Lost Sweater – Found Thanks to Dry Cleaning!

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A sweater found in a Minneapolis parking ramp was returned to it’s owner last week – all because of dry cleaning Technology!

That’s right, thanks to significant increases in technology over the past several years, dry cleaning has become an extremely high-tech industry.

Every time your shirt, sweater, pants – you name it – is dropped off with us, it receives a small barcode.  This barcode is usually placed in an out-of-sight location so it is of no inconvenience to you and your garments, but the information it holds is extremely valuable.  Within that tiny barcode holds all kinds of information about that garment, including things like:

  • the type of garment it is (shirt, pants, dress, etc)
  • the fabric, color and brand of the garment
  • who the garment belongs to
  • when the garment was checked in at our stores, where it is within the cleaning process and whether it is ready to be picked up
  • even the amount of times that garment has been to us!

This information allows us to use the utmost care and quality standards in handling and cleaning your garments. And, for one lucky customer, it helped her get her sweater back!  Another customer found a sweater on the ground in a St Paul Community Ed parking lot after a theater performance once night.  She knew we barcoded our items, so looked at the care label – and sure enough – a barcode!  She emailed us with the barcode number, and we were able to locate the customer it belonged to, and to get her sweater back to her!  She had just “written off” the sweater – which was one of her favorites and most expensive and never thought it could be located..!

It’s a great feel-good story for a nice Thursday afternoon, eh?!

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When is the Best Time to Clean My…?

UGGs?

The spring (March, April)  is usually the best time to clean these after you have trekked through the snow and salt all winter.  It’s important to remove the salt as soon as possible and to place a protective coating on your UGGs before letting them sit all summer.  That way, when the unexpected snow storm comes next October, you can pull out your UGGs and be ready to go!

Rugs?

Late spring, early summer  is best to clean your household rugs.  Just think about all the times you’ve stomped in from outside on that rug, and how much dirt and salt has built up on it. Vacuuming is only able to pick up the top layer – what about the dirt that has worked it’s way inside the rug?  It’s best to plan for annual cleanings – just once per year can help your rugs last three times as long!

Winter Coats?

At least once at the end of the winter.  Remember, you wear your winter coat almost every day in the winter – and you drive, eat, travel and more while wearing it.  Once the snow and ice finally decide to start melting away, and you’re able to switch to a light spring jacket, make sure to bring your coat in to us – that way it’s cleaned and properly stored until next winter!

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It's Super Bowl Weekend!

Who are you cheering for this weekend?

We’re just excited that we received two pro-bowl vikings jerseys this week! And BOTH of them are signed!

(Yes, we can clean them!)

Signed Jerseys - Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen

Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen’s signed Pro Bowl Jerseys

 

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Support Children's Hospitals & Clinics this December!

Childrens-logo-2color-2726-coated[heading type=”1″]For Every Blanket and Comforter Cleaned, St Croix Cleaners will Donate $5 to Children’s Hospitals of MN.[/heading]

‘Tis the Season to stay warm and tidy while supporting a great cause! Throughout the entire month of December, select locations of St Croix and White Way Cleaners have pledged to donate $5 for every comforter and blanket they clean. As families clean up their homes and prepare for the Holiday Season, it’s the perfect time to make sure all blankets and comforters are clean and ready for relatives who plan to stay over for extended periods of time.

All Downtown St Paul and Minneapolis Dry Cleaning locations will be participating in this Charity Fundraiser and look forward to presenting a check to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in early January 2014. The fundraiser will run from December 1-31st and will donate $5 for any comforter (down or not) or blanket brought in to be cleaned during that time.

“St Croix & White Way Cleaners are very excited to be supporting Children’s Hospitals. It’s great way to support children and their families throughout the Holidays,” Dave Nemec, the Dry Cleaning owner, stated. This is the first partnership between St Croix & White Way Cleaners and Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of MN – and hopefully not the last!

Find a list of participating Dry Cleaning locations here. To donate to the cause without having a blanket or comforter cleaned, visit childrensmn.org.

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How Are Clothes Cleaned?

At St. Croix Cleaners, we use one of three types of cleaning for your garments: dry cleaning, wet cleaning, or laundering.

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[accordion_toggle title=”Dry Cleaning”]Dry cleaning uses solvent to remove soils and stains from fabric in specially designed machines. In fact, the term “dry cleaning” is misleading: it is called dry cleaning because the solvent contains no water and does not penetrate the fibers as water does. The main advantage of dry cleaning is its ability to dissolve greases and oils in a way that water cannot, while protecting delicate fabrics that do not respond well with water. The dry cleaning process begins with the pretreatment of spots and stains using special cleaning agents. The garments are then loaded into a machine resembling an oversized front-loading washer. It produces similar mechanical action to loosen embedded dirt. Throughout the cleaning process, the solvent is filtered or distilled to ensure its clarity. The garments are dried in the same machine and have no residual solvent odor after cleaning. [/accordion_toggle][accordion_toggle title=”Wet Cleaning”]Wet cleaning is the professional process of removing soils from garments and other textile items using water. The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) definition for Professional Wet cleaning is: A process for cleaning sensitive textiles (e.g., wool, silk, rayon, linen) in water by professionals, using techniques which minimize the potential for adverse effects. It is followed by appropriate drying and restorative finishing procedures. [/accordion_toggle][accordion_toggle title=”Laundering”]Professional laundering for shirts and other “washable” items is another process we use to keep your garments looking their best. Special detergents, additives, and finishes set commercial laundry apart from home laundering. Collars come cleaner and professional pressing offers a crisper finish. We offer different levels of starch: no starch, light, medium or heavy.[/accordion_toggle]
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St Croix Cleaners' Dry Cleaning Steps

  1. We check the labels for adequate care instructions and fiber content.
  2. We classify the garment according to fabric type, color, degree of soiling, and cleaning process, dry cleaning, wet cleaning or laundering.
  3. We remove spots and stains using special equipment, special stain removal agents, and water.
  4. We reapply any sizing, water repellent and other finishes when necessary and possible.
  5. We finish the garment on professional pressing equipment to restore its original shape and appearance. We replace missing or damaged buttons and perform minor repairs whenever possible according to plant policy.
  6. We package the garment neatly in a protective wrapping.

