Tips & Tricks

 Federal Trade Commission shirts

Federal Trade Commission shirts

Top 5 Tips & Tricks

Off to the Cleaners? Things to Know before You Go

1. Read those labels. The Federal Trade Commission requires that all garments (except suedes and leathers) display at least one safe cleaning method. If you clean a garment by an alternative method (i.e., if you wash a blouse when the label indicates “Dry Clean Only”) and damage occurs, the responsibility is yours.

2. Despite care label recommendations, there is often an element of “buyer beware” with trims, ornaments, beads, sequins and buttons. Leslie DiMaggio, owner of Outlet Discount Cleaners in Salinas, Calif., expresses a common concern among dry cleaners about the stability of such items. “If a button makes the garment, remove it before cleaning.” She also recommends that you ask your cleaner to wrap specialty buttons before cleaning to prevent scratching and chipping.

3. If you sew or have your clothes made, your garment may not have a care label. Be certain all components of a handmade garment can be dry cleaned before dropping it off. Otherwise, washable fabrics may bleed; shrinkage may occur; buttons or trims may disintegrate or bleed; elastic may lose its stretch; iron-on interfacing will disappear, and unfinished seams may ravel.

4. Don’t leave a pile of clothes in the back seat of your car, waiting until you have time to stop at the cleaner. Sunlight and heat in a closed car can cause your garments to fade and will ultimately weaken fabric fibers.

5. Point out stains and tell the dry cleaner what caused the stain. Different stains require different treatments. Also, don’t wait too long before having a stain treated. Time can set stains.

Babcock, Sally. “Off to the Cleaners? Things to Know before You Go.”
BBW Magazine. N.p., 4 Aug. 2014. Web.

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