Dry Cleaner

Dry Cleaner


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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73 Questions


Last Answer on February 12, 2018

Best Rated

whats the steps to take to get out oxidized oils.

Asked by screh172 almost 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 almost 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. 

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 almost 5 years ago

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

I just washed a vintage dress in cold water and it shrunk - I'm devastated. Can dry cleaners stretch a dress into its original shape?

Asked by Jo over 4 years ago

Sometimes dry cleaners can stretch a garment back into the original size.  It depends on the fabrics, finishes, equipment used and the degree of shrinkage you are trying to correct. 

what does it mean to work in production in a dry cleaners. what would the job entail/

Asked by linda over 4 years ago

The dry cleaning operation is a production environment, not much different than a factory that produces goods.  The clothes come in dirty and need to be tagged in for identification.  From there the garments will have stains removed, then be cleaned, pressed, inspected, bagged and then placed on the conveyors for the customers to pick up.  In most cleaners this will be the process for several hundred pieces each day. So as you can see, this salsa small factory that takes a dirty garment and turns it into a "like new" garment.

The front counter or point of sale is just that, point of sale or customer service. This position can often assist those in the production department, too.

Hey .. How are you ! Does every dry cleaner fix clothes.

Asked by Lala almost 5 years ago

Not every dry cleaner does repairs on garments.  Some will have full alteration/tailor shops, some will send their garments out to be repaired, while others will offer the basic repairs.   Some of the high end and better quality cleaners will offer minor repairs at no charge.  It all depends on how the owners have set up their operations. 

I took a very expensive brown 93% cotton 7% spandex blend dress to my cleaners. It came back with blotches that look like grease.Also looks like steam burns in the back. He claims its the mftrer problem & that I should go back to store. Do u agree?

Asked by Gail over 4 years ago

There have been quite a few problems with dye fading in garments containing spandex as of late.  So without seeing the garment, yes, it could be possible that it is a manufacturer's problem.

The grease stains are tough to tell, solvent that has not dried evenly of thoroughly can leave a greasy appearance (similar to a food grease, not a black grease).  The steam burns you describe could be a result of brown dye fading and not scorch.  It is pretty tough to tell withoug seeing it.  

Does the care label say the garment is dry cleanable?  Was it dry cleaned in Perc, HydroCarbon or another solvent?  Some of the current dye fading problems are occuring more in HydroCarbon than other solvents and can often be corrected when cleaned in Perc if the garment is safe to clean in Perc.