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FAQ’s


Is there a charge for delivery?

How do I inform you of special requests?


How do I order a special pickup or get a delivery on a different day?

What if I have a problem with my order?

When is my order returned?

How do you keep my credit card information safe?

Where do you pick up and drop off my clothes?

Is my order safe from theft when left outside my home?


What type of bag do I use to put my clothes in for pick-up?

Do you deliver to my area?

Do I
have to be home when the drop-off or pick-up is made?

Do I need to inventory my clothes?

How do I pay for your service?

Is there a charge for delivery?
No.  Just as advertised – Delivered to your door, same price as store! There is a $15.00 minimum per month that you need to run in order to have active service. The reason we have implemented this is so that we can provide a cost effective and efficient service to our customers.  We feel that if a customer does not meet $15.00 in cleaning a month they truly do not need the convenience
of home pickup and delivery.  This minimum is to insure us that we have active customers who will use our service on a regular basis.  We are providing a FREE service; we ask that you use us on a regular basis so that we can insure the best possible care and protection of your garments.




Just call David at 972-317-8991 to arrange your particular special need.  He will take care of everything over the phone.  You can text him at the same number; he will confirm your request with a reply.  If there is any instructions that we need you to be aware of one of our customer service specialists will contact you.


When is my order returned?
Your cleaned and pressed items are returned to you on the next regularly scheduled service day in your neighborhood. If you would like your order returned or picked up on any other weekday, please contact us by phone, text or email.  There may be a garment that needs special attention that takes longer to clean.  These items will be notated on your tickets at time of delivery. Reasons for this can include spots that we want to re-do, beads, and fancy clothing that takes extra care and time to clean properly.


Where do you pick up and drop off my clothes?
We pickup from your front porch, or other location we have specified.  It’s best if you choose a weather-sheltered location. Unless otherwise directed, we will install a hook to hang the garments upon delivery.


What type of bag do I use to put my clothes in for pick-up? At no charge we’ll provide 2 specialized preprinted & personalized laundry bags. If you have more cleaning than will fit in the bag, supplement them with large plastic bags. Your driver returns your laundry bag with each order. Please contact us if you would like additional bags
.


Do I have to be home when the drop-off or pick-up is made? No. There is no need to be home to use the service. Our driver will service your pre-designated location.


How do I pay for your service? Your cleaning will be charged to your credit card on file. An itemized invoice is delivered with each order.  Please keep your tickets for your reference, when your credit card is charged you will receive an email with the charged amount.  At that time you can reconcile that amount with your tickets
you have received.  If there are any questions just call us at 972-317-8991. Payment may be required prior to delivery on overdue accounts.


How do I inform you of special requests?
Special delivery or pick up requests should be made by phone, text via a cell phone or email.  A note in the laundry bag may not be seen in time to meet a requested special delivery day or time.

Special requests regarding specific garment issues are best handled by attaching a note to the affected garment. For you satisfaction, a manager personally reviews every special garment issue request.

While we thoroughly inspect every garment for stains, we also ask that you help us if you are aware of any spots or troubled areas in which you wish for us to pay special attention.


What if I have a problem with my order? Contact David Collins within 48 hours by email or phone.  The number is 972-317-8991 or email

david@gkscleaners.com


How do you keep my credit card information safe? We use Secured gateway servers that have 128 bit encryption and authentication services for all web credit card transmissions to ensure that no one can read any information that is transmitted over the Internet to us.

Is my order safe from theft when left outside my home? This method has become the industry standard and theft incidences are virtually unheard of. If this is a concern for you, we suggest that deliveries and pick-ups be made in the rear or in the garage.


Do you deliver to my area? We have a limited delivery area and will notify you if we don’t. If you have received an advertisement or seen our trucks on your street, then we do already service your area. 

If we do not currently have a route setup in your neighborhood talk to your friends and neighbors.  If you get 5 others who are interested in our service we will start a route plus give you a referral discount on your dry cleaning for up to 3 months.


Do I need to inventory my clothes? A few of our customer provide an inventory list but the vast majority of our customers rely on us to inventory each item. Each invoice will list items received by type and color.  All we really need from you is a total piece count that you have in your laundry bag.  The first thing we do is count your pieces. If the count you have recorded is different than what we find we will call you immediately
.


Clothing Care


What
is professional clothes cleaning?
Professional
Cleaning Steps
Dry
cleaning
How
YOU can help
Wet
cleaning
Questions
often asked
Laundering Even
the best cleaners cannot do the following

What
is professional clothes cleaning?

