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Removing sweat from Dry Clean Only suit - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Before you "invest" in a steamer, I'd suggest that you read about steamers and the negatives associated with the misapplication of steam at http://www.tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com. Enter STEAMERS in the search engine (top right corner). Bespoke tailor, Chris Despos, has a saying that I just love...STEAM IS EVIL.

Regarding perspiration and the removal of perspiration stains and related odor from wool suits, it's important to recognize that dry cleaning solvents and fluids are primarily used to emulsify oil-based stains such as body oils, lotions, creams, cooking oils, etc.

Perspiration (and related salts and acids), on the other hand, is a water-based stain and no amount of dry cleaning can remove water-based stains. (Other examples of water-based stains include, soda, coffee, beer, wine, juice, etc.). Given that water-based stains don't "dissolve" in dry cleaning, a skilled stain technician must remove ALL water-based stains by "flushing out" the water-based stains BEFORE the garment ever enters the inside of a dry cleaning machine. If not, the acids and salts from perspiration remain in the fabric causing the fabric to smell when the underarm areas "warm up" during wearing. Furthermore, perspiration coupled with certain antiperspirants causes the fabric to "rot out" over time.

One way to tell whether your dry cleaner has removed the perspiration from a dry clean only garment is to hit the underarms with a source of steam (say from a hand iron). If there is perspiration in the underarms, you'll definitely smell it.

Suggestion: take your suit to a cleaner that employs skilled stain removal technicians (caution: most cleaners don't). Make sure that they thoroughly flush out the underarms prior to dry cleaning. Flushing is equivalent to washing the underarms multiple times on a spotting board using a strong jet of steam from a spotting gun.

The longer the perspiration remains, the more difficult it will be to remove all the perspiration from the suit coat. Just one more reason that caution should be exercised when buying "gently used" suits online. The suit may look great on the surface -- no stains, no moth damage -- but the odor can sometimes be overpowering and extremely difficult to remove despite multiple attempts at flushing and cleaning.

Hope this helps sift through the option that have been suggested.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

Interesting, thanks for the advice stubloom. Just to expand on a couple of things you've mentioned, obviously dry cleaning won't help remove the odour smell as you've mentioned thats a water based stain which dry cleaning solvents don't remove (also there's to discolouration or actual visible stain, only the odour smell), therefore if my jacket is otherwise "clean" then would the dry cleaning be necessary after the flushing? For that matter if flushing is similar to steaming and steaming is supposed to be bad for a suit, then isn't flushing just as bad? And finally, if flushing is similar to steaming then why not just steam the underarm area myself with a good quality 'spot steamer'?

 

Apologies, I don't mean to be breaking your balls about it, I'm just curious as I have a lack of knowledge in this area and you seem to be very knowledgeable about it.

 

Cheers

post #18 of 28
I'll try to answer your questions as carefully as possible. Please excuse my bluntness.

1. The notion that dry cleaning is "bad" for fine garments is, to put it mildly, utter nonsense.

Skilled dry cleaning and hand pressing will not harm or deteriorate your fine garments. Poor dry cleaning and poor pressing will. The reason that your tailor cautions you about "dry cleaning" in general is two fold: Firstly, these tailors have often witnessed the results of poor cleaning and pressing. Secondly, it's far easier to provide a blanket warning about dry cleaning than it is to educate you on the hundreds of differences -- some subtle some substantial -- between true quality cleaning and ordinary, bang and hang cleaning.

Garments should be dry cleaned when environmental factors dictate, and, at the very least, before you store them for the season. If you are concerned about dry cleaning, I would advise you to educate yourself about the subject as a basis for locating a true quality cleaner you can trust. And I'm not talking about the one around the corner from your house, on your way to work or in the same plaza as the supermarket you visit once a week.

If you are still concerned about your garments tumbling in a dry cleaning machine, consider a sponge and press on a more frequent basis. This service is offered by two or three cleaners in the USA.

2. Steaming is not pressing. Quality pressing involves the application, by a skilled craftsperson, of steam to relax the fibers and, immediately thereafter, vacuum to dry the moisture. Steaming by a dry cleaner, steaming through the use of a hand held steamer or steaming by hanging a garment in a steamy bathroom involves the indiscriminate application of steam to all areas of a garment and, in all probability, undoing much of the work that has been imparted by the tailor in shaping and molding the fabric.

