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(Photo: Flora’s Dry Cleaning)

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Pride of a Pro (Part 1)

Talking garment care: supplemental stain removal; and wet cleaning

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.

The day of leaving in stains due to lack of training and effort has come to an end.


The last 15 years has brought the industry to a much greater understanding of the factors that contribute to shrinking and dye migration. This, combined with pressure from government agencies to reduce the use of halogenated immersion solutions, has brought us to the point of a professional process referred to as wet cleaning.

But the term is misunderstood by many in the cleaning industry. Wet cleaning is the use of water along with specialized chemical tools and procedures, to handle items that are labeled Dryclean Only.

Wet cleaning is not just the use of water, but the use of water under a very specific set of circumstances and controlled procedures. However, with the proper training in fibers, fabrics, dyes and trim, wet cleaning can be a valuable tool in cleaning.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].