You bring your clothes to your professional
cleaner, drop them off with the person at the counter, and a few days later you
return to pick them up looking as good as new. But what happens to your clothing
in between? To many people, professional cleaning is a mysterious process and
you may be surprised to learn that professional cleaning is a lot more than one
process. In fact, your cleaner might employ a number of techniques to give your
garments that “like new” appearance. Basically, professional cleaning
can be broken down into three general categories – drycleaning, wet cleaning,
and laundering. Let’s take a look at what’s involved with each process.


Dry
cleaning

Drycleaning uses fluids to remove soil and stains from fabric. In fact,
the term “drycleaning” is misleading; it is called drycleaning because
the fluid contains little or no water and does not penetrate the fibers as water
does.

Among the advantages of drycleaning is its ability to dissolve greases and oils
in a way that water cannot. Natural fibers such a wools and silks dryclean
beautifully, but can shrink, distort, and lose color when washed in water.
Synthetic fibers such as polyester also respond well to drycleaning, while they
can retain oily stains after washing. Drycleaning helps to return garments to a
“like-new” condition using precautions to prevent shrinkage, loss of
color, and fabric distortion.

The drycleaning process begins with the pretreatment of spots and stains using
special cleaning agents. The garments are then loaded into a machine resembling
an oversized front-loading home washer. It produces similar mechanical action to
loosen embedded dirt. Throughout the cleaning process, the fluid is filtered or
distilled to ensure its clarity. Distillation is the key to dry cleaning.

Today, the solvent used by almost 90 percent of all drycleaners is
perchloroethylene, commonly known as “perc.” Introduced to the
drycleaning industry in the late 1930s, perc offers many practical and
environmental benefits which have led to its popular use as a cleaning agent. It
is completely non-flammable and non-combustible, of relatively low toxicity, and
can be efficiently reused and recycled. This is what GK’s Cleaners uses.


Wet
cleaning

Based on the care label instructions and your professional cleaners’s
expertise, wet cleaning might be the best method selected for some garments.
Since the 1972 Care Label Rule requires that clothing manufacturers only list
one method of proper care even if other methods can be used safely, garments
labeled “washable” may or may not dryclean satisfactorily.

Like in the drycleaning process, wet cleaning starts with the pretreatment of
spots and stains using special cleaning agents. Wetcleaning is the professional
process of removing soils from garments and other textile items through the use
of water and additives (such as detergents) and using precautions to prevent
shrinkage, loss of color, and fabric distortion.


Laundering
Professional laundering for shirts and other “washable” items
is another process your cleaner uses to keep your garments looking their best.
Special detergents, additives, and finishes set commercial laundry apart from
home laundering. This process enables your cleaner to offer consistent quality
shirts at reasonable prices. Collars come, cleaner and the professional pressing
affords a crisper finish.

If you request a method of cleaning that is not listed on the care label, your
cleaner may ask you to sign a consent form showing that you accept the potential
risks of cleaning the garment.


Professional
Cleaning Steps

Professional cleaning involves many different operations, all performed
by skilled people and designed to give your garments a fresh and clean
appearance. Procedures include:

  1. Checking the labels for adequate care instructions and
    fiber content.
  2. Classifying the garment according to fabric type,
    color, and degree of soiling.
  3. Removing spots and stains using special equipment,
    special stain removal agents, and water.
  4. Drycleaning, wetcleaning, or laundering, only if so
    labeled.
  5. Reapplying any sizing, water repellency, and other
    finishes when necessary and possible.
  6. Finishing the garment on professional pressing
    equipment to restore its original shape and appearance.
  7. Replacing missing or damaged buttons and performing
    minor repairs whenever possible, according to plant policy.
  8. Packaging the garment neatly in a protective wrapping.

How
YOU can help

Here are some tips that can help you get the most from your cleaning
dollar:

  • Bring a garment in for professional cleaning as soon as
    possible after staining occurs. Stains and soil left too long can be
    impossible to remove and will shorten the life of your garment.
  • Do NOT put anything on the stain if there
    is any possibility you are planning to bring the garment to the cleaners.
    This can set the stain, making removal impossible.
  • Discuss any stains with your cleaner. Be especially
    sure to point out light-colored or invisible spills) such as those from soft
    drinks, fruit juices, or white wine. It is also important to point out and
    identify any other beverage or food spillage so that the drycleaner can
    treat the stain prior to putting the garment through the drycleaning
    process.
  • Keep perfumes, lotions, deodorants, antiperspirants,
    and other toiletries from coming into contact with your clothes. These
    products likely contain alcohol, which can affect some dyes. Allow them to
    dry before you dress.
  • Protect your garments from excessive perspiration,
    especially silks. Perspiration left on fabric can cause many dyes to
    discolor.
  • Have matching pieces cleaned together, including
    bedspreads and drapes, so that any color loss will be uniform and the pieces
    will still match.
  • Protect your garments from prolonged exposure to direct
    sunlight or strong artificial tight. Keep in mind that even normal lighting
    can affect some dyes.
  • Don’t press stained or soiled clothes. The heat may set
    some stains.

