The Dry Cleaning Man Valet page is designed to provide you with cleaning choices, tips, decisions, and to inform you of liabilities regarding the cleaning of specific garments, household items, and Area & Oriental Rugs.
We currently have 6 Valet Tips listed for now, the list will grow! If you go scroll down further you will see additional information regarding The Dry Cleaning Man's Area and Oriental Rug Cleaning Dislcaimer along with several informative discussions regarding types of rug stains and their treatment, types of rugs and their construction and recommended cleaning methods, as well as purchasing criteria for the various types of rugs listed that you may want to consider before making that purchase/investment.
Your Valet Tip #1:
When your garment gets a spot or stain on it, what do you do? Do nothing! Do not apply club soda or use any other technique other than blotting it - Rubbing it in just spreads the spot even mor and DO NOT use spray hair spray on it either - hair spray doesn't contain the oils it used to and you may end up with 2 stains versus just 1. Always give your cleaner the first opportunity to "lift" the stain as soon as possible. The techniques and processes available today will almost always get the stain out. So please let us know by calling us or by placing a note in the bag that a particular garment needs special attention and what type of stain it is.
Your Valet Tip #2
We always hear the following: "Why are some of my dress shirts dry cleaned rather than laundered?" There are multiple reasons why we will dry clean versus launder a dress shirt.
1. Many of today's men's dress shirts are now being made with natural and man made fiber blends like linen, silk, rayon, and spandex versus the standard 100% oxford, pinpoint, or cotton/polyester blend. Not only is shrinkage a concern, which can be any where from 1-3%, some of the darker dyes that are used in these shirts will bleed or fade over time.
2. The choice of dry cleaning may be used due to the type of stain, usually an oily type stain, that water will not dissolve on a cotton garment and the only way to "lift": the stain from the garment is by dry cleaning.
3. Nail polish remover will not remove nail polish stains on garments, in fact, it can fade or remove the color from the fabric affected and/or melt a hole in it!
Your Valet Tip #3
With the knowledge from above you should be aware when shopping either in the stores or online catalogs to look at the fabric content and the required care of the garment before making your purchase decision.
Your Valet Tip #4
Recycling is a great way to do our part. The Dry Cleaning Man recycles the coat hangers that are delivered with your garments. Many of you already recycle your hangers and we thank you for doing your part, however to better safeguard your clothing from potential damage from the hangers
PLEASE DON'T place the hangers inside the bag with your clothes.
Here are 2 more great recycling tips that gives a second and third life to that poly wrap that protects your cleaned garments
When you pull off or remove the poly protective covering, simply tie a knot at the coat hanger opening and you can use it for a light duty trash can liner in the bathroom or kitchen
Place your clothing into the poly wrap and place the them into your TDCM Red valet bag to protect them from getting wet when the weather is inclement
Your Valet Tip #5
By placing your Red TDCM valet bag on the hook, we will provide to you for free, or onto your door knocker or anyplace else that places it OFF of the ground, concrete, and door mats.
Why you ask...
Your Valet Tip #6
Here's a reprint from Martha Stewart's web page from several years ago. It is about the value and the techniques of wedding & formal dress preservation.
Cleaning and Storing a Wedding Dress
A wedding dress is the most cherished piece of clothing most brides will ever own, so the manner in which it is cleaned and stored after the wedding shouldn’t be left to chance.
It’s important to find a reputable dry cleaner who will remove stains, clean the dress safely and thoroughly, and package it in a way that will ensure its preservation for years to come.
The first step in cleaning and preserving a wedding dress is to find a reputable cleaner. Look for an established business that specializes in cleaning wedding dresses. It’s a good idea to find a cleaner well before the wedding; that way, you can take the dress right in after the event to have stains addressed before they set any further. If you’ll be leaving for your honeymoon immediately after the wedding, designate a friend or family member to take the dress to cleaner you’ve selected.
Each dress should be examined inch by inch before it is cleaned. You’ll also want to know how the dress will be cleaned and whether any particular stains will be difficult to removed. There are two basic categories of stains: dry-side stains and wet-side stains. A stain should be removed in the way it was produced. For an example, a dry-side stain (such as paint, grease, or lipstick) should be removed with a dry-cleaning fluid ( most commonly, perchloroethylene, or perc). A wet-side stain (such as wine, champagne, ginger ale, icing, or grass) should be removed with water. If you spill something on your dress at the wedding, remember to blot it gently rather than rub it. And it’s not always wise to pour club soda on a wedding-dress stain; according to the experts, water might force the stain to spread and set.
