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Common Dry Cleaning Questions - FAQ for Dry Cleaners


 Questions for dry cleaners

Ric Pevey, General Manager at Champion Cleaners

Unless you're a professional dry cleaner, you probably don't understand all of the intricacies of the dry cleaning world.  And that's completely okay!

You can't expect to know every single thing about every single industry and profession, and that is why we are here to answer some of the most frequently asking questions about dry cleaning.  Knowing the answer to these questions will help ensure a smooth and successful dry cleaning experience for all!

Q: What's the difference between dry cleaning and laundering?

Dry Cleaner Response:  Dry cleaning involves the use of dry cleaning solvents in a special machine that washes and dries clothes in one cycle.  Laundering involves the use of water to "wash" clothes in a washing machine.  Both dry cleaning and laundering (wet cleaning) processes include a pre-spotting process and then the cleaning in either the dry cleaning machine or the wahing machine.

Q: What should a consumer expect from their dry cleaning experience?

Dry Cleaner Response: A consumer should expect:

  • to get their clothes back from the dry cleaner.  There is no excuse for a dry cleaner losing a customer's clothes, although it does happen.  Expect to be fairly compensated if this happens to you.
  • to get their clothes properly cleaned and pressed.  Some dry cleaners attempt to remove spots and stains and some don't. All stains cannot be removed from a garment, but an experienced professional can get out many spots and stains.  Clothes can be clean and still have stains.  Stain removal can never be guaranteed. 
  • to be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • to have seams and hems repaired for free if they come lose while cleaning.
  • to have buttons replaced for free if they are lost or broken while at the dry cleaners.
  • to be fairly compensated if the dry cleaner causes damage to the clothes.  Sometime clothes are damaged and the dry cleaner is following care label instructions. If there is a problem when the clothes are manufactured or the care label is wrong and the problem manifests when the dry cleaner is cleaning them, the manufacturer or the retailer should replace the clothes or refund the purchase price.

Q: Is it okay to leave dry cleaned clothing in the plastic it comes back in?

Dry Cleaner Response:  The plastic that covers your dry cleaning and laundry when you pick it up (or when it is delivered to you) is good for transporting the clothes only.  Do not leave the plastic on the clothes once you get them home.  Use the bag to line your trash cans or take them in for recycling.

Q: What should I do if my laundered shirt has shrunk?

Dry Cleaner Response:  There is little that can be dome to a shirt that has shrunk.  Unless the shirt's care label indicates that it should not be laundered in hot water, there may be a problem with either the manufacturing process or the care label.  Talk to retailer or the manufacturer about the problem.  US law requires garments to be pre-shrunk.  If a shirt shrinks after one or more washings, it is likely the manufacturer's problem.  If the care label say to wash in cold water only and the dry cleaner used hot water, it is clearly a dry cleaner mistake.

Q: Are clothes that have been tailored or had alterations safe to dry clean?

Dry Cleaner Response: A garment that has been made correctly...or had an alteration done to it correctly is safe to dry clean.  This doesn't mean that a hem won't come lose while cleaning.  It is my belief that the dry cleaner should repair this problem...but all dry cleaners don't agree with me on this.  However, garments tailored for the consumer will often have no care label.  Be sure to have the tailor tell you exactly how the garment is to be cleaned...and share this information with your dry cleaner.


These are just a few of the more common questions concerning laundry and dry cleaning that we get.  I hope that answering them has given you a better understanding of how to care for your clothes.  If you have additional questions that you would like to see answered on this blog feel free to send them our way!  We look forward to clarifying any confusion you may have, and helping you gain more insight into the dry cleaning process.

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(C) 2010 - 2014 D W Cleaners. LLC d/b/a Champion Cleaners, d/b/a CRDN of Birmingham, d/b/a Champion Wedding Gown Specialist.  All Rights Reserved


Can you dry clean apparel which has been woven with solution dyed nylon
Posted @ Monday, February 04, 2013 8:24 AM by Connie Lotis
It depends on the dye and the fabric. If there is no care label identifying a safe way to clean the garment, we would test the color fastness of the dye and fabric. A professional dry cleaner should know what to do.
Posted @ Monday, February 04, 2013 10:55 AM by David Whitehurst
how do you get mascara out of chiffon 
Posted @ Wednesday, September 04, 2013 5:45 PM by Kat
Mascara is an oil-based product so normal washing will not get it out. Try soaking it in a diluted solution of Shout and water. Then wash is as you normally would. 
Of course, this assumes the care label allows washing the garment. If it's a "dry Clean only" garment, take it to a professional dry cleaner, Use one that actually works on removing spots and point out the problem when you take it in.
Posted @ Thursday, September 05, 2013 12:24 PM by David Whitehurst
I have a 95% cotton, 5% polyester white zip up sweater and after drycleaning it appears to have almost yellowed slightly. What is the reason for this and is there anything I can do to make it bright again? [it has plaid patches on the elbows, so its not totally white in color]
Posted @ Monday, September 22, 2014 12:18 PM by catherine blackburn
Catherine, thanks for the question. It sounds like the slight yellowing might be due to not being dry cleaned in pristine solvent usually used for whites. It's a common mistake of many dry cleaners to not separate whites from darker light clothing in order to assure of whites remaining white.  
I feel that if you have the sweater cleaned again, and specifically bring to the attention of your dry cleaner the issue, that it can become white 
Thanks again for your dry cleaning question, and if we can be of service please let us know.
Posted @ Monday, September 22, 2014 1:14 PM by David Whitehurst
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