According to Wikipedia, dry cleaning is a process that uses “non-water-based solvents to remove soil and stains from clothes. The potential for using petroleum based solvents in this manner was discovered in the mid-19th century by French dye-works owner Jean Baptiste Jolly, who noticed that his tablecloth became cleaner after his maid spilled kerosene on it, and developed a service cleaning people's clothes in this manner, which he termed "nettoyage à sec," or "dry cleaning" in English.”
Dry cleaning uses solvents instead of water to remove soils, stains and other contaminants from garments. Unlike water though, the solvents do not actually penetrate the fibers of your garments. Water and water-based solvents that penetrate fibers cause the fibers to expand and may result in shrinkage and dye, or color, fading. Because dry cleaning solvents do not penetrate fibers, the chance for shrinkage and fading are substantially reduced.
Many dry cleaners today use a petrochemical called PERC, or Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene). The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have determined that PERC presents substantial health risks to workers in the dry cleaning industry as well as to consumers. The EPA calls PERC a “potential carcinogen.” Because of this, PERC is a highly regulated substance. Does your Dry Cleaner still use PERC?
At Lisa Cleaners, we believe that the health of our customers, our employees, and our environment are very important. Instead of the controversial PERC-based dry cleaning systems, we have taken the initiative to convert to a more environmentally friendly, organic dry cleaning system; the German-made SATEC B-700. By upgrading to a more gentle organic system, your clothes will feel softer, smell better and last longer than garments processed through a PERC system.
Most Dry Cleaners use the same processes for cleaning your garments.
Reception and Inventory: When you drop off your order at Lisa Cleaners, your clothes are inventoried and placed in a garment bag. You are given a copy of the invoice (Customer Receipt). A duplicate copy of your order is printed and an internal tracking tag is produced for each item in your order.
Tagging and Inspection: Your clothes are then tagged, inspected for damage, stains, spots, etc., then sorted according to cleaning process (dry cleaning or wet laundering), then further sorted by color. It is during this step that all pockets are inspected for valuables or items that might damage other clothing or machinery. Any valuables found in your pockets are placed in a plastic bag and attached to your invoice. All buttons are unbuttoned in this step too (tip: to save time and money, please help us by unbuttoning your clothing before dropping it off for cleaning ☺).
Spot/Stain Treatment: Spotted or stained items are separated and treated. Spot removal is done by hand using special techniques and solvents. Please be sure to bring all spots and stains promptly to our attention when you drop your garments off for cleaning.
Pressing: After your garments are cleaned they are sent to the pressers for pressing. Lisa’s has separate pressing lines for tops (shirts, blouses, jackets, etc.) and bottoms (pants, skirts, shorts, etc.). We also have a separate machine for steam pressing laundered shirts.
Assembly: When the pressers are finished pressing your garments, the finished article is placed on a hanger and hung on a rail. An Assembler inspects each finished article and puts each customer’s order back together by tag number. When the customer’s order is complete according to the invoice, the Assembler packages the order in polyurethane covers and places each completed order back on the rail for final inventory and racking.
Racking: After your order has been assembled and placed on the rail for inventory, it is then entered into our computer system and placed on one of the large conveyors in our plant. The order’s place on the conveyor is annotated in the computer to facilitate easy retrieval of the order when you come in to pick it up.
Delivery: When you come in to Lisa Cleaners to pick up your order, you may present either your customer receipt or your telephone number. The receipt or telephone number is entered into the computer and your order’s place on the conveyor system is displayed on the computer screen. The receptionist will retrieve your order from the conveyor and proudly return your cleaned garments to you.
Wool and other garments are susceptible to damage from many insects, including moths and cockroaches.
Garment damaging insects prefer dark, moist areas that remain undisturbed for long periods of time. The female insect lays up to hundreds of eggs in the fibers of your garment in areas that will ensure the larva will have plenty of food to eat when they hatch.
You may not notice the damage caused by insects, but the next time you dry clean the garment, the cleaning process will remove the weakened and damaged fibers. You will then be able to see the holes caused by these pests. In severe cases, especially with wool sweaters, some of the woven fabric will unravel, leaving large holes.
Dry cleaning kills un-hatched insect eggs and larva!
To help prevent insect damage to your clothing, please be sure to properly dry clean your garments before putting them away for long periods.
Insects are attracted to perspiration odors, leftover food particles, dust, etc. Place mothballs, cedar shavings or lavender oil in areas where your garments are stored. Ensure that your garments are stored in clean, dry places, and if possible, consider storing your garments in vacuum-sealed bags or containers. Do be sure to have the garments properly dry cleaned before storing them.
It is very important that you point out any stains or spots on your garments so that we may remove them before cleaning the garment. This will also help to reduce the chances that insects will be attracted to your garments.
As you probably know, spot and stain removal can be a very frustrating and labor-intensive process.
At Lisa Cleaners we use only industry-established professional techniques and chemicals to remove spots and stains.
Spot removal is done by hand. Each garment is identified and treated separately based on the type and size of the spot or stain. We do our best to remove the stain without casing further damage to your garment.
We regret, however, that some stubborn stains are nearly impossible to remove no matter how hard we try. Some of those “hard-to-remove” stains include; blood, paint, nail polish, red wine, beer, coffee, soft drinks, wax, grease, etc. We may charge an additional fee to attempt to remove spot(s) or stain(s).
If a garment becomes stained or soiled, please bring it to our attention immediately. Please do not use household cleaners such as bleach, grease removers, tar removers, or other household solvents, to “pre-treat” the spot or stain. These products are all great for the household jobs they were intended to perform, but they can severely damage your finer garments. Simply bring the soiled garment to us for prompt attention. We will do everything possible to save your garment.