Q: I recently found small
white spots on my shirt that wont come out. What can I do?
A: These are most likely spots where the color has been bleached out of the garment.
This often happens when using a toothpaste which brightens your teeth. Best advice is to
not wear "good clothes" when brushing your teeth.
Q: Are the plastic coverings
you put on clothes good when storing my clothes?
A: No. Remove the plastic covering your garments as soon as you get home. The plastic cover we place over your cleaned garments is NOT suitable for long term storage. Its sole purpose is to protect the garments from the elements and mishaps on the way home. Leaving our plastic covering on the garment for any exteneded period of time could cause trapped moisture, staining and fiber deterioration. If you want to protect the garment from dust and airborne particles, cut a hole in a clean, unbleached sheet and drop it over the item.
Q: I just got a stain on one of my favorite garments, what do I do?
A: Gently remove the excess, blot the stain, don't rub, and avoid the temptation to try a "home remedy."
Bring it to us as soon as you can and we should be able to rescue your garment to be wore another day.
Q: Is there really
an advantage to having comforters and blankets professionally cleaned
over home laundering?
A: Yes. Professional cleaners have the ability to determine the
best means of cleaning such items (drycleaning versus laundering) to aid
in maintaining the comforter or blanket's insulative and thermal qualities.
If the item is drycleanable, it is exposed to less risk of shrinkage.
Drycleaning solvents cause less shrinkage than cleaning in water,
Comforters and blankets that can be laundered still have an advantage
when professionally cleaned, as the machines are much larger than home
washing machines. Large items such as comforters can get cleaner in a
commercial sized washer and have more room in a professional sized dryer
to dry evenly, which promotes even distribution of the fill contained
in the comforter.
Q: What determines
whether a garment should be drycleaned or laundered?
A: All garments
at Blue Ribbon Cleaners are cleaned according to the manufacturer's
Federal laws require that all clothing manufacturers provide cleaning
instructions, generally found on the tag at the back of the neck. Determining
proper cleaning instructions is the responsibility of the manufacturer.
These tags are supposed to provide information about the fabric from which
the garment is made and special care instructions on how to clean it.
Garments should either state "Dryclean Only" or "Launder"
and list additional symbols that are understood by drycleaners worldwide.
These symbols instruct the cleaner on special instructions such as type
and temperature of solvent, cleaning times, drying and pressing instructions,
Misprinted or missing labels are often the culprits of a garment that
is improperly cleaned and experiences damage.
Q: Why is drycleaning
referred to as such if it uses a liquid?
is termed so because water is not the primary liquid used in the process.
Garments are, however, fully submerged in a liquid. Solvents that contain
little or no water are used in place of water to remove soil and stains
Detergent and sizing are added to solvents during the drycleaning process.
Detergents aid in enhancing the cleaning performance of the solvents while
sizing helps restore texture and shape in the garments.
Solvents do no penetrate fibers in the way water does, thus reducing the
risk of shrinkage, color bleeds and other cleaning hazards. The primary
solvents utilized in drycleaning include perchloroethylene and petroleum-based
Drycleaning solvent is not harmful to most fabrics and is the only method
for cleaning many of today's fashions.
Q: Is it true that
a brightener added in the production of certain materials can cause yellowing
of white fabrics?
A: Manufacturers treat almost all white fabrics with an optical
brightener to intensify the white appearance. Some of these brighteners
are unstable and will yellow from age, heat and light (both natural and
The heat used in the laundering process, both at home and a professional
cleaners, can cause the breakdown of the optical brighteners. Use of
chlorine bleach can also cause yellowing as well in certain fabrics, such
as polyester blends. Blue Ribbon Dry Cleaners uses only oxygen bleaches
to avoid such problems.
To minimize the potential for yellowing, never place white garments in
direct sunlight or artificial light while being stored. Once these brighteners
break down and the garment yellows, the yellowing is usually permanent.
Yellowing occurs at an even faster rate when wet, thus drying white garments
in the sun is not a wise choice.
