The list of differences is endless.
As a fabricare specialist – a true quality cleaner – we could conform to the conventional wisdom of ordinary cleaners but we wouldn’t dream of it.
If all this sounds a little complicated, technical, labor-intensive and time consuming, it is. Luckily, there’s an easier way to identify a fabricare specialist – a true quality cleaner.
A fabricare specialist – a true quality cleaner – will be delighted to disclose the ins and outs and the hows and whys of their processes and craftsmanship to you. In detail. And in writing.
You see, fabricare specialists – true quality cleaners – have nothing to hide. Quite the contrary.
They believe the more you understand about their processes and craftsmanship the better. So they distribute position papers, white papers and ebooks. And conduct educational seminars and tours.
Ordinary cleaners, on the other hand, hate disclosure.
They provide little or no information, often citing “trade secrets” as an excuse.
Instead of accurate, detailed information about their specific processes and craftsmanship, they offer glitzy, multi-color, photo-rich brochures that proffer meaningless platitudes such as:
- We provide great cleaning, fabulous service and quick turnaround.
- Each and every day we work hard to earn compliments from our customers.
- We treat your everyday wear – polo shirts, chinos and jeans – as if they were fine couture pieces.
- We give your shirts and linens the focussed care that only we can provide.
- Our packaging is the talk of the town.
Etc. Ad neuseum.
And, consistent with these meaningless platitudes, their testimonials tend to focus on the friendliness of their staff and the broadness of their smiles.
Not a whisper about their processes and craftsmanship.
So, instead of detailed information about their processes and craftsmanship, you get single paragraph generalities such as…
You’d expect any place with “Cleaners” in their name to do a decent job in Dry Cleaning, wouldn’t you? If we didn’t know better, so would we. We wouldn’t use a cleaner who doesn’t distill their cleaning solutions, hand inspect and hand spot-clean each garment. You shouldn’t either.
Our strict attention to detail produces clean and crisp creases on all dress shirts and finely finished table and bed linens. When you bring your laundry to ABC Cleaners, we give your shirts and linens the focussed care that only we can provide.
This is equivalent to opening the quick start guide that comes with every new car today and finding that the guide consists of a single paragraph: Insert the key in the ignition, turn the key, place the car in gear and step on the gas.
You see, it’s not that ordinary cleaners can’t disclose the ins and outs and the hows and whys of their processes and craftsmanship. It’s just that they won’t.
And why won’t they make full disclosure?
Simply, because they’re afraid that disclosure – any disclosure – will make it easier for you to evaluate the relative quality of the product they deliver. And will point to the fact that their “exceptional”, “exquisite” or “award winning” cleaning – apart from the fancy packaging – is no different from the ordinary, bang and hang cleaning offered by any other above average cleaner across the street or across town.
Finding a true fabricare specialist – a true quality cleaner – in your city is actually quite simple. Ask for detailed information — in writing — about each of their processes: The ins and outs. The hows and whys.
Bet you come up empty handed.
As empty as their platitudes.
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