25 Facts About the Dry-Cleaning and Laundry Industry
9th March 2018
As we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this month, we thought we would put together 25 facts about the dry cleaning and laundry industry, including history and information you may be unaware of!
In 1677 the first clothes washing machine was invented, however the dry cleaning industry wasn’t discovered until 1848!
1837 was the year that the commercial laundry Industry was born, with the help of washboards, rollers, stirring sticks and hot irons!
Steam is the only bit of water that meets clothes during dry cleaning when stains are removed; they are actually completely removed before the process for dry cleaning
In the dry cleaning industry, solvents are never mixed with water.
We use the IPURA dry cleaning machine. These machines are like a combination of a washing machine and a clothes dryer
Many people think all stains can be removed by having them dry cleaned. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Wool, cotton, silk and other natural fibres shouldn’t be left for too long in a dirty condition as the fibres absorb the dirt, making it hard to regain the original state, colour or finish.
Fibres, such as cashmere, camel’s Hair and mohair, can lack durability and should be purchased with this understanding. Angora, can shrink excessively even with the most careful care in cleaning.
Faux suede and faux leather can become stiff or start peeling when dry cleaned. These items are usually accepted for dry cleaning at customers’ risk.
It’s virtually impossible to know by looking at a fabric whether or not its colour will stand when exposed to sunlight, water, dry cleaning solvents, or some spot removal agents and chemicals.
Some bonded fabrics may separate from the face fabric or lining, or there can be shrinkage, puckering, stiffening, or adhesive staining.
Some suggest you can wash items that are “dry clean only”. The labels are there for a reason! Anytime you deviate from the recommended method of cleaning, you run the risk of damaging your clothing! Do this at your own risk!
Towels are different to your usual clothing, so don’t wash them with the rest of your load. The stains and grime that towels gather are different from those that you find in your ordinary clothing.
You should try to make sure any towels are dry before use, as damp towels that are put away and later used can lead to fungal allergies.
Fabrics, such as cotton, linen, cashmere, polyester, acrylic, and nylon, can usually be machine-washed. However, items that are made of fabrics such as silk, taffeta, wool, velvet or other exotic fabrics should be dry cleaned.
Wash or dry clean everything before you pack away. Lingering oils from deodorants and perfumes can discolour your clothing over time.
If you’re using a storage container to store away your clothes, choose opaque storage box rather than a clear one. This is because an opaque container will keep light out, meaning it will keep your clothes from getting discoloured from the sun!
The main reason why people don’t clean their pillows is because they aren’t aware that they are machine washable! Many pillows can be placed in the wash, however do be careful to check the label first. For the best results, it’s recommended that you soak the pillow in hot water mixed with your laundry detergent and a pinch of bleach for about an hour, and then proceed to wash as normal. By doing this and washing your pillows 3-4 times per year, you’re able to keep them in fresh condition!
Instead of hanging up your clothing when storing, leaving them stretched over time, it’s recommended to fold them! Especially those items made from natural fibres.
By the 1900s, commercial laundries within the industry offered wet wash services. This involved cleaning clothes, but leaving the drying and pressing to the customers, however this later developed to just the ironing left to the customers.
Avoid drying delicate fabrics like wool and cashmere in the tumble dryer. Instead, hang them outside to dry or use a clotheshorse!
‘Delicate’ fabrics, such as Cashmere and Wool are recommended to be washed at low temperatures. This is because these fabrics don’t react well with heat.
Make sure to never apply heat to a stain… this includes putting a stained blanket, duvet, shirt or top in the dryer, using a hair dryer on it or giving it an iron!
It is perfectly logical to think that the more soap you use to clean something, the cleaner it will be. But in the case of laundry detergent, less is more! In fact, by adding more detergent than recommended, you compromise cleaning rather than enhancing!
Never leave the plastic cover from the dry cleaner covering your clothes in your wardrobe! In humid conditions the clothes cannot breathe and this will attract moths!
If you liked this, why not check out our other blog posts here!
Remember that, throughout this month, we will be giving out free raffle tickets to every one of our customers, as a thank you, for a chance to win this beautiful hamper worth £100!