If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: high-quality garments require high-quality care. There are many things you can do to care for your suits on your own (click here for a handy infographic on that subject), but at some point, you’ll want to patronize a dry cleaner.
Great cleaners will help extend the life of your clothes, and sub-par cleaners will shorten their lifespan. How’s a guy supposed to tell the difference?
To that end, the master tailors at Henry A. Davidsen suggest asking your dry cleaning prospects the following three questions. The answers will let you know if they can offer you the quality of care that your wardrobe deserves.
What Solvents Do You Use?
This is going to get a bit technical, so bear with us!
During the dry cleaning process, there could be a number of different solvents used. One of the most common substances, Perchloroethylene (PERC), poses a serious health concern due to its toxic chemical properties. While PERC is extremely effective in removing stains and dirt of all kinds from any type of clothing, lab studies suggest that too much exposure to this cleaner can cause skin irritation, headaches, confusion, and more. Better cleaning options include hydrocarbons, green earth, and glycol ethers.
Do You Perform Wet Cleaning Services?
Counter-intuitive as it sounds, any good dry cleaning company will do some percentage of wet cleaning. What’s the difference between dry and wet cleaning?
Dry cleaning uses a machine filled with solvents that lifts and loosens stains. Wet cleaning, on the other hand, uses gentle washing methods with water. special soaps, and conditioners to clean your clothes.
Some fabrics can be safely wet cleaned and will actually come out much nicer if cleaned that way, like shirt collars and sleeve cuffs. As an added bonus, wet cleaning is also the most environmentally sensitive method when it comes to professional cleaning services.
Does Your Equipment Receive Daily Maintenance?
The owner should be able to easily and confidently answer “yes” to this question. When asked if they properly maintain their equipment, the dry cleaning company should explain how they clean and replace their pressing equipment pads frequently as well as how they clean their solvents and various other machines. If they are hesitant to explain any of their daily maintenance processes, it’s a huge red flag.
The right dry cleaner will ensure that your clothes stays fresh and clean, maintains their original colors, and most importantly, last longer. Stop into Henry A. Davidsen, the premiere custom men’s suit store located in Philadelphia, to learn more about how to keep your garments fresh until that next dry cleaning visit!