Once the dress is cleaned, proper storage is crucial. Your cleaner should only use acid free products. Standard paper products will cause a dress to yellow over time. Each dress should be on an acid-free bust form, laid on a unbleached cotton muslin, then laid in an acid-free box. A layer of acid-free tissue is placed between each fold of the dress to act as a buffer. Then the box is closed but not sealed, and placed in an unbleached muslin bag. The bag acts as a filter, allow air to circulate while trapping dust, pollutants, and other particles before they can get into the box.
It’s important that the box be left unsealed; otherwise, any humidity trapped inside can cause the dress to mold and mildew. Store the box in a location where the temperature and humidity are kept constant year-round. Generally, basements and attics are not good choices, because temperatures in those areas tend to fluctuate from season to season.
If it seems like a lot of bother to clean and preserve a wedding dress properly, look at it this way: Your wedding dress will be a treasured object for years to come, so you’ll want to preserve it as if it were a museum piece. After all, it is priceless to you.
This article is an extraction from the Martha Stewart web site. Unfortunately, the link is no long viable. However, here’s the link to her site. http://www.marthastewart.com
THE DRY CLEANING MAN
ORIENTAL & AREA RUG DISCLAIMER INFORMATION
WE WANT TO DO THE BEST POSSIBLE JOB ON YOUR RUGS.
HOWEVER THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW.
There is no guarantee that we can remove all STAINS, SPOTS, AND DISCOLORATIONS.
Where shampooing or WASHING is exercised, SHRINKAGE must be expected.
Many of today’s rugs are made with poor quality materials and dyes. The Dry Cleaning Man cannot be responsible for problems caused by poor quality construction.
Many of today’s rugs are
also made with a double backing. Sometimes this backing separates due to use, cleaning or deterioration of the bonding agent used.
most likely some form of latex. The Dry Cleaning Man will not be responsible for separation of the backing or the wrinkles which it causes.
No responsibility is assumed by The Dry Cleaning Man for any damage existing prior to the receipt of goods ( or which may be developed by reason of any of the usual processes employed.)
The number of pieces and instructions as noted on your invoice are correct.
Receipt of a duplicate of the invoice (contract) is hereby acknowledged and conditions accepted.
RE: Dhurries are subject to curling edges, loose threads, developing irregular shapes, and have possible fugitive dyes. Spots and stains are not always removable
RE: Chinese Rugs: Due to soft and delicate wools incorporated into modern rugs, there is the possibility of pile irregularities. Dyes may be fugitive. Fringes often develop browning due to the breakdown and transference of the backing glues.
RE: Border Rugs are often pieced together with dissimilar types of backing. Different sections REACT differently to cleaning processes. Where glued, these sections tend to come apart or become unstable. Dark colors may bleed into the lighter areas.
The following discussions are to inform you of the various aspect of rug types, potential conditions, and solutions to various stains and maintenance of your area rugs regardless of the type.
Proper Vacuuming Tips & Techniques
Soil is the enemy of your carpet and rugs, upholstery and draperies. One of the most important aspects of proper maintenance is to vacuum often and to vacuum correctly. Most people do not vacuum their textile furnishings often enough. And even when they do, the vacuuming may still be done incorrectly or inefficiently. This fact sheet will explain how to vacuum correctly with effort-saving tips and helpful pointers.
Ground-in dust, dirt, sand or grit are the enemy, and it is your vacuum's job to remove them. But did you know that an excessively soiled carpet can hold up to one pound (I/2 kg) of dirt in each square yard (square meter)? This can occur especially at entrance ways and in heavily trafficked areas that are seldom vacuumed properly and not cleaned frequently enough.
Few people really know how to vacuum efficiently with minimum effort. Let's explain how, covering both vacuuming technique and equipment. Most of the damaging soils, oily or gritty particles collect where there is most usage or foot traffic. These are the areas which require most of the vacuuming. It is far better to vacuum only the heavy traffic areas much more frequently or repeatedly than it is to cover everything or everywhere with a once-over-lightly vacuuming.
