Do you have your clothing dry cleaned? Do you wonder whether this a safe way to clean your clothes? Here are five important questions you must ask at the dry cleaner and a suggestion for a dry cleaning alternative.
Office policies may require you to wear business suits or you may wear one to a job interview. Personally, I don’t typically buy clothing that required dry cleaning. I’m much too frugal. Getting quality dry cleaning service is not one to skimp on quality or level of service. Here are five questions to ask at the dry cleaner:
1. Is the cleaning done on-site or off-site?
There are basically two types of dry cleaners: a “dry store” and a “package plant.” A dry store acts as a drop-off point for a dry cleaning plant. For every central plant, there are several satellite locations. The plant has its own equipment on-site and they do the dry cleaning themselves.
A dry store is more likely to have lower quality service to control costs, increase efficiency, and turn things around as quickly as possible. Plants tend to have better service, but you can’t assume this just because they own their own equipment.
2. Do you reuse cleaning fluids?
Some dry cleaners re-use their cleaning fluids, which means dirt from previous loads can be redeposited. Ask your dry cleaner if they use freshly purified or freshly distilled fluids with every run. According to Wikipedia, After the rinse cycle, the machine begins the extraction process, which recovers the solvent for reuse. Modern machines recover approximately 99.99% of the solvent employed.
3. Are garments machine- or hand-pressed?
If you’re having garments pressed, you should ask if the job is done by hand or machine. Machine presses may be blowing hot steam through a garment, which can take the shape out of a high-quality suit and ruin the seams on a low-quality jacket.
When it comes to wool, silk, rayon, knits, and other non-cotton and non-linen fabrics, poor pressing results in: shiny fabric; seam, flap and button impressions; wavy press pad impressions; double creases; wrinkled seams; puckered seams.
4. How are stains removed?
Dry cleaning is great for removing many oil-based stains (like lotion, salad dressing, and tomato-based sauces), but can potentially set in water-based stains (like juice, coffee, and perspiration). A good dry cleaner will identify the types of stains you have and pre-treat them accordingly to prevent set in damage in the dry cleaning process. Make sure your cleaner has a technician that does this.
5. What type of chemicals are used?
I didn’t realize there were so many chemicals used in dry cleaning. The most used solvent in the dry cleaning process is perchlorethylene (PERC), a hazardous chemical that can cause neurological, kidney, and liver damage after short-term exposure and more serious afflictions with long-term exposure.
Using enzyme-based detergents as a dry cleaning alternative instead of harsh chemicals gives superior results while being gentle on fabrics. Whites remain bright and colors won’t fade over time.
Avoiding hazardous chemicals is more environmentally friendly than traditional dry cleaning. By using only water and biodegradable detergent, it does not generate hazardous waste, nor run the risk of contaminating water, air or soil. The lack of dangerous solvents in the wet cleaning process means it’s safer for your garments, for your health, and for the environment.
More Eco-Friendly Posts:
- How to Use Essential Oils in Your Home
- Money Saving Natural Clean Products
- How to Start Recycling (At Home)
Do you have your clothing dry cleaned?