Dry Cleaning Station
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Dry Cleaning Station

Caring for Denim

by Tom Keenze on 05/23/14

According to Levi's, the jeans company, denim should be washed as little as possible, not only to prevent shrinking & fading, but to conserve water, which lessens negative impact on the environment. When they are ready for a freshening up, turn jeans inside-out & wash separately in cold water and line dry, if possible.

Some denim enthusiasts swear that washing dark jeans with a cupful of coffee with keep their color truer, longer. According to Levi's, the truth is that even the inkiest of denim garments are subject to fading if machine-washed & dried. Instead, hand-wash them, inside-out in a tubful of cool water. Soak for up to 30 minutes with mild detergent, gently swirl to loosen any set-in sediment & line dry.

It may seem like a good idea to have embellished or coated denim professionally dry-cleaned, but in shops using a petroleum solvent, this can actually damage fragile details like embroidery & over time, wear away waxy finishes. Instead, soak your specialty denim in cold water for up to 10 minutes without detergent, then lay flat until dry. Or bring them to us for dry cleaning in our GreenEarth liquid silicone, which is odorless and will not damage coatings or fabric.

To revitalize the color of an old pair of jeans, some people think that washing them with a brand new pair will encourage dye transfer. Bad idea? Well, it depends. There is no harm in two very dark jeans going in for a soak together, but there's no telling what sort of tint you'll wind up with when dealing with lighter & more vibrant colors. Good rule of thumb: if the method seems dubious, leave your denim out of it.

If you want your jeans to look better longer without having to do them yourselves, instruct us to dry clean them instead of launder them. You will have to give up the heavy starch, but your jeans will look better longer. The cost of cleaning is the same whether we wash or dry clean them.

We are finding that many of our customers are now opting to have their jeans dry cleaned.

Not all dry cleaners are created equal….

by Tom Keenze on 03/15/14

On March 6th, 2014, ABC’s news program, 20 / 20, aired a report on the dry cleaning industry. During the program, a jar of black sludge was shown by the interviewee, a spokesperson for Jeeves Cleaners in New York City. The spokesperson said that the jar contained dirty solvent. Unfortunately, that jar did not contain dirty solvent, but instead, contained the sludge from the still that remained after the solvent was distilled. If a dry cleaner tried cleaning garments in that stuff, light ones would turn black, and the stains would never come out. The sludge is actually proof that the process removes dirt and grime from garments.

I suspect that some of our competitors may use less clean solvents to be able to charge less or make more profit. We don’t do that. In any case, we are the only cleaner in the Tulsa area that does not use a petroleum-based solvent.

Our solvent, GreenEarthtm, is a liquid silicone. It is crystal clear and odorless. After garments are cleaned in the silicone, mixed with a special detergent, the silicone is spun out of the garments and pumped into a still, where it is distilled. The vapor is condensed, and pure, crystal clear silicone is recycled into holding tanks in the machine. All the dirt and grime remain in the bottom of the still. Each week, the sludge is removed and properly disposed of. We will be glad to show you around our shop anytime. Just give us a call.

The program noted that dry cleaners are not all alike, and that is a fact, as our customers are well aware. Most have had previous experience with some other dry cleaner with whom they were not satisfied. We love them and they love us. Every day we strive to insure that our customers are completely satisfied with our services.

We are members of the 107-year-old Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute, which provides us with the latest industry information, unlimited resources and educational opportunities. We are justifiably proud of the service we provide to our customers.

One bit of advice from the 20 / 20 segment is actually quite good. Customers should choose a dry cleaner they feel comfortable entrusting with their garments, as well as any forgotten items, such as cash, flash drives, checks, etc. All such items we find left in garments are placed in an orange Safe and Secure bag and returned to the customer.

Care labels generally recommend just one appropriate method of care, even when several methods of cleaning may be acceptable. Customers may not know that care labels can sometimes be wrong and following them can lead to damage. When you see “Dryclean Only” you may or may not be able to home wash the garment without shrinkage, color loss or distortion. Our years of experience and understanding of fibers, fabrics, and chemistry help us make a professional judgment on how to care for each garment. After testing, we may decide to wetclean, launder, or even hand wash a garment rather than dry clean it. We do this all day every day. That is why you bring your garments to us. We are The Professionals.

How We Keep Your Clothes Looking Great

by Tom Keenze on 03/14/14

What happens to your clothes when you bring them to us?

Who handles them and how do we make them look renewed and refreshed? Your clothes are in the best care when they’re with us! Our professional garment handlers are trained to remove stains, solve problems, press out wrinkles, and make your clothes look the best they can. 