Questions
often asked

Q. Does frequent drycleaning shorten the life of a garment?

A. On the contrary, frequent cleaning prolongs the life of a garment.
Not only do stains set with age, making the garment unwearable, but ground-in
dirt and soil act as an abrasive, like sandpaper, causing rapid wear of
fibers. Also, insects are attracted to soiled clothes and will cause further
damage.

Q. When a garment’s label says “washable does this mean it
cannot be drycleaned?

A. Not necessarily. The Care Label Rule states that only one suitable
method of care must be on the label. Cleaners usually follow the care
instructions, unless otherwise requested. If you want your washable items
drycleaned, the cleaner may ask you to sign a damage waiver.

Q. Are suede and leathers cleaned the same way as other fabrics?

A. No. Special procedures and additives are used on leathers to help
retain their color and texture. Sometimes suedes and leathers are re-dyed to
replace color loss. It is not always possible to replace or match the colors.

Q. Does drycleaning shrink clothes?

A. No. The drycleaning process is carefully controlled by professional
cleaners. Excessive shrinkage is usually caused by improper preshrinking by
the manufacturer.

Q. Can the cleaner safely stretch fabrics?

A. Cleaners can steam-finish and stretch fabrics that have relaxed in
drycleaning. This does not damage the fabric.

Q. Should I store my clean garments in the plastic bag they are returned in?

A. The bags are provided by the cleaner to protect the garment until
you get it home. It is best to store garments uncovered or in fabric garment
bags.


Even the
best cleaners cannot do the following

  • Remove certain stains. The nature and age of
    the. stain, plus the color and construction of the fabric, sometimes make
    stains impossible to remove without damaging the garment.
  • Prevent some colors from bleeding or fading. If
    the manufacturer does not thoroughly test the dyes to make sure they are
    colorfast to both solvent and water, some color may be lost during the
    cleaning process. This is considered the manufacturer’s responsibility.
  • Prevent excessive shrinkage. If the manufacturer
    has failed to adequately preshrink all component parts before the garment is
    constructed, shrinkage may occur.
  • Reverse worn or torn areas caused by wear,
    perspiration, damage caused by insects, or liquid spills.
    Such holes or
    rips may not appear before cleaning, but they result from a previous
    weakening of the fibers.
  • Prevent or correct holes caused by insects or acid
    spillage.
    Such holes may not appear before drycleaning, but they result
    from a previous weakening of the fibers.
  • Correct excessive shine on clothes caused by
    wear or extreme heat and pressure used in home ironing.
  • Correct poor home spot removal procedures such
    as color loss caused by excessive rubbing of delicate fabrics or color
    reactions or holes in the fabric caused by failure to rinse stain removal
    agents from the fabric.

Dry Cleaning FAQ’s


Drycleaning Care
In Use
Selecting
Clothing
Spillage
Care
Labels
Getting
the Most from drycleaning
Care
Symbols
After
Cleaning
Fabrics Liability
Color Draperies
Decorative
Trims

Drycleaning
is the use of solvents to remove soil and stains from fabric. It is called
“drycleaning” because the solvents contain little or no water and do
not penetrate the fibers as water does. Drycleaning solvent is not harmful to
any fabric, and drycleaning is the only safe method for cleaning many types of
garments.

Natural fibers such as wools and silks will shrink and perhaps loose their color
whom washed in water, but will dryclean beautifully. Cottons and linens, unless
they are preshrunk in manufacture, will also shrink in home laundering.
Drycleaning is particularly effective in removing greasy, oily stains from
synthetic fibers, which have an affinity for oils.

But the professional drycleaner provides more than just drycleaning. This
service also includes professional removal of problem stains that will not come
out with simple drycleaning. It also includes professional pressing, careful
packaging, and inspection at every step along the way to make sure that all
stains have been attended to and the item has been properly pressed and
finished.

