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dryclean vs launder - shirt question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ohdannyboy, May 7, 2011.

  1. ohdannyboy

    ohdannyboy Senior member

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    so, i bought a zenga sport button down shirt that says it's 100% cotton, and it's 100% the comfy-est, nicest feeling shirt i own. however, it's time for a cleaning. with my normal button downs, i take them to my drycleaner to have them laundered and pressed. however, this shirt says it can be either laundered or drycleaned, and i'd like to go with whatever will keep it feeling smooth and micro-fiber-like the longest. does anybody have any suggestions?
     
  2. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    There are many variables that go into the dry clean vs launder decision: care label, stains, texture, buttons, trim, color, fabric, elasticity, brand, personal preference and fit, to name the most common variables. Here's a guide.... Blog post: Shirts and blouses - to dry clean or launder? http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-qu...r-launder.aspx Now you'll be in a better position to discuss this issue intelligently with your cleaner. Hopefully, he'll also be able to discuss this intelligently with you!
     
  3. ohdannyboy

    ohdannyboy Senior member

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    thanks for the response stubloom, but i'm getting a "page not found" error on your blog post
     
  4. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    Thanks for the heads up. Link now fixed.
     
  5. ohdannyboy

    ohdannyboy Senior member

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    stubloom, that was tremendously helpful; as the shirt has odd sized buttons, i will likely look for dryclean and hand iron. as a follow-up question, mostly since i'm fairly new to the whole "owning quality clothing" life, how often would you recommend having a shirt cleaned? with my normal shirts, i tend to have them laundered every other wearing. thoughts?
     
  6. phxlawstudent

    phxlawstudent Senior member

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    Is doing it yourself out of the question?

    If you really want to do the least damage to the shirt, you would hand wash it, air dry it, iron it yourself, and use no starch. Although I suppose it doesn't really matter who irons it as long as they don't use starch.

    Past that, I'd look at Stu's article and come back here with more questions.
     
  7. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    Response to ohdannyboy: I really don't want to get into professional shirt laundry vs home shirt laundry debate, except to say that most folks who wash, hang dry and press their own shirts probably do so because they've given up on the commercial shirt laundries operated by dry cleaners. One gentleman on thelondonlounge.net recently referred to commercial shirt laundries as medieval torture chambers for your shirts. On the other hand, if you don't want to do them yourself, here's some background information you might want to consider when looking for a high quality shirt laundry in your area... Blog post: Your shirt laundry bill of rights http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-qu...of-rights.aspx
     
  8. Urzu07

    Urzu07 New Member

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    If you really love how a particular shirt looks and feels, then dry clean it. If you don't really give much care into a shirt, then launder it, and hand iron it.
     
  9. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    don't bother washing it. just put some CVS cloth tape around the inside of the collar and wear repeatedly.
     
  10. Cuttingboard

    Cuttingboard Senior member

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    Hand wash or wash on gentle cycle in cold water, hang dry and iron while a little damp. Nothing to it!!
     
  11. AE7

    AE7 Senior member

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    If you really love how a particular shirt looks and feels, then dry clean it. If you don't really give much care into a shirt, then launder it, and hand iron it.

    That is stupid. Dry cleaning chemical agents destroy the fabric.
     
  12. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    Response to AE7:

    Not true. There are so many variables involved. For example....

    * the pre-spotting techniques employed or not employed

    * the type of dry cleaning solvent or fluid being used (perc, synthetic petroleum or siloxane)

    * the dry cleaning machine operational programs for darks, lights, mixed and fragile cycles (time, RPMs and temperatures for wash, extract and dry cycles)

    * the type of pressing employed (machine vs hand)

    * the dry cleaners pricing and turnaround time.

    I could go on and on. The quality of dry cleaning varies significantly from cleaner to cleaner.

    There are discount cleaners, middle-of-the-road cleaners, pretender cleaners and extraordinary care cleaners. Each type of cleaner is vastly different and the cumulative impact of their operations can have a significant impact on the life of your garments.

    Clearly, it's not valid to categorize all dry cleaning as "fabric destroying" anymore than it's valid to categorize all fast food outlets as "fattening" or all car dealers as "sleazy"(hope that analogy works!).
     
  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Stu you have mentioned that you favor siloxane for getting rid of oil based stains. Could I do this at home using this pure silicone hair styling product my girlfriend uses? Would dimethicone work as well? I know it sounds crazy, but it is worth asking...
     