Residential carpet and rugs, for example, should be vacuumed according to the amount of traffic and abuse they receive. Vacuuming should be done at least once every two weeks, preferably once each week and even twice per week if heavily trafficked or soiled. The best way to remove ground-in soil is to vacuum against the nap of the carpet. It removes soil and helps to improve the carpet's appearance. A light vacuuming would cover the same carpet or upholstery areas with three or four overlapping strokes. A more thorough vacuuming could be six or even eight strokes over the same, heavily soiled areas. Contract or commercial carpet needs to be vacuumed thoroughly at least three to five times per week. In high traffic areas, i.e., traffic lanes and entrance ways, carpet should be vacuumed nightly.
Well maintained vacuuming equipment helps both in overall soil removal and better long-term appearance. Do not allow the dirt collection bags to become more than one- half full. This greatly reduces suction power and vacuuming efficiency in most machines. Vacuums with cloth bags should be turned inside out at least every third emptying and be swept off. This allows for better breathing of the bag and greater soil pick up. Canister or backpack vacuums are versatile and convenient, but they may not have a beater bar, thus requiring more effort (passes or strokes) than Upright vacuums to achieve similar soil removal. Canister vacuums used on carpet should preferably have a separate motor driven beater bar. We recommend the use of an Upright vacuum with beater bar for carpet, and canister type vacuums for upholstery, draperies, blinds, light dusting, etc. Commercial pile lifters and heavy duty dual motor vacuums are the best machines for portability combined with maximum power and effectiveness in vacuuming carpet.
Some vacuums require that they be adjusted to match the pile height of the carpet. Higher pile and loosely textured carpet may show shading marks where the vacuum last passed over. For the most even surface appearance after vacuuming, keep the final vacuuming strokes all in the same direction.
Good vacuuming is equally important for upholstery and draperies. There are special accessories and hand tools to vacuum these fabrics. Some machines come with suction lowering adjustments to keep the fabric from binding or being drawn into the nozzle during vacuuming. Do not let the dust and soil build up. In higher soiling conditions or where there is heavy usage, vacuum every few weeks or more if needed.
You usually cannot vacuum too much, and it is more likely that your furnishings ore suffering from insufficient vacuuming. It's the ground-in soil that dulls, discolors and damages your valuable textile furnishings, never the vacuuming. The loose fibers that are vacuumed out of new carpet are normal, and no reason for concern. Remember to vacuum often, vacuum properly, and well. It's worth the effort.
Dogs and cats may be our best friends, but not necessarily the best friends of our carpeting, draperies and upholstery. Neglected animal stains have been since people and animals bonded together in companionship.
There are two types of reactions the between the chemicals in an animal's urine dyes and fibers of textile furnishings. The first is immediately noticeable. Some dyes can change color as soon as urine comes in contact with them. Often the original color can be restored by immediate application of the standard ammonia solution (see below).
The other reactions develop slowly over' several months and can result in permanent changes to the dyes and fiber. Not only can the dyes change but some fibers may become weakened or destroyed by the aged urine. The decomposing urine can also produce an objectionable odor. After cleaning, these areas are more obvious because the soils which hid the changed color and damage have been removed. Also, dyes weakened by urine can be removed or bleed during cleaning.
The next time you encounter an animal ‘accident’, immediately absorb as much liquid as possible. Treat the area with the standard detergent solution (see below). Absorb this into white tissues or toweling. Then blot the area with the standard ammonia solution. Again absorb this into toweling. Then blot the area with the standard vinegar solution. Absorb the area with toweling until it is as dry as possible. Place several dry white terry cloths over the area and weigh down.
Allow it to dry a minimum of six hours.
Pet feces tend to be easier to deal with than urine. Compact deposits can be quickly removed with a plastic bag. The surface should then be cleaned with the standard detergent solution and blotted dry. Rinse the area with water and blot again. Follow this treatment with a disinfectant recommended by your veterinarian. Loose feces require the same clean-up procedure as described above for fresh urine removal. This should also be followed with an application of disinfectant. If your pets' food contains red dye to make it 'look meatier', this could leave a red discoloration at the site of the 'accident'. A professional cleaner may be able to remove this.
A word of caution; some disinfectants may cause discoloration of textile furnishing.