Drycleaning can extend the life of your wardrobe, and your knowledge about
drycleaning can bring you more value for your clothing dollar. Drycleaning does NOT
reduce the life of your clothing.


Selecting
Clothing

Buying new clothes is often an exciting event, related to special events,
holidays, and great expectations. But it is also the time to think about the
serviceability and cleaning requirements of the garment.


Care Labels
Before you buy, read the care label attached to the garment and any hang
tag or care instructions on garment packaging, The Federal Trade Commission
requires apparel manufacturers to attach permanent labels to garments supplying
instructions for drycleaning or laundering. Look for this label when you are
considering a purchase. The care necessary to keep a garment clean and
attractive may be important in deciding whether to buy it in the first place.


Care
Symbols

In 1997, the FTC ruled that “care labels” may substitute
symbols for words on garments. The symbols, which show consumers how to safely
launder or clean their clothing, are permitted on care labels as long as the
manufacturer includes with the garments a written explanation of what the
symbols mean for the first 18 months they are in use. Most garments that are
labeled with washing instructions may not be drycleanable, as they may contain
dyes or trim that are not resistant to drycleaning solvent. If you have a
difficult stain on such a garment, or if you want the convenience or the
enhanced appearance of professional cleaning and finishing, discuss the article
with your drycleaner. According to the amended federal care label rule of
January 1984, no warning about an alternative cleaning method is required, so
your cleaner may ask you to sign a release before drycleaning a garment with
washing instructions only.


Fabrics
Great technological advances have been made in both the improvement of
natural fibers and the creation and development of synthetic fibers. Special
finishes impart body, permanent press qualities, water repellency, and other
qualities to fabrics. Fibers are blended to obtain fabrics with the best
qualities of both natural and synthetic materials. But there is much you should
know about the peculiarities of various fabrics and constructions.

– Many beautiful fibers may lack durability and should be purchased only with
this understanding. These include cashmere, camel’s hair, and mohair. Angora,
another luxury fiber, can shrink excessively even with the most careful care in
cleaning.

– Lightweight and loosely woven wools, gauzes, and loosely knit sweaters have a
tendency to snag easily or become distorted in wear and cleaning.

– Suede and smooth leathers have a high incidence of color difficulties. Genuine
suede and leather items require special processing to preserve their finish,
feel, and color. These garments should only be handled by cleaners equipped for
this specialized job.

– Imitation suede and leather may become stiff or peel in drycleaning. These
items are often accepted for cleaning only at owners risk.

– Suede-like materials and other materials with a flocked finish may develop
bare spots in wear and cleaning. The life expectancy for these garments is
generally rather short.

– Many tailored garments contain interfacings in the collar and lapel that are
fused rather than stitched to the shell fabric. In some cases, blisters and
wrinkles develop when these items are drycleaned. This is the fault of the
manufacturer.

– Some poorly constructed bonded fabrics may separate from the face fabric or
lining, or there may be shrinkage, puckering, stiffening, or adhesive staining.

– Acrylic knits are inclined to stretch when wet or when exposed to steam in
finishing after drycleaning.

– Some dyes and pigment prints may fade in drycleaning solvents. Others are
water soluble and may fade when exposed to water in spot removal.


Color
It is impossible to determine simply by looking at the fabric whether the
color will withstand exposure to sunlight, water, drycleaning solvent, or
various spot removal agents or chemicals. Reading labels and tags may give you
some information. Some blue jeans and other denim items are labeled
“guaranteed to fade,” for or example.

Colors are applied either as dyes, which are absorbed into the fibers, or as
pigments, which adhere to the fabric surface. Usually both are reasonably
colorfast. Some colors however, are totally unserviceable, not fast in either
water or drycleaning solvent. And some colors “crock,” or rub off on
the skin or other fabrics.

Some dyes are called ‘fugitive” dyes, because they will run, rub off, or
bleed onto other fabrics. Pigment prints and metallic prints are held to the
fabric with an adhesive, and may wear off over time, from wear as well as
cleaning.

Some dyes fade on exposure to strong light, especially sunlight, but sometimes
strong artificial light as well. Some dyes change color on exposure to
combustion gases present in the air, This is called “fume fading,” and
is especially common in acetate fabrics,


Decorative
Trims

In addition to fabric and color, you must also be concerned with how
buttons, beads, sequins, and other decorations and fasteners will hold up to
drycleaning.

Most troublesome in this respect are buttons and beads made of polystyrene,
which softens or melts on exposure to drycleaning solvent.