Q: What causes
buttons to break in the laundry?
A: Basically, the construction of the button and time are the two
main reasons breakage occurs.
Many buttons today are constructed of materials that do not handle the
heat involved in home or professional laundering. They are often manufactured
without the garment's care and cleaning processes in mind. As with fabrics,
the manufacturer's care instructions are supposed to consider the buttons,
trim, etc. in determining proper care suggestions.
Time is another important factor. Over the course of time, buttons will
become brittle and break merely from age, wear and tear.
Q: I've heard that
the life of draperies can be prolonged by cleaning. Is that true and why?
A: That is absolutely true. Despite the lack of physical wear and
tear on window treatments such as draperies and curtains, many factors
contribute to the deterioration of fabric items that remain stationary.
Sunlight is a prime
culprit in the deterioration of window treatments. Just as the sun burns
and draws moisture from our skin, it has a similar effect on fabrics.
It can fade the colors and if left uncleaned for an extended period of
time, can cause shredding during the cleaning process.
While quality linings can protect against sunlight, other factors continue
to damage draperies, such as soot, smoke, dust and atmospheric impurities
These are particles that contaminate even the cleanest of homes. They
can cause such damage as yellowing and streaking.
Window treatments will endure longer if cleaned yearly. By the way, the
life expectancy for lined draperies is five years.
Q: Are there such
things as 'invisible' stains?
A: Crazy as it sounds, yes, there are. Hair sprays, gels and/or
any other moist solutions containing impurities (like rain) which come
into contact with clothing are often times the culprit of such stains.
While the sprays, etc., are invisible when they fall upon the garment,
they sometimes contain impurities that dry invisible but leave a staining
residue. Age, exposure and the heat of drying after laundering, drycleaning
or finishing can cause these stains to oxidize and become visible.
A good example is a stain caused from white wine on a light colored, silk
blouse. In the same way an apple turns brown after exposure to heat and
air, the fruit-based wine stain, invisible upon occurrence, will brown
when allowed to dry completely and is then exposed to heat (in the form
of sunlight, body heat, or the heat involved in cleaning). Thus, it is
common for such stains to show up after the cleaning process instead of
Q: Why has the
color in my suit jacket faded and the pants have not? I have them cleaned
at the same time.
A: Despite the fact that the suit is made from the exact same material,
sometimes during manufacturing, one component may be cut from one bolt
of material, and the other component's fabric cut from another.
Because dyes are not 100% consistent in all types of fabrics, it is possible
to end up with two different shades of the material after cleaning.
Q: Why do cleaners
charge different fees for men's and women's shirts?
in charges for shirts is not based on gender.
Garments at Blue Ribbon can be cleaned in one of two ways: drycleaned or laundered
(according to manufacturer's label). Drycleaning and laundry are two separate
processes that utilize different machines, materials and incur different
In the laundering process, there are two types of finishing (pressing)
procedures: one utilizes automated pressing equipment and the other requires
Laundered shirts are inspected to determine what type of finishing the shirt requires.
Shirts that fit size and fabric criteria can be finished utilizing automated
pressing equipment designed to finish shirts quicker and more efficiently
than hand pressing.
Shirts that do not fit within the criteria for utilizing the automated
pressing equipment require hand finishing, a much more labor intensive
and time consuming process. As in any service business, the time it
takes to complete a project generally dictates the price. Therefore,
because hand-finished shirts require more time to complete than those
finished on machines, the cost is higher.
Shirts that cannot be laundered are drycleaned. Because of the differences
in equipment, materials and processes, drycleaning is generally a more costly means
of cleaning (due to solvent and equipment prices) when compared to the laundering of shirts.
The professionals at Blue Ribbon make decisions and determinations based on
what will best clean garments in the safest manner with the least risk
Q: I had my feather
pillows cleaned and when I got them back, they had a different cover on
A: When pillows are cleaned, the fill is removed, freshened and
returned in a new, clean casing. Many times, additional fill (or feathers)
is added to fluff and add thickness to pillows.