If immediate action is taken to remove the animal stains, little or no change in color should occur and that 'accident' will not become apparent after your carpet or other textile has been professionally cleaned.
However, if the pet 'accident' is forgotten or never discovered, it will return to haunt you. Dried urine will smell like strong ammonia when humidity is high or when the spot is rewetted. Feces and urine can contain harmful bacteria. A spot that is small on the surface of carpeting is often man) times larger on the underside. The urine can damage both dyes and textile fibers as described above. The change usually isn't noticed until the textile furnishing is cleaned. The damage caused by aged urine generally requires professional restoration, possibly color tinting, and sometimes removal of the offending carpet and cushion.
A professional cleaner has methods available to minimize the discoloration, disinfect the area and reduce the smell. It is often impossible, however, to completely restore the original appearance of a textile furnishing that has been damage with aged pet urine.
Test these solutions first by applying a small amount in an inconspicuous area to determine its effect on the fiber and dye. Wait thirty minutes to an hour to see if any color changes or other problems may arise.
Standard white vinegar solution: one part white vinegar to two parts water.
Standard ammonia solution: one tablespoon clear o sudsy, uncolored household ammonia in one cup of water.
Standard detergent solution: one teaspoon neutral white or colorless detergent in a cup of lukewarm water. Make sure the detergent is bleach free.
Spills, snow and water tracked in, rain through an open window, pipes bursting, leaky radiators, floods and even overwetting by do-it-yourself carpet cleaners can wet out the backing yarns of carpeting. Followed by slow drying, this wetting will allow dye-Iike materials to dissolve out of the backing yarns and "wick" to the face of the carpeting. The brown discoloration which forms is usually referred to as a water stain. After a water stain has developed, it may be impossible for even a professional cleaner to remove it. Gradual and uniform soiling on the face yarns may cause the stain to go unnoticed until the carpeting is thoroughly cleaned. Once the dirt is removed, the dye-Iike water stain becomes quite apparent. Water is essential to professional cleaning of carpets and rugs, however. Your professional ASCR cleaner knows the proper amount and the conditions under which water can be used on carpets and rugs. For example, in a modern rug cleaning plant where controlled drying temperatures are possible, it is a safe and normal procedure to use hundreds of gallons of water on a single rug. In on-location cleaning, only the surface yarns of the carpet are wet out, which results in maximum cleaning and prevent water stains from occurring.
Flatwoven rugs, or "Flatweaves”,
comprise numerous types of rugs including names such as "dhurries", many "druggets", "kelims" or "killims", Navajo rugs, and others. These rugs are handwoven in a tapestry-Iike construction, and as such have a flat surface without a distinctive, raised pile. Most popular are the dhurries with cotton face-design yarns, and the druggets with wool face yarns; both are traditionally woven in st1:place w:st="on">India of bold, bright colors or soft pastel shades. Most flatwoven rugs are reversible.
These popular flatwoven rugs provide excellent service, along with good value and bright, cheery appearance. But they also characteristically exhibit some problems when cleaned. The warp or lengthwise yarns in most flatwoven rugs are generally cotton, although they may be wool in older or finer rugs. These lengthwise yarns are wound by hand onto the loom before weaving, which inevitably results in irregularities in warp tension. Cleaning releases these irregularities in warp tension, resulting in curling or rippling in the length direction of the rug. The sides or edges of the rug are especially prone to curling.
Some flatwoven rugs may have pattern markings placed on the lengthwise yarns by the weaver. These are usually marked with colored chalk or ink (red, blue) to aid in the weaving but are completely hidden after rug manufacture. The markings are not colorfast and often bleed during cleaning. Since the cleaner has no way of predicting this problem in advance, it is not a cleaning fault but inherent in the rug.
Further, the yarns on the surface of the rugs are sometimes of bright, bold colors, and may bleed when cleaned. Your professional ASCR cleaner takes precautions to avoid this condition by using the most appropriate cleaning techniques. Despite this caution, in handling such problem rugs there is some unavoidable risk of dyebleeding (or color run) after cleaning. It may not be possible to remove any fugitive dyes which have bled. The cause of this problem is traceable to poor dye selection, improper dyeing and handling during manufacture. In addition, most dyes are affected or weakened by use, especially by exposure to sunlight, atmospheric fumes, pet accidents and the like.
