CONCORD, N.C. — Long-term success without effort is unattainable. I have been in and out of a lot of cleaning plants, but it seems that lately, many owner/operators are convinced that this business will function just as well without effort on the part of employees.

Is your business model based solely on turning “more pieces” as fast as possible, with little or no regard to the quality of the end service? The attitude is more prevalent than some are aware, or at least are willing to admit.

Just slow down a little bit. Give a little thought to reducing the use of “Sorry” tags by 10%. Let these tips help guide you:

• Inspect garments before they go to the finisher.

• Train employees to recognize “sweet spots” that are easily removed by a simple puff of steam.

• Establish standards that lend themselves to being proud to face your customers with an attitude that says: “We are proud of what we have done!”

The consumer has a right to assume there is a level of professionalism at the cleaners. That requires a certain amount of supplemental stain removal.

Wet cleaning can be a time- and effort-saver in the stain removal process. One must control the temperature of the water being used. I always keep the water below 90 F. When you pass a temperature of around 95 F, you move into an area that can have a negative impact on the garment. Let the water work for you, but it must be at a lower temperature.

When an item has a care label that includes an acceptable use of water, you move from wet cleaning to “Fine Washable.” This is a sister process to wet cleaning.

All of the wet cleaning procedures can be used. However you have more flexibility in handling, and you are not going against the care label. You have to rely on your knowledge. This process falls between aggressive laundry practices and wet cleaning.

Some of the considerations are as follows:

• Loose weave requires light mechanical action.

• Ornate trim requires protection of the trim and light mechanical action.

• Bright colors need a very mild detergent.

The more you know, the easier and less risky the job becomes. Wet cleaning is an effective tool for garment care, but it must be applied with care and confidence.

To read Part 1, go HERE.