  14. AE7

    AE7 Senior member

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    Response to AE7: Not true. Clearly, it's not valid to categorize all dry cleaning as "fabric destroying" anymore than it's valid to categorize all fast food outlets as "fattening" or all car dealers as "sleazy"(hope that analogy works!).
    Thank you for your response. It does sound convincing, but there is no way an average person like me without background in DRY CLEANING would know what exactly my dry cleaner uses. If if they would tell you, how much of it you would able to understand, especially given the variety of fabrics and different effects chemicals have over them. A question: is hot iron and excessive steaming SAFE for suits and shirts or not?
     
  15. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    Response to patrickBOOTH:

    Yes, we only use siloxane (brand name is Green Earth). That's because I believe that siloxane is the best product for THE TYPE OF GARMENTS WE CLEAN -- high-end, more expensive garments.

    We have also modified the way in which we use the product because of the type of garments we clean. We certainly don't use it in the manner that an ordinary cleaner would use it (which is the manner "recommended" by the product developer, Green Earth Cleaning).

    The product comes in 5 gal. drums from Shin Etsu Silicones of America. The dry cleaning process that uses siloxane is patented by Green Earth Cleaning. Any dry cleaner using siloxane in a dry cleaning process must be licensed by Green Earth Cleaning and pay an annual licensing fee of $2500 per machine.

    The reason that you can't use siloxane at home is that the formulation of this siloxane is specifically designed for use in a dry cleaning process, that includes wash, extract and dry cycles with specific related time, RPM and temperature specifications.
     
  16. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    If you don't know precisely how well your dry cleaner handles garments (99.9% of people don't), then you should wash it yourself.
     
  17. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    Second response to AE7: I understand the problem. Which is why our website is so extensive and why we tell you exactly what we do, why we do it our way, and why we don't do what ordinary cleaners do. In terms that anyone can understand. What I call "Plain English". The lack of transparency in the dry cleaning industry is something that really pisses me off. Big time. It almost seems as if there is an inverse relationship between the prices dry cleaners charge and their willingness to disclose their processes. In other words, the cheaper they are, the more "secrets" and "secret processes" they have. Let me suggest that this attitude has more to do with keeping you in the dark about what they do and how they do it than it has to do with "secrets" or "secret processes". You'd probably throw up all over your brand new tweed sport coat if you were given the opportunity to observe what happens on a daily basis in an ordinary cleaner. Not only do dry cleaners fail to disclose their processes in sufficient detail and in lay terms, but most lie. Big time. They tell you one thing (essentially, what you want to hear) and then do something completely different. For example, in Phoenix, Arizona, we even have one ordinary, coupon-oriented cleaner who has always promoted himself as "organic". Yet, he dry cleans in perc at one location and synthetic petroleum at a second location. While at the same time advertising in glossy "green" magazines that he only offers "green certified wet cleaning" (i.e., cleaning your dry cleaning only garments in water). It's a fraud, a hoax and a scam...all rolled into one. Ever tell your cleaner that you wanted your wool trouser soft pressed and not machine pressed? Do you really believe that those instructions were followed and that your trouser was not machine pressed at 70 or 80 PSI like a pair of cotton chinos? Bottom line: Learn as much as you can about garment care. Then you'll be better able to interrogate your cleaner and judge the voracity of his answers. Don't be surprised if you discover that you know a whole lot more than he does. This is a notoriously mediocre industry that tends to attract mediocre operators who have almost zero interest in what they do. Most dry cleaners wouldn't care if they operated a dry cleaner or a Hallmark Card Shop. It's just an income. For more information on the issue of transparency.... Blog post:There are no secrets or secret processes in garment care. http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-qu...ment-care.aspx As regards, the use of steam, I'm 100 percent against the excessive use of steam using a steamer, particularly when it comes to fine garments. Jefferyd has previously posted the definitive position on this issue (definitive in my mind, at least). Many SFers disagree. As regards the use of a hot iron, the old cliche that to someone with a hammer everything looks like a nail applies. You must know how to use an iron, at what temperatures and for which fabrics. Quite frankly, I have no clue how to use an iron in a home environment. It's been 20+ years since I last used my home washer, dryer or iron! Luckily, I have some of the very best pros take care of everything for me...right down to my underwear and socks! For more on the use of steam.... Blog post: The myth of pressing a garment with steam. http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-qu...ith-steam.aspx
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. bijox

    bijox Well-Known Member

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    Stu, I just have to revive this thread to tell you the above post is excellent, and thank you so much for sharing this helpful wealth of information.
    If you're still around may I ask if you can please recommend to me a drycleaner in the NYC (Manhattan) area? According to my forum research, the top 3 here are supposedly Jeeves, Hallak, and Madam Paulette. Do they offer the healthy garment care and proper cleaning methods (ie, using siloxane) that you talk about? Since you're in the business I'm sure you know of some place in NYC that "gets it".
     

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