If you’d rather watch a video than read a list of words about how we do dry cleaning – check it out: “Dry Cleaning in 90 seconds”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4jq_PbwCHM

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How About These Costumes?

How about these costumes?

Halloween is the next big upcoming holiday, and it’s one of Treasured Garment Restoration’s favorite.  Our Nationally Renowned Cleaning Specialists have some pretty cool things in their workshop this time of year.  As the premier cleaners for Costume Rentals, Inc, The Guthrie Theater, The Children’s Theater, the Minnesota Opera and dozens of other theaters throughout the Twin Cities metro area, Duane and Liz have worked with some pretty elaborate costumes over the years.  Many times, the costumes must be hand-cleaned due to the amount of beads, unique fabric, feathers & fur that might be part of these exquisite costumes.

Can you pick out where the below costumes might be from?

Elvis Costume After a    MN Opera a    TGR 022

 

The Specialty Cleaning team also has the opportunity to clean many mascots – many of which you’ve probably hear of!  Almost all of the mascot costumes are hand-cleaned as well and can take hours to completely clean.

Can you name the following mascots we had the opportunity to clean?

Easter Bunny b Mascots 003 Mascots 007

There are many other mascots we’ve had the opportunity to clean, including the “big guy” in these commercials:

 

As Halloween approaches, we invite you to visit Costume Rentals for a fun and unique costume.   They have a collection of over 30,000 theatrical costumes in all types of designs, sizes and themes.  We are the premier trusted cleaner for Costume Rentals, and LOVE having the challenge to clean some of them!

Looking forward to creative costumes, and a Happy Halloween!

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Dry Cleaning: Then and Now

Believe it or not, people have been entrusting their garments to professional cleaners for millenia! Local garment care businesses have around since at least as early as the Ancient Romans (togas didn’t clean themselves, you know!), and waterless (“dry”) cleaning has been used since the mid-1800’s (did you know that the first dry cleaning patent granted in the U.S. was also the first patent ever to be granted to an African American?). While people have always needed their clothes cleaned, laundry and dry cleaning methods have changed a lot throughout the centuries, with many innovations occurring just in the last decade or so.

Here’s a quick history lesson:

Then:

white_way_early_1900s

Who says you need an internal combustion engine to provide laundry delivery service? The first “laundry wagons” were motored by horses! This photo from the early 1900’s shows the laundry wagon “fleet” of Elk Laundry Company (the original name of White Way Cleaners). As you can see, it was made up of both horse-drawn and motorized vehicles!

Now:

DeliveryVan

St. Croix and White Way Cleaners continue to offer (free) home delivery! Our “wagons” look a little more modern nowadays…

Then:

Pompeii

Evidence of “professional” garment cleaning dates back to the Ancient Romans. Launderers were known as fullers and their workshops were called fullonicas.

Now:

HEN - finished

Our brand new Loring Park location, connected to Treasured Garment Restoration, can serve any of your garment care needs: laundering, dry cleaning, alterations, preservation, and vintage restoration. Or visit one of our other nineteen locations throughout the Twin Cities!

Then:

kerosene

Believe it or not, kerosene and petroleum were used as solvents In the earliest years of dry cleaning. Sure they got out the stains, but think of the smell!

LATER:

Equipment at Nu Life FL 002

Beginning in the 1930’s, dry cleaners cleaned garments using a chemical called perchloroethylene (known as “perc”). Perc is a soil contaminant and carcinogen, and cleans so harshly that it can lead to color loss and other damage. According to the EPA, the majority of drycleaners still use perc as their primary solvent.

Now:

St Croix Cleaners 011

St. Croix/White Way Cleaners is 100% perc-free! We use only non-toxic/earth-friendly solvents like Hydrocarbon, a biodegradable and odorless compound. Not only is this better for the Earth, it’s better for your clothes! Learn more about our earth and fabric-friendly cleaning process here.

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What is "Business Casual"?

There is a lot of uncertainty around acceptable business casual attire. Your customers may appreciate these guidelines distributed by a law partner to his “fashion challenged” colleagues.

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From ABAJournal.com, “If You Can’t Dryclean It, Don’t Wear It!”  “Harrumph! After receiving several complaints, the office managing partner of a national law firm has decided the firm’s poorly dressed male lawyers need some business-casual guidelines.

No. 1 on the list: “If you cannot dry clean it, don’t wear it.”Above the Law published the entire memo from the unnamed partner who set out to help the “fashionably challenged.” The advice includes:

* Socks are required in a business environment no matter what Esquire says.

* Polo-type shirts which look like they have been crumpled in the back corner floor of your closet do not count as acceptable business casual. This is true even when you attempt to smooth them out for 15 seconds before you put them on in the morning.

* Slacks should be pressed and have a crease….”

Click here for full article. 

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