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.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +

Share:

Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

75 Questions

Share:

Last Answer on February 12, 2018

Best Rated

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 almost 5 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. 

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 5 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.  

whats the steps to take to get out oxidized oils.

Asked by screh172 about 5 years ago

Oxidized oil stains can be a very tough stain to get out.  In fact, the vast majority of dry cleaners do a not have much success with these types of stains.  Typically, they cannot be removed with wetside stain removal agents or bleach.  They will require a dry side approach.  

I would first pre-test the colorfastness of the garment in an un-noticeable area using the procedure I am about to outline, prior to actually using the procedure on the stain.  

I would start out by applying a VDS and then tamp the stain with a brush.  I would reapply the VDS and repeat this step.  Next I would apply a POG and again tamp the area.  Be patient and allow a little time for the POG to loosen the oils.  Then flush the POG from the area with VDS.  If this does not remove the oxidized oil stain, you will have to move on to a more advanced spotting technique using KOH (a chemical derived from the mixture of butyl alcohol and potassium hydroxide). KOH will work wonders on oxidized oil stains, but you will definitely need to do your homework and learn how to use it, as well as the safety factors needed before you start using this chemical.

 

How many paper garment covers does the average dry cleaner use every year?

Asked by Rjohns about 5 years ago

I am really not sure, but I will give you a guestimate.  I would say the average plant does about 250K in business. Garment covers are usually only used on dry cleaning and not laundry.  If laundry accounts for 40% of their business that means that 150K is dry cleaning.  At an average of $5.00 per piece, that would mean 30,000 pieces of dry cleaning cleaned.  If their is an average of 3 pieces of dry cleaning bagged together with one garment cover over them, I would say that the average dry cleaner would need about 10,000 garment covers per year. 

Like I said, just a guestimate. 

My nephews drink the Berry Blue Kool-Aid Sunburst drinks. Unfortunately, they spilled some on my white carpet and didn't tell me about it until I got home. Now I have this juice stain and nothing seems to get it out! What should I do? Thanks!

Asked by Marianne Garcia almost 5 years ago

That is a difficult question for me to answer.  The chemicals that I recommend are all for dry cleaning use.  Most of these need to be flushed out on the spotting board or in a dry cleaning machine.  I would recommend a professional carpet cleaner.  

How difficult/simple is it to get environmental insurance for a dry clean plant in the state of California? What is the procedure and how costly is it?

Asked by Lola about 5 years ago

You got me on that one.  Unfortunately, I have no experience working in the state of California.  

How much can I expect to pay for hand pressing shirts vs press only shirts in Atlanta?

Asked by Quixote Williams almost 5 years ago

A hand pressed shirt will cost you between $3.50 and $5.00 in Atlanta.  I would expect a press only shirt to cost you about the same.  Laundered with starch is running from $1.25 to $2.25.