The process starts at the counter when you drop off your cleaning. This is the best time to let us know about any stains that may require extra attention, or to identify any other potential problems. That way we can be sure our garment experts will be able to give your clothes any extra care needed. 

We identify your garments with a thermal barcode system, then sort them by type, fabric content, color, and cleaning method. Some garments may need to be laundered, hand washed, or wetcleaned. Other speciality items such as leathers or furs require special care. Some garments may require some stain removal efforts before we clean them, and others may not. It all depends on each individual piece. 

Drycleaning cleans clothing without the use of water, it’s true, but liquids are involved. Drycleaning solvent is the primary cleaning force in the process. We use GreenEarthtm, a liquid silicone that is odorless, and very gentle on fabrics. Special drycleaning detergent is added by a computer controlled system. Precision is of the essence to ensure properly cleaned clothing.

Wetcleaning resembles the home washing process because it uses water as the main cleaning agent, but that’s where the similarities end. Wetcleaning uses highly computerized washers and special detergents to clean clothing, giving them a renewed and refreshed appearance. 

After cleaning we check your clothes for any remaining stains that may not have come out in the regular cleaning process. Any lingering stains are removed as best as possible using the appropriate products. These items are then re-cleaned before we give them back to you. 

Dressed to Im-Press
Near the end of the production process, you’ll find the pressing station. This is where your clothes are pressed and made ready to wear. Pressing is a job that requires an eye for detail, and it’s these details that help you look good when you’re wearing your professionally-cleaned clothes to an important function or for work, play, or just socializing. 

Following the pressing process, all of your garments are brought back together and placed in the inspection lineup. This is where we catch things like missing buttons, stains that may need extra work, and any undesired impressions from pressing equipment. Any item that does not pass this quality control inspection is sent back for additional care before being assembled with the rest of your order and bagged. 

That’s the process in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the tour! If you have any questions about the clothing care process, feel free to ask a customer service representative. We love what we do and we’re only too happy to talk about it. We are looking forward to seeing you in our shop soon!

Cleaning Band Uniforms

by Tom Keenze on 03/14/14

Here are some tips to keeping your musical star looking great. 

As I’m sure you know, band uniforms are very expensive and generally require professional cleaning. They are usually wool or a wool/synthetic blend, and are susceptible to damage from perspiration and rubbing under the armpits during marching. Wearing a t-shirt underneath helps absorb some of the perspiration. Other common band uniform stains are ink, food, sugar drinks, grass, and mud—which shouldn’t be terribly surprising considering all the pep rallies, football games and competitions band members must attend.

The uniforms should be cleaned as soon as possible after each use to prevent stains from setting and to avoid attracting insects which especially love wool fibers. 

No matter what, follow the care label and remember that we’re here to help with difficult stains or any items that need professional attention.

Summer Weather Garment Care

by Tom Keenze on 07/03/13

We lather up, jump in and enjoy during warm weather. With that come many products that can damage clothing items. Here are some quick tips to minimize that damage. 

Antiperspirant - Potential Problem: Build-up from deodorant and antiperspirant products can cause fiber damage and yellowing.  Blue and green on silk and wool are particularly prone.  Aluminum chloride can weaken fibers in cotton, linen, rayon, and some synthetic blends, leaving holes during cleaning.

Clothing Care: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Avoid overuse and allow antiperspirant/deodorant to dry before dressing. Soiled garments should be washed or dry cleaned as soon as possible.

Sunblock and Suntan Lotions - Potential Problem: 
Dyes and oils in suntan/sunblock lotions can stain clothing. This color loss or change may not appear until after you clean your clothes. 

Clothing Care: Avoid many stains by following the directions on the bottle, allow the lotions to dry before dressing, and wash your hands before handling clothes.

Swimwear - Potential Problem: 
Chlorine in pools, spas, and hot tubs can damage spandex used in swimwear. 
Clothing Care: 
Rinse your suit after wearing and follow the care label’s instructions.

Self-Tanning Lotions - Potential Problem: 
Self-tanners may discolor anything they touch!  Light tan, brown, or yellow staining on the cuffs, collar fold, and neckband, and upper button areas, are typical. 

Clothing Care: Follow the instructions carefully, being sure to wash your hands immediately and allow your skin time to dry before dressing.  If the product gets on your clothes, wash them as soon as possible, as these stains can be difficult to remove.

Insect Repellents - Potential Problem: 
Repellents usually will not damage most fibers; however, some products contain alcohol and can cause color loss or color change on fabrics such as acetate and rayon.

Clothing Care: Read the label carefully, especially if applying directly to clothing.