Beads and sequins may be covered with a thin coating of color, which may come
off during wear or cleaning. Beads or sequins may be merely glued on and come
off during wear or in cleaning. Trim that is sown on with a single continuous
thread may all come off if the thread is broken. Belts or other items that
contain cardboard stiffeners or glues will require special attention.

According Federal Trade Commission care label rule, trims must be able to
withstand the recommended care process, so if you do have a problem, you should
return the article to the retailer.


Care In
Use

Who has not had the experience of spilling something on a garment on its
first wearing, fresh from the cleaners? It seems wasteful at such times to send
an entire garment back to be cleaned again simply to remove one little spot. But
spot removal at home should be undertaken only with great care. Improper use of
water or chemicals in removing spots at home sometimes sets the stains or
damages the color, water can loosen soil or sizing and simply displace it,
causing a “ring” that looks worse than the original stain.

The resurgence of natural fibers such as silk and wool make it even more
difficult to remove stains safely at home. Silk should never be rubbed when wet.
This causes fibers to break, resulting in a permanent light area. Wool is
difficult because often the staining substance will be absorbed deep into the
fibers.


Spillage
Spillage of food and beverages is probably the most common cause of spots
on clothing. Many of these are combination stains containing oils, sugars, and
other staining substances. These stains may take more than one procedure to
remove completely. Stains from beverages containing sugar may seem to disappear,
but will show up later when the sugar caramelizes in response to age or exposure
to heat.

Another cause of accidental stains is the many ordinary chemicals found in your
bathroom cabinet. These agents may also leave stains that aren’t visible at
first but become visible later. This phenomenon is particularly true with
protein fibers such as silk and wool. Such stains need immediate attention.

Alcohol in perfumes and colognes can be damaging to silk, It is a good idea to
use these products and let them dry before you get dressed.

Skin care preparations containing benzoyl peroxide also require special care in
use. Benzoyl peroxide is a bleaching agent and can cause permanent areas of
color loss on towels and clothing.

Be careful, also, in handling chlorine bleach. Bleach spillage can cause color
lose and can weaken fabric to the extent that holes appear when an the garment
is next washed or cleaned. Exposure to acids, such as in car batteries can also
cause disintegration of fabrics.

Good first aid for stains is to blot up the staining substance at once. Don’t
rub a stain.
This may make it penetrate further into the fibers and may
damage the fabric surface. Consult a stain removal guide or call your drycleaner
before attempting further action at home. And never return a stained garment to
the closet. Spots and stains can set with age, and food spills attract insects,
which can do permanent damage.


Getting
the Most from drycleaning

If you have been alert at the time of purchase and careful while wearing
your clothes, you can help your drycleaner to give you the very best service. Be
sure to inform the cleaner of any spots or stains, especially if they are
colorless spills. The cleaner will want to treat some stains before the
drycleaning process.

Bring with you any hang tags that contain extra care instructions or fiber
information. Acrylic knits, for example, are difficult to identify and are
inclined to stretch with the heat of cleaning and finishing. So if you know what
fibers the garment contains, tell the cleaner. Point out the presence of items
containing glues plastics, or cardboard stiffeners. And point out any special
trims you are concerned about.

Outfits its with several pieces and any accessories, such as belts, should all
be cleaned at the same time to avoid any color discrepancies resulting from
cleaning.

Knits that have shrunk can often be shaped back to size if you ask for this
service. Sizing, which is applied during manufacture to give a garment body or
shape, can be removed after one or more cleanings, as can water repellent and
spot repellent finishes. These finishes can be re-applied if you ask your
cleaner to do so. Your cleaner can also provide professional repairs and
alterations, garment storage, and other clothes care services.


After
Cleaning

You may not always be completely satisfied with the way your clothes come
back from the cleaner, even if you have followed our suggestions. Look at your
drycleaned clothes as soon as they are returned to you and point out any
problems right away. Some problems may be curable, such as a spot that was
missed or an inadequate pressing job. Some wools and synthetics may show
pilling, the appearance of tiny balls on the fabric surface. Cleaning may
increase their number, but sometimes your cleaner can remove them.

Although drycleaning does prolong their Iife, clothes, like people, eventually
show their age, and some problems the cleaner can do nothing about.

Fluorescent brighteners, used by garment makers to make colors brighter or
whites whiter, may become dull or yellowed with exposure to sunlight. This may
not be apparent until a good cleaning job removes surface soil that may have
masked the condition,

Insects often finish their meal leaving the skeleton of the fabric intact. The
weakened fibers are flushed away in cleaning and the garment comes back full of
holes- Chemical damage sustained in use may also not be obvious until after
cleaning.

