What happens to my clothes after I drop them off at A Cleaner World?
With nearly 50 years in the dry-cleaning industry, A Cleaner World has developed an efficient, stream-lined method of checking in clothes, examining and noting stains, communicating needs, and sorting for the proper cleaning method. Once garments are cleaned and pressed, we do one final inspection before the assembly process. If an item is identified as anything less than 100%, it is sent back for correction. Cleaned, pressed, and ready for pick up, your clothes wait on a line, filed for easy identification, until you are ready to pick them up. For more detailed information, including photos, check out this blog post.
What do those funny symbols mean on my clothes labels? I think they have something to do with care for the garment.
Symbols like the triangle speak to bleach. Squares have to do with drying instructions. Circles are for dry cleaning instructions, etc. Our professionals are trained on these symbols to provide the best care for your wardrobe. These symbols are required by the Federal Trade Commission and can be very confusing. Want a cheat sheet? We have attached a link to a handy chart that you can print for your laundry room at home. Care Label Symbols Chart
Is there a rule of thumb about when I should have my clothes cleaned?
There is an old cleaners saying "Wear it twice, it will clean up nice." This is a nice slogan, but you need to put more thought into your decision. For garments you wear next to your skin, like blouses, pants, shirts etc. you should follow the same logic you would use if it were machine washable. If you would wash it after one wearing, then you should dry clean it after one wearing. For suits, sport coats, overcoats, and sweaters worn over a shirt or blouse you may get two or more wearings between cleanings.
Dry cleaning is especially useful to remove food stains, dust, soils, makeup, cologne, and perspiration. Over 95% of bacteria will be removed with proper cleaning and steam finishing. It is this bacteria that will produce an offensive odor if the garment is worn too long. Always clean garments before storage for any length of time. This will help prevent moth damage. Some antiperspirants and deodorants can attack colors and fibers if not removed soon after wearing.
Will frequent dry cleaning wear out my clothes?
Quite the contrary, it is the soil between the fibers that abrades the fabric. A well designed study conducted in the late 1980's at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro found that men's suit fabrics dry cleaned over and over exhibited no adverse effects to the color, dimensions, or feel of the fabric. You can read a summary of this article at Dry Cleaning Keeps It Like New.
Is the dry cleaning solvent you use safe?
The solution we use is perchloroethylene, commonly called perc, and it is from the same family of cleaning agents used in household cleaners and swimming pools. Perc has gone through several years of comprehensive testing by a number of well-known universities, so we’re certain that it is completely safe in the way it is used in dry cleaning. We then require a higher standard at A Cleaner World to ensure we keep our customers and employees safe and our environment clean.
For example, we continuously purify and recycle our solvent to ensure that no perc is released into the environment. We also maintain our equipment to the highest standards so that we can promise our customers fresh, odor-free garments. At A Cleaner World, we take our environmental responsibility seriously. After all, we have a big name to live up to.
We also offer professional wet cleaning which is a method to clean dry clean only garments using water under controlled conditions to eliminate shrinkage and color loss. Most but not all garments can be safely cleaned with this method.
Finally, we are in the process of changing over our perc cleaning machines to hydrocarbon solutions as our perc machines reach the end of their useful life. Our cost is about $70,000 per machine, but this is a small price to pay to continue to offer safe cleaning methods.
What does your organization do to help with environmental issues?
We believe that everyone has a responsibility to help preserve our environment; therefore, in 1990 we developed a comprehensive recycling program that included the recycling of clothes hangers and the use of an innovative cardboard hanger caddy. For each hanger that customers returned to A Cleaner World, we donated one penny toward the purchase of trees to be planted in North Carolina.
In 1995 we formed a partnership with Triad Park, a 414 acre park being developed on the border of Forsyth and Guilford Counties. We pledged the proceeds from our hanger recycling program over a five year period in the amount of $25,000, and in 2000, with your help, we fulfilled our commitment to Triad Park by donating over $26,000. We continue to look for tree planting opportunities in the communities we serve.
By recycling hangers, we have prevented millions from being deposited in our landfills. In addition to our hanger recycling program, we also insist that our plastic bags be made of 50% recycled material, which is broken down into 15% post consumer and 35% post industrial content. We encourage our customers to place their A Cleaner World plastic bags in their express bag along with their dirty clothes when they drop off their next order. One of our suppliers then picks up our used plastic bags and delivers it to Recycle America where they sort, bail, and ship it to other recycling businesses.
What is the difference between Standard and Premiere Gown Preservations at A Cleaner World?
We have two levels of gown preservations. Standard preservations are $199, and Premiere preservations are $299. The difference has more to do with the fabric content and construction of the dress than anything else. Couture, silk, and designer gowns with extensive beading and/or long trains would be Premiere preservation. Polyester gowns with fewer embellishments and without a long train would be Standard preservation. Both options are performed at our company gown cleaning facility and include acid-free preservation chests, tissue and bust forms.
Standard preservation consists of a hemline soak, stain pre-treatment followed by a thorough cleaning and detailed inspection. Standard dresses are then steam finished and preserved by a certified gown technician.
Premiere preservation involves a hemline soak, individual stain pre-treatment followed by a gentle hydrocarbon bath and detailed post-cleaning inspection. Premiere dresses are then processed through an anti-sugar treatment to guard against future yellowing, hand finished and preserved by a certified gown technician.
If a gown requires restoration; including but not limited to extensive soaking for heavy stains, significant repairs, whitening, delicate cleaning due to age and/or brittleness a certified gown technician will contact you to discuss the cleaning process, potential outcomes and risks and a price estimate. Restorations typically range between $300-$500 depending on the nature and level of difficulty of the cleaning.