Color-Solver (Conclusion)

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(Photo: Pete Bellis/Unsplash)

Martin L. Young Jr. |

Correct a problem created by your staff, your reputation depends on it

CONCORD, N.C. — You just knocked the color out of the dress.

It happens. You are focused on a mustard stain and following proper stain-removal protocol. You apply your tannin stain remover...and then the light blue color turns yellow where you applied your spotting agent.

There are times, with the best of intention, the spotter will “dig himself into a hole.” The choices are limited: pay the claim, deny responsibility, or find a course of action to restore the garment.

With the increased number of plants switching to emerging solvent systems, some operators insist on running shortened cycles in the name of productivity. This leads to inefficient cleaning and loosened dirt being redeposited on the entire load rather than on the filter system.

Some operators might not use a good detergent in the wheel in the name of saving money. One of the many advantages of a drycleaning detergent is to help hold soil in suspension until it can be carried to the filter and not be left on the garments.

Proper filtration is the factor that allows the operator to constantly reuse the solvent. The convenience of modern filtration systems often leads to the temptation of neglecting proper maintenance of filtration. You don’t wash laundry in a mud puddle, and you can’t dry-clean garments if the solvent is the color of your morning coffee.

Overloading your drycleaning machine reduces solvent penetration and eliminates the necessary drop in the garments to give proper mechanical action in the wheel. Reduced solvent flow and reduced mechanical action will result in sub-par cleaning; streaks and swales; and, in many cases, general redeposition of soils.

Dye transfer can be the result of many poor decisions and oversights. Proper classification of garments will reduce the chance of a navy garment transferring dye to a separate pastel garment in the load.

Proper detergent and proper run times will allow the dye that is loosened from garments to be carried to the filtration system or the still, as opposed to being transferred to another garment in the load.

When you do realize that you have dye transfer from a load, the proper protocol is to inspect each piece immediately, and rerun any piece that shows evidence of fugitive dye.

For those items that do not respond to the second cleaning cycle, a dye stripper may be necessary. In some cases you will be able to use a bath, but for small areas, a cotton swab or a wooden toothpick can be used for the pinpoint application of a reducing bleach/dye stripper.

Knowing various methods to prevent a problem and ways to correct a problem created by your staff can and will save your reputation and your pocketbook.

To read Part 1, go HERE.

About the author

Martin L. Young Jr.

Industry Consultant and Trainer

Martin L. Young Jr. has been an industry consultant and trainer for 20 years, and a member of various stakeholder groups on environmental issues. He is a past president of the North Carolina Association of Launderers & Cleaners (NCALC). He grew up in his parents’ plant in Concord, N.C., Young Cleaners, which he operates to this day. Contact him by phone at 704-786-3011, or via e-mail at mayoung@vnet.net.

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