If you feel that damage to your garments was caused through no fault of your
own, read the following section carefully.


Liability
If clothing comes back damaged from the drycleaner the drycleaner is
often blamed as the last to handle the garment. But the responsibility may lie
with the manufacturer or retailer, or with you – the consumer,

As mentioned before, care information must be permanently attached to all
garments. If this information is not present and the garment is damaged as a
result, or if care instructions are followed and the garment or some component
part fails, the responsibility is with the manufacturer. Your best recourse is
to go to the retailer who sold you the item. Good retail practice requires
that a store exchange a defective item or refund the price.

If the information was available to you but you did not follow it, for example
washing a garment that should have been drycleaned, then you are at fault.

If your drycleaner fails to follow care instructions or
did not exercise reasonable care, then the cleaner is at fault.

Some stains simply can’t be removed by any known method, and while no one is to
blame, there is no remedy. This is also true of the damaging effects of age on
all fabrics.

if your drycleaner is to blame, you are entitled to recover the value of the
garment’s remaining life expectancy. According to the International Fair Claims
Guide for Consumer Textile Products, published by the International Fabricare
Institute, suits are expected to last 2 to4 years, dresses 1 to 5 years, coats 4
years (fur coats 10 years), and dress shirts 2 years. The guide assigns such
life expectancy ratings to all categories of textile products, and it provides
tables by which to determine the worth of a product based on the unused portion
of its life expectancy and its condition at the time it was lost or ruined. It
is up to you to negotiate an adjustment with the cleaner.

If there is disagreement about the party responsible for the adverse condition,
it is suggested that the item be sent to the Textile Analysis Laboratory at the
International Fabricare Institute for testing and determination of the party
responsible. Such items can be submitted by the member drycleaner, retailer,
Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency, or textile affiliate. Items
cannot be submitted directly by the consumer. Most cases are successfully
settled, however, when the customer first returns the article to the cleaner.


Draperies
Draperies have a number of invisible enemies. The sun can fade and streak
them. (Sometimes you will not notice this until the soil is removed.) Draperies
are also affected by gases, fumes, and humidity. Open fireplaces, wood stoves,
and smoking also contribute to the staining of draperies.

You can expect some shrinkage from laundering or cleaning unless the fabric has
been totally preshrunk, Sometimes the drape shrinks more than the lining,
causing a puckered effect.

A variety of draperies are combined with insulating backings or linings. In
selecting these draperies, make sure you know the specific care procedure the
manufacturer recommends. Some of these coatings react adversely in both
drycleaning and washing.

The International Fabricare Institute recommends that glass fiber draperies be
washed and air dried rather than drycleaned, to avoid color loss and chalky
streaks. Care must be taken to subject them to as little abrasion as possible.

If you make your own draperies the following suggestions may be helpful.,

  • Pick the right fabric for the job, For sunny locations,
    use fabrics that are resistant to deterioration from sunlight. Synthetics
    are more resistant than cellulose fibers, while silk is least resistant.
  • Line all draperies for protection against fading and
    fiber rotting.
  • If you are using cotton and rayon fabrics, allow for
    changes in length caused by atmospheric changes. These fibers tend to expand
    when the relative humidity is high and contract when it is low.
  • Remember that synthetic fibers pick up dust due to
    static electricity and that cotton and rayon tend to yellow as they age.

Shirt Care FAQ’s


Disappearing
Pinstripes
Perspiration
& Anti-perspirant damage
Previous
Damage
Interfacing
Defects
Holes
and tears in Oxfords
Buttons
Shrinkage Fugitive
Dyes
Wear
Life expectancy
Consumer
Spillage

Disappearing
Pinstripes

Drycleaners and launderers all over the U.S.
have, for the last seven years, witnessed the mysterious failure of the colored
yarn in men’s 100 percent cotton shirts. Close examination of the shirts, under
a strong light, reveals that the colored yarns are missing, leaving a skeletal
framework of the white yarns. This problem first surfaced in the early ’80s when
men’s fashion changed to include bright-colored striped shirts. Reactive dyes
are the only dyestuff which can be used to achieve these bright colors.