This also contributes to dyebleeding during cleaning.
Some fiatweaves have fringes made of the same warp yarns that are woven into the rug. All fringes wear, become distorted, and darken with age. Only special chemical treatment can lighten the fringe color and some cleaners prefer to leave the fringe "natural" looking. In either event, old, frayed, worn or discolored fringes can be replaced.
Flatwoven rugs have limited cleanability. This is mainly because their flat surface readily shows soil, dirt, dust, spills and stains. Many Flatwoven dhurry rugs are of light, pastel colors, and hence always appear more soiled than darker colored rugs. Flatwoven rugs should therefore be vacuumed regularly and cleaned more frequently than other rugs, before they become excessively soiled. Application of protective treatments is also advisable. Consult your ASCR cleaner for further information and special services for preserving your beautiful Flatwoven rugs.
Custom Made Rugs
Custom made rugs are becoming increasingly popular each year.
These rugs can be broadly classified under two categories:
(a) Hand tufted or hooked
(b) assembled component.
Assembled component rugs are manufactured by joining together different rug
components, either tufted or woven.
Components are joined using a hot melt adhesive tape or by sewing or both.
Custom rugs are available in a variety of contemporary designs, colors, and shapes.
Although expensive, they are elegant, often exclusive and provide an aura of opulence to
the surrounding areas. Custom rugs, however, pose a challenge to carpet and rug
cleaners. If proper cleaning procedures are not followed, problems can occur during
Let us examine some common problems with custom rugs and why they occur.
The two most common problems with custom rugs are shrinkage and rippling. Shrinkage and rippling occur especially with assembled component custom rugs. In wet cleaning of any custom rug in which different components are joined together, there is always a propensity for differential shrinkage to take place. This is due to the inherent differences in the properties of the various components. The absence of preshrinking rug components prior to assembly also contributes to the problem. Further, use of components that vary considerably in properties (tufted carpet assembled with a woven one, jute backed carpet with an olefin backed one, etc.) accentuates shrinkage and rippling even more. In addition to the two problems described above, some custom rugs can soften upon application of heat or cleaning/spotting solvents; others may show drastic changes in size as well as texture distortion due to a loose construction. Dyes in custom rugs are often unstable and color bleeding or color loss may result during normal cleaning.
Due to problems described above, special procedures are required for problem-free cleaning of custom rugs. It is critical that these special rugs be cleaned by knowledgeable, professional cleaners. Your local ASCR cleaner has the information and expertise to provide the best cleaning services for your custom rugs.
Finally, it should be noted that more intense cleaning is usually required to restore the appearance of an excessively soiled rug. Such thorough cleaning procedures, however, have a higher propensity to cause shrinkage and rippling in custom rugs. Therefore, these rugs should be vacuumed regularly and cleaned more frequently than other rugs, before they become excessively soiled. Consult your ASCR cleaner for further information and special services to preserve you expensive custom rugs.
brash or color variations
Authentic oriental rugs, by their very nature, have many variations because they are hand made rather than machine made. This hand manufacture results in certain distinct, beautiful and unique characteristics that set oriental rugs apart from lesser reproductions. Rugs made by hand will always have certain variations in their surface coloration, density of hand knotting the pile, irregularities in shape along the edges or borders, and differences along the fringes or fringe ends.
One of the most common and typical characteristics of a real oriental rug, and especially among older or 'nomadic' rugs, is the beautiful color variation known in the trade as "abrash." The effect of abrash is to create or produce differing color patterns, colorations, various shades or hues. Gradations can often be seen within one color or color field in the design, such as the blues, reds, browns or other colors. These variations may appear as bands or horizontal bars, but other shapes or sections of color variation are possible. Abrash coloration can vary from very subtle shade differences to distinct or even bold variations in certain colors of the rug.
Abrash results from differences in the dyeing process. Small quantities of skeins of pile yarn are dyed by hand before the rug is made. Each dye lot is hand knotted into the rug; but when another dye lot is next used, some color variation is inevitable. Connoisseurs of antique and semi-antique oriental rugs value the beauty and hand made appearance that is typical of abrash.