For more on this...

http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/5/17/the-myth-of-pressing-a-garment-with-steam.aspx

3. Flushing is not steaming. Think of flushing as a pinpointed, carefully directed fine jet of steam to a very specific area of the fabric. That could be some food particle that's dried on your lapel or, in your case, the entire underarm area of your suit jacket (lining and outer fabric).
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

Interesting, thank you for your help stubloom. Now just to find myself a good dry cleaner....any suggestions on how or how to probe them to determine if they're good before I try?

 

Cheers mate
 

post #20 of 28
Here's some reading material. Invest a half hour of your time and you'll know more about true quality cleaning than most "dry cleaners"!

1. The shocking word of ordinary dry cleaning and shirt laundry.

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/3/23/the-shocking-world-of-ordinary-drycleaning--shirt-laundry.aspx

2. The 10 deadly sins of ordinary dry cleaners

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/5/4/the-10-deadly-sins-of-ordinary-cleaners.aspx

3. A brief guide to understanding dry cleaning solvents and fluids

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/5/26/a-brief-guide-to-understanding-drycleaning-solvents-and-fluids.aspx

4. Your dry cleaning bill of rights

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/4/13/your-drycleaning-bill-of-rights.aspx

5. A true quality cleaner's dry cleaning standards

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/6/28/a-true-quality-cleaner's-drycleaning-standards.aspx

6. Meet the press

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2011/1/31/meet-the-press.aspx

7. Glitz and the illusion of true quality cleaning

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/5/25/glitz-and-the-illusion-of-true-quality-cleaning.aspx

8. Understanding the difference between quality of product and quality of service and conveniences

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/4/27/understanding-quality-of-product-vs-quality-of-service-and-conveniences.aspx

9. Caring for bespoke garments (part one)

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/6/23/caring-for-bespoke-garments-(part-one).aspx

10. Caring for bespoke garments (part two)

Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/6/24/caring-for-bespoke-garments-(part-two).aspx

Hope this helps.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 

Champion, thanks mate.
 

post #22 of 28
In your particular case, it may be advisable to block the odor at its source. You can wash undershirts regularly and keep several in your rotation.

http://www.advadri.com/crew-neck-undershirts/

post #23 of 28
Sounds like this may not be possible right away, but adding a suit or two to the rotation would help.

Have you thought about using cedar hangers? Since you don't have much ventilation, maybe you could have a small table fan directed at the suit?
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlaneurNYC View Post

In your particular case, it may be advisable to block the odor at its source. You can wash undershirts regularly and keep several in your rotation.

http://www.advadri.com/crew-neck-undershirts/
 

 

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll also look into these.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deburn View Post

Sounds like this may not be possible right away, but adding a suit or two to the rotation would help.

Have you thought about using cedar hangers? Since you don't have much ventilation, maybe you could have a small table fan directed at the suit?

 

I have 3 suits on rotation and will soon be adding a couple more. I've found an absolute perfect place to hang my suits outside where it gets direct and full breeze (no direct sunlight though), however doing so for a couple of hours yesterday didn't seem to reduce the smell. Tomorrow I'll try somewhere else outside with direct sunlight, if that fails then the next step is lightly applying some rubbing alcohol and hanging outside again. Failing that then I guess dry cleaning is the only step left unless anyone has any other suggestions?

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chich View Post

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll also look into these.


I have 3 suits on rotation and will soon be adding a couple more. I've found an absolute perfect place to hang my suits outside where it gets direct and full breeze (no direct sunlight though), however doing so for a couple of hours yesterday didn't seem to reduce the smell. Tomorrow I'll try somewhere else outside with direct sunlight, if that fails then the next step is lightly applying some rubbing alcohol and hanging outside again. Failing that then I guess dry cleaning is the only step left unless anyone has any other suggestions?

I am afraid that I will stick with burning them and starting again.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

I am afraid that I will stick with burning them and starting again.
Are you a pyromaniac?
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyJones View Post

Are you a pyromaniac?



No, merely practical. There is little p[purpose in keeping unwearable garments.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

No, merely practical. There is little p[purpose in keeping unwearable garments.

Fair enough
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