It was not until 1992, and after extensive interindustry effort-including the
International Fabricare Institute, shirting manufacturers, and dye experts-that
a remedy to the problem was found. It was identified that reactive dyes, for
reasons still not completely understood, cannot withstand normal commercial
laundering procedures. These shirts need a special rinse cycle when commercially
laundered to avoid damage. Only now are the manufacturers recognizing the need
to add these instructions to the care label. Launderers, in an attempt to
satisfy consumers, can modify their wash formula. When these shirts are
laundered in a special formula, which includes a “pH controlled” or
“buffered” sour, the damage can be prevented.

IFI has informed their members that they should make this recommended
modification to their wash formula. Commercial laundering is one of the best
ways to give striped shirts that “professional crisp look.” If the
care label in your shirt does not state “Commercial Launder in a pH
Controlled Sour” and many do not, request that your launderer do so. This
will ensure that your shirts will be more serviceable and last longer.

Previous Damage
Current shirt failure problems are the result of a progressive
weakening of the fiber from previously acceptable laundry procedures used by the
laundry industry. Laundries are now using special wash formulas, which were not
specified until mid-1992, to avoid future damage. However, some shirts will
continue to show damage because of previous washings.

The manufacturer should accept responsibility for those failures, which are
beyond the control of the launderer. Laundering with a buffered sour now does
not necessarily relieve the shirt manufacturers of the responsibility of the
fabric damage.

Holes and tears in Oxfords
Tiny holes can appear at random throughout an oxford shirt due to the
weaving process. These should not be confused with damage from bleach. Oxford
consists of two, thin warp yarns to every soft, thicker yarn in the filling
direction. The unbalanced construction causes the thin yarns to break, leaving
tiny holes. Manufacturers could use a higher twist in the yarn to retard the
development of holes, but eventually any oxford weave will develop tiny
pinholes.

In addition, tears in oxfords occur in the direction of the softly twisted,
thicker yarns. All the yarns in an oxford receive the same care process, but the
constant abrasion in wear causes the thin yarns to weaken and tear.

Most dress shirts are difficult to shrink. The manufacturer has already allowed
for the normal two percent and progressive shrinkage requirements. This
shrinkage is usually not enough to cause a complaint. Shrinkage beyond this is
usually due to poorly stabilized materials.

Shrinkage
Shrinkage complaints can easily be resolved by measuring the collar and
sleeve length. Measure the collar from the end of the buttonhole to the center
of the button. Measure the sleeve length in a straight line from the center of
the back of the collar at the seam to the end of the cuff. If these measurements
correspond to the shirt size, it has not shrunk.

Wear Life expectancy
Determining how long a shirt should last is difficult due to the
variances in frequency of wear. However, industry experience shows that, on
average, shirts have a two year wear life expectancy. The number of launderings
is a better measuring method. The average shirt should have a wear life of 35 to
50 washings. This will fluctuate depending on the amount of abrasion and strain
placed on the shirt during wear, the fiber content, the type of fabric, and the
laundering procedure.

Perspiration & Anti-perspirant
damage

Perspiration, if allowed to stay in a shirt, will eventually stain and
also weaken the fabric, allowing the weakened area to be removed during washing.
Aluminum chlorides found in antiperspirants will also weaken the fibers under
the arm. Controlled use of antiperspirants and frequent washings, immediately
after wear may minimize this type of damage.

Interfacing Defects
What causes puckering and excess fabric in the shirt collar after
laundering? This is caused by shrinkage of the interfacing (within the collar).
If the shirt is laundered and the interfacing shrinks excessively, it will cause
the puckering of the outer fabric. The manufacturer must select an interfacing
which is compatible with the shirt fabric.

What causes the collar and cuff to have a mottled gray or shiny look in specific
areas? This occurs when excess adhesive is used to fuse the collar or cuff
fabric and the interfacing. This excess adhesive softens in pressing and
penetrates the outer fabric of the collar and cuffs. This can be prevented by
the correct selection of an adhesive that is compatible to commercial
laundering.

Why does yellowing occur? Because some interfacings on shirts react adversely
with chlorine, laundries often use other oxygen-type bleaches which do not react
with chlorine retentive resins. If chlorine bleach is used on this type of
fabric, yellowing could occur.

Buttons
Buttons may crack during pressing even though the press padding is in
excellent condition and the procedures used are correct. The reason for this is
that there is an inherent problem in the button or the way the button was
applied to the shirt. The majority of shirt buttons are made from a polyester
resin. The strength of the button depends on the amount of polyester in the
resin; some imported buttons contain less polyester.

Off-quality buttons are graded because they do not meet the requirements in one
or all of the following criteria: color, visual inclusions, chips or cracks, and
uniformity of size. Some manufacturers use less expensive, off-quality buttons
to save money, but this sometimes results in higher than average breakage.