Sometimes abrash color variation is covered over or obscured by soiling and compaction of the rug pile with use and wear. When the rug is cleaned, much surface soiling is removed and the pile is groomed and made more erect. The truer and authentic pile coloration is now revealed, along with some abrash color variations that were there at the time of manufacture. In addition, there is a possibility that slight variations in pile direction or 'shading' will also be seen after a thorough cleaning. One or both of these effects show up as color variations in the rug.
These distinct colorations are not defects at all but are characteristic of the many variables and dye lot differences that went into the original hand made rug. Indeed, some of the highest quality rug manufacturers spend a lot of time and money simulating this abrash in their machine woven rug designs. Abrash is part of the beauty and distinctive natural appearance of hand made oriental rugs, and even of some machine made rugs which try to reproduce real abrash.
"Painting" of both new and old rugs has become epidemic. A recent trip to the New York rug market revealed room after room of employees painting old rugs. The problems with painted rugs are many and the consumer needs to be informed of the consequences. First, If the paint is not washfast, and it usually isn't, the rug will be prone to subsequent color bleeding during professional wet cleaning. Second, the painting is often used to cover over worn areas but this is not disclosed to the customer. If the painting is in fact disclosed, then the buyer should pay a fair price for the painted rug. They should not pay for a rug that was obviously worn but has now been painted over in a circumspect or event deceptive manner.
Why do some dealers or retailers paint over oriental rugs, whether worn or new? One common scenario is to hide worn areas of an older rug where the foundation has become exposed. Using dye markers, colored inks, water or solvent based tints, the lighter colored worn areas where the foundation is exposed are 'tinted" or colored over In an attempt to match the original pile color and disguise the wear. This surface painting or tinting is quicker and less expensive than reknotting or inserting new pile, which is the proper way to restore a worn area or missing pile. By merely painting over the wear spot, these worn areas will quickly return to their prior faded appearance during use by the customer.
A second and more serious problem, however, is that the surface painting will often bleed into surrounding areas of the rug when Iiquids are spilled or when the rug is washed. Many of the surface colors, when overpainted, are not washfast and can bleed profusely even with the best of professional cleaning and care.
Some newer oriental rugs are also painted, either on the back or on the face (pile side). New rugs from India and Pakistan are sometimes "painted" on the back (or underside) of the outer border or fringe. When painted the colors in the outside border are typically black, dark blue, red or kelly green; and these colors are prone to bleed or color run when wet.
Other reasons for painting the pile of oriental rugs, even though new or not noticeably worn, is to enhance surface colors and/or to eliminate color variations. These variations in surface dye color are known as 'abrash’ Though normal or pleasing to most, abrash coloration may be disliked or misunderstood by buyers and thus some dealer decides to 'paint" over this special effect, It's a strange way to go.
But how can you know if the rug you've purchased or are considering to buy has been painted? First, ask the dealer or retailer several related questions. Has the rug ever been tinted or painted over, and how do they know one way or the other? Ask if the dyes and rug coloration are guaranteed to be washfast, i.e. can the rug be safely wet cleaned? They may assure you it can, even when it cannot, so get the assurance in writing. The best way to determine washfastness is the simple Turkish towel test mentioned later. Dealers selling painted rugs are not the most trustworthy. So if you're not assured or confident about the purchase, then avoid it and look for another rug or rug dealer, or both.
Inquire also if the dyes are natural or synthetic in origin, naturally dyed rugs are often more aesthetically pleasing, and more expensive, but your main concern should be "Are they color fast?" That is, are the dyes and colors resistant to premature light fading and to color bleeding when wet? Some naturally dyed rugs (and certain painted rugs) may have excellent color fastness but many others do not. If the dyes are not 'fast' or secure and the pile has been "painted" then the rug cannot be successfully washed and adequately cleaned.
Our best advice is to do a simple pretest to check for fugitive dyes, poor surface coloration, or rug painting. The test is easy for anyone to do. Any suspicious areas should be tested, or do the test on all darker colors or major colored areas. Moisten a white (or Turkish) towel with tap water, and then rub or blot persistently on all colors. Do this on both the face and pile and on the back where appropriate, if any color comes off or transfers onto the towel, it is indicative of a latent color bleeding problem that can cause serious problems later.
Testing the colors on the surface or pile applies to both new and old rugs.
If any color transfers or would appear to bleed during the test, then do not buv this rug.
We cannot and would not recommend buying a 'painted' rug or any rug that is not colorfast.