Dry Cleaner

Dry Cleaner

AtlSoapGuy

Atlanta, GA

Male, 52

I have worked in the dry cleaning industry for almost 30 years. I worked in my family's dry cleaning operation as a manager and owner. Currently, I write a blog for those in the dry cleaning industry, as well as work for a manufacturer of dry cleaning chemicals. Over the years I have spent in the dry cleaning industry, I estimate that I have been in over 2000 dry cleaners in the US.

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Last Answer on February 12, 2018

Best Rated

I always ask my dry cleaner to hand press my cotton button downs, but they still come back over-pressed to the point where the fabric loses its original fit and structure. Is it silly to ask them NOT to press the shirts at all after dry cleaning?

Asked by Josh almost 8 years ago

I understand exactly what you are saying.  I have had the same problem with the dry cleaners I have used in the past too.  There are some shirts that do not come out well on the shirt units.  Usually it is just too hot of a temperature, you will see shiny spots on areas that the fabric is doubled up (the tips of the collars, cuff, etc).  

Are you asking for the shirts to be dry cleaned?....This usually is not a problem in dry cleaning as it is in laundry.  I am suspecting that your cleaner is just automatically sending them through laundry instead of dry cleaning.  If I were you, I would speak with the manager and ask specifically if the shirt can be dry cleaned and if so, will he make sure that it is.  If not, have him launder it and hand press the garment.  If the dry cleaner cannot follow these instructions for you, I would look for a different one.  

To answer your question, no it isn't silly to ask for just cleaning, just unusual.  

 

Hope this helps. 

 

how do you get bed linen so crisp

Asked by steffy about 8 years ago

They are processed in the laundry. Starch is used and usually are run through a press designed to press linens.

i bought a dress overseas and it is a ballgown that you would use for prom. i am using it for my wedding. can a dry cleaner charge you differently based on where you wear it? also do they clean it differently from other formal dresses?

Asked by buritanii about 8 years ago

The cleaning of the gown is the simple part of this question.  Depending on the care label, that will pretty much explain how the gown will be cleaned.  Wedding gowns, very delicate items, items with sequins, prom gowns, beaded items, etc., are all dry cleaned in a very similar manner that is usually dependent of the care label.  When there is not a care label, then it is up to the dry cleaner to use his professional opinion as to the method to be used in the cleaning of the garment.  The second part of the dry cleaning process is actually tied to your question as to how the charge is arrived at. 

When a drycleaner sets his pricing for the various garments, a large percentage of his cost to process the garment is the labor that is involved.  This labor is mostly attributed to the amount of time required in the finishing of the garment (pressing).  Simple garments such as pants require little finishing time and are usually one of the lowest priced garments processed. Other garments such as fancy ball gowns and wedding gowns are some of the most time consuming and difficult to finish and therefore command a higher price from the consumer. 

If you were to bring a fancy gown into a dry cleaner and tell them it was a wedding gown, I suspect that most customer service/counter people would go to their price list and charge you their standard wedding gown price. The better approach for the consumer would be to not classify the gown and just ask how much it would cost to be processed.  This way the garment can be assessed as to how much labor would be required and a more accurate price could be arrived at.    

Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to just set one price for a garment.  There are so many variables in the construction and styles of garments that it is difficult to set just one price.  Therefore many dry cleaners will have a "base price" and then add upcharges for different things like type of fabric, trims, degree of difficulty in finishing and so on.   The bottom line is that dry cleaning is a very labor intensive job and if a garment looks like it would require more labor to process, then it most likely will cost the consumer more.  

What's the deal with "wrinkle-free" shirts and pants? I thought they'd save me money, but they seem to need as much dry cleaning care as the non-wrinkle-free ones.

Asked by Rip van Wrinkle over 8 years ago

I have not seen any garments that will have the same finish that you will receive as when you have your clothes professionaly dry cleaned or laundered. Often in the dry cleaning process, sizings are added to give the garment dimensional stability and help to prevent the wrinkles that occur during handling of the garments. During the pressing process the heat and steam that are used help these finishes to hold that shape of the garment. If you want your garment to look like new, take it to a professional dry cleaner using a fabric finish/sizing in the dry cleaning process.

how much do they charge to cut a little for my prom dress at the bottom?

Asked by andrea almost 8 years ago

That is a tough question.  I really depends on the dress, the person doing the alterations and the amount of labor it would take.  I would recommend taking into a dry cleaners that has a person on premises that does alterations and can give you quote, as well as properly fit you for the length of the dress.  Do not forget to bring the shoes you intend to wear with it.  

How many hours do dry cleaner owners work? do they have to work 7 or 6 days a week at least 12 hours a day? or can employees be hired so that the owner can work 40-50 hours per week and still make a good profit?

Asked by Ali almost 8 years ago

The owners of dry cleaners hours tend to vary.  I see some owners that will work upward of 80 hours per week and then there are the absentee owners who are rarely in the plant.  I have seen dry cleaners be successful either way. With that in mind, I also find that the owners of dry cleaners tend to get trapped into the labor end (pressing, assembly, etc.) of running the business when they should be concentrating more on the management side of running their business.  I feel that this is the bigger problem. 

Most dry cleaners are open for 60-70 hours per week, so I do feel that good employees can be hired that will allow the owner to comfortably work a 40-50 hour week.  Training your employees to know their jobs and provide the service that you are looking for, using your time to work on managing and marketing your business, and not allowing yourself to become tied to a production job in the plant will all help to move you towards making a profit.  

I got red hair dye on my favorite white dry-clean-only blazer. I can't dry clean it until Monday (2 days from now). What should I do in the meantime? I am soaking the collar in water + detergent to try to prevent the stain from setting? Is this bad?

Asked by Christina over 7 years ago

I wouldn't do anything else, take the garment out and allow it to hang dry, then take it to your drycleaner on Monday.  Soaking in cool water and a detergent will be okay and can have some positive results from time to time, however, I would recommend that when stains occur, the best thing to do is to blot the stain with a dry cloth and then take it to a professional.  

Hair dye can be a very difficult stain to remove, but it is fortunate that this is on a white garment.  This will allow your cleaner to use more aggressive methods than if it were on a colored garment.