Fugitive Dyes
The Care Label Rule states that the color in a garment must withstand the
recommended care procedure. If the dyes in a multicolored shirt are not
colorfast to water, bleeding will occur. The dye will migrate into adjacent
areas during the washing process. This migration of the dye into the surrounding
areas is not acceptable unless the fabric is a madras (plaid or stripe that is
guaranteed to bleed).

Some dyes dissolve in water and are partially removed during laundering.
After the first laundering, the lightening of color may be apparent, or it may
be progressive and only noticeable after several care procedures.

Consumer
Spillage

Household products like medicinal agents, strong acids, and acid residue
of some food-stuffs and beverages, or liquid chlorine bleach can easily damage a
shirt. Spillage of a strong household product causes localized fabric weakness
or color loss in the area of contact with the fabric. This type of damage may
not show up until after washing. This type of staining is not unique to shirts.


Stain FAQ’s


Stain Removal
Perspiration Stains
Invisible Stains
The Dry Cleaner’s Responsibility
Help Point Out Satins Help your Dry Cleaner Remove Stains

Stain Removal
Clothing stains are one of the main reasons people seek the help of their drycleaner. With their special solvents, equipment, and training, drycleaners can remove some of the most disastrous -looking stains with relative ease. Successful stain removal depends largely on the nature of the stain, the type of fabric, and the colorfastness of the dye. Ink stains and dried paint, for example, can be impossible to remove. Also, some fabrics and dyes are not made to withstand the use of cleaning or stain removal agents.

Invisible Stains”
Many stains that are caused by food, oily substances, or beverages may become invisible when they dry. But later on, with exposure to heat or the passage of time, a yellow or brownish stain will appear. This is caused by the oxidation or caramelizing of the sugar in the staining substance. It is the same process that makes a peeled apple turn brown after
exposure to air.

You can help the drycleaner do a better job by pointing out such stains when you take a garment to be cleaned. The cleaner often treats these stains prior to leaning, since the heat of drying or finishing may set the stain.

When an oily substance is exposed to heat or ages in a garment for an extended time, it also oxidizes. This type of stain can be distinguished by the irregular “cross pattern” the oil makes when it follows the fabric fibers. Oily substances are successfully removed in drycleaning unless they are left to oxidize. Once they become yellow or brown, they become much more difficult to remove.

Perspiration Stains
Perspiration can also cause problem stains, particularly on silk and wool garments. Perspiration left in a silk garment can eventually cause deterioration of the silk fibers. This invisible stain became visible after aging or from the heat during the drycleaning process.

Repeated exposure of a garment to perspiration and body oils can create a permanent yellow discoloration and an objectionable odor. In addition, perspiration can react with the dye or sizing in the fabric, making it even more difficult to remove the stain. People who perspire heavily should have their clothes cleaned more frequently and might consider using perspiration shields. Clothing frequently worn or heavily stained also requires frequent cleaning.

The Drycleaner’s Responsibility
Drycleaners are responsible for attempting to remove stains in accordance with professional practice. Not all stains can be removed, despite the drycleaner’s best efforts.

In some cases:

  • stains are oxidized and set in the fabric.
  • the type of dye or delicacy of the fabric can limit the degree of removal.
  • the dye in the fabric is soluble (prone to bleed); removing the stain would also remove the dye from the
    fabric.

The more information consumers give the drycleaner and the sooner a garment is brought in, the greater the chance of satisfactory stain removal.

How you can help

To help your drycleaner do a better job of stain removal, we suggest the following:

  • Never put a garment away with spills or stains on it. The warmth of a closet and exposure to natural or artificial light and to the atmosphere can contribute to setting a stain.
  • Bring in a stained garment as soon as possible, preferably within a few days, to prevent the stain from
    setting.
  • Do not iron stained or soiled clothes; this will set stains and drive the soil deeper into the fabric. Always have soiled clothes cleaned or washed before ironing.
  • Do not attempt home spot removal with either water or a cleaning fluid without testing first for colorfastness. Wet an unexposed area, such as an inside seam, and blot with a paper towel to make sure the color is fast.
  • Never rub a stain, especially when attempting to remove a stain from silk. Blot the stained area. This will help remove the staining substance without spreading the stain and will avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Inform your drycleaner of the location of specific stains and any procedures you have used to remove them, even if the stains are no longer visible.

If you have any specific questions you feel you have not found information on here, call us at (972) 317-8991 or email us.