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F*&%#$ Dry Cleaners!

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Hi all, been cruising the site a bit but first post. Recently graduated college and now that I have a job (and money), I'm trying to dress better and kick the basketball shorts/hoody get-up that was a staple for me as an undergrad.

In buying some nice work shirts and taking them to the cleaner, on numerous occasions they come back messed up. I live in NYC and would expect "survival of the fittest" to take its course and eliminate the places that do a half-ass job, but thats obviously not the case. Not sure if this Russian Roulette aspect of getting shirts cleaned is just part of the game or I'm missing something. Either way, its been extremely disappointing to wear a new shirt only once or twice before having it ruined from the cleaner, so...

In general, any tips for having shirts dry cleaned or wash & pressed? Much thanks.
post #2 of 57
Don't dry clean shirts, wash them yourself at home or at a laundromat in cold or lukewarm water. Hang dry, don't put them in the dryer.

Iron them when they're dry - this takes about five minutes once you get good at it.
post #3 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by crinklecut View Post
Don't dry clean shirts, wash them yourself at home or at a laundromat in cold or lukewarm water. Hang dry, don't put them in the dryer.

Iron them when they're dry - this takes about five minutes once you get good at it.

+1

Dry cleaners suck, their for those who don't care about there clothes. They know anyone who really cares about there clothes washes them themselves so they have no reason to be any good. I remember reading somewhere that Cary Grant never had a suit dry cleaned; while that may be a bit extreme, u need to remember that dry cleaning is not your friend.
post #4 of 57
NYC has many bad dry cleaners. Most send out the shirts to an offsite location so the people you're dealing with do not clean the clothes themselves. This is to be avoided. I've had two custom shirts ruined this way. Both brand new. I feel your pain. The good news is that there are good cleaners in NYC but you have to make an effort to find them. If a place cleans clothes in house, and offers hand pressing, you'll probably be fine. I found a place that does this for $3 a shirt, which I find reasonable. I ask for no bleach, no starch, tumble dry, hand press. No problems thus far. The place is on 125 and amsterdam. I forgot the name. It's a blue sign. If you yelp you can find some recommended places.
post #5 of 57
1 fill a sink or wash bin with cold water. put a little teaspoon of detergent in the stream

2 place dress shirt (s) in there. gently churn with your hands for 5 minutes.

3 drain and refill to rinse

4 hang dry or lay flat to dry


you save your money, you save your shirts, you learn how to take care of your own clothes.
post #6 of 57
i literally once told a dry cleaner to her very face twice to take out the collar stays in my $100 shirt... she promptly gave it back to me the next day with massive ironing imprints of collar stays in the fabric. that's the kind of idiocy you're dealing with.

thankfully the lemon + peroxide solution followed by a few machine washings got it out.
post #7 of 57
Take your shirts to a decent cleaner, never hand them over with stays or anything else in/with them. They will not be 'drycleaned' but laundered and pressed, so there should not be harsh chemicals involved. The only problem I have these days is buttons getting smashed, but the people I have been using of late take care and so far so good.
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sho'nuff View Post
1 fill a sink or wash bin with cold water. put a little teaspoon of detergent in the stream

2 place dress shirt (s) in there. gently churn with your hands for 5 minutes.

3 drain and refill to rinse

4 hang dry or lay flat to dry


you save your money, you save your shirts, you learn how to take care of your own clothes.

+1....
post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
i literally once told a dry cleaner to her very face twice to take out the collar stays in my $100 shirt... she promptly gave it back to me the next day with massive ironing imprints of collar stays in the fabric. that's the kind of idiocy you're dealing with.

thankfully the lemon + peroxide solution followed by a few machine washings got it out.

Not to be an a-- when I say this, but why didn't you take out the collar stays yourself?

and a +1 with what Sho'nuff said. Also to add that I perfer ironing while the shirt is slightly damp, makes things easier.
post #10 of 57
How the hell did Grant wash the suits himself?
post #11 of 57
How do you guys dry clean clothes manually? Is there a cheap and labor-efficient alternative?
post #12 of 57
It's very difficult to find a drycleaner who will hand iron your shirts for you. Most of the $.99 or $1.99 per shirt places put shirts on an automatic press which does a terrible job (at least for the average SFer's standards).

I've only seen a few places that do hand ironing and they charge $5-6 per shirt which is not affordable to me given how many shirts I own and wear.

Just do it yourself, and you won't be disappointed. If you want it done right....
post #13 of 57
Sometimes clothes even come back with burn marks on them from poor pressing practices. I now only use cleaners to clean my suit maybe yearly.
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by crinklecut View Post
Don't dry clean shirts, wash them yourself at home or at a laundromat in cold or lukewarm water. Hang dry, don't put them in the dryer.

Iron them when they're dry - this takes about five minutes once you get good at it.

This. Although it does take me a tad longer to get my shirts ironed really well. More like 10 to 15 minutes per shirt.
post #15 of 57
The nicer (read, more expensive places) in DC seem to do a decent job. But I only take them the shirts which I don't care that much about. My MTM or expensive shirts get cleaned and ironed at home. I end up spending an evening every few eeks in front of the TV while ironing.
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