FAQs

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN **DRY CLEAN ONLY** AND **DRY CLEAN**

When reading the instructions found on care labels, we often see the phrase “dry clean” or “dry clean only.”  Many people believe that these instructions are interchangeable, but that is not true.  There is typically a difference between fabrics, and more care is often needed for clothing marked “dry clean only.”

“Dry Clean Only”
A garment that is marked as “dry clean only” is made of material that demonstrates a tendency to deteriorate when cleaned by any other method.  It’s a clear warning to the consumer that no other cleaning method should be used if they wish to maintain the integrity of the garment and allowing it to be useable after the cleaning process.

“Dry Clean”
The purpose of the “dry clean” designation is to give the option of some sort of hand cleaning/washing and drying for the garment at home.   This designation is used when the fabric involved has been demonstrated to hold it’s shape, color and not likely to change if cleaned by hand washing and air drying at home.  The “Dry Clean” designation is intended to convey that gentle cleaning methods other than dry cleaning may be acceptable.   At the same time, there is still risk in doing them at home and the best method is to dry clean the garment professionally.

–IF IT SAYS DRY CLEAN, CAN YOU CLEAN IT AT HOME?

Garments with care labels that say Dry Clean or For Best Results Dry Clean AND are made of natural fabrics like cotton, linen, cashmere and even some silks – may be done at home with a little extra care and patience.  AVOID or use caution if doing this with synthetic blends (rayon, viscose, acetate, etc.)

—HOW DO YOU CLEAN IT?

This depends on the fabric type.

* Keys to cleaning are: hand wash cycle (minimal agitation)

* NO extraction (spin) cycle used at all

* Air Dry/Fluff Cycle or hang to dry or dry flat (no heat)

* Reshaping may be required with some garments

For example a 95% cotton blazer with 5% Lycra a that has a care label that says “Dry Clean” could be done at home on a gentle hand washing cycle in cold water.  Avoid any extraction cycle (because of the Lycra and use an air fluff (no heat) cycle to dry it or hang dry.

Cashmere – would be similar –  a hand cleaning cycle with minimal agitation and no spin or extraction process– lay flat on a towel to dry (no tumbling) and reshape

–WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THE STAIN OUT? BLOT? DAB? RUB?

Blot, Dab or Tap … NEVER EVER rub and avoid “wiping”

—IS THERE A STAIN A DRY CLEANER CAN’T REMOVE?

Yes, sadly there is.  While we love being the Super Stain Fighting Heroes – there is a stain or two that a dry cleaner may not be able to fully remove without possible damage to the garment (usually can get it to lighten).

It depends on a number of factors including:

  • Fabric type (delicate fabrics may not be able to handle certain stain removal techniques w/out risk/ damage)
  • Nature of the stain
  • How long the stain has been there
  • Any treatments already tried
  • Home remedy attempts often make a dry cleaner’s job more challenging
  • The knowledge and skill of the stain remover

Example:  curry sauce spilled on a sheer silk garment with unstable dyes in the silk fabric meaning that color on the fabric may be pulled would be difficult to fully remove. Why? Curry is a natural dye. Silk is a porous fabric and naturally soaks up and adheres stains, dyes to the fiber.

Example:  ground in dirt / tar on the hemline of a silk dress (wedding, long dress or formal) may be difficult to fully remove (some “shadowing” may be left when inspected closely)

Example: Coffee w/cream that had club soda poured over it – while it may flush out some of the coffee color – the club soda acts almost as a shilac over the acidic part of the stain and sets it in.

Another truth is…A dry cleaner may not always be sure if they can get it out until they are able to give it a try.

–ARE THERE ITEMS THAT SHOULDN’T GO THROUGH THE DRY CLEANER?

That may depend on your dry cleaner but typically no.  Most full-service dry cleaners utilize both dry and wet clean cleaning methods as well as wash and fold (laundry) services.

Even if the item says do not dry clean (example many down coats say this on their care labels) – your dry cleaner can STILL clean it!  We simply use a special wet cleaning method to clean the coat instead.  Even if the item says Spot Clean Only – your dry cleaner can take care of this for you.

We  see everything from cushions, costumes, Prom dresses, drapes to dog beds and doll clothes and more!

–HOW OFTEN DO YOU RECOMMEND COMMON ITEMS GOING TO THE DRY CLEANER?

IN PARTICULAR, MEN’S SUITS, WOMEN’S FORMAL DRESSES

SUITS

How often you should dry clean really depends on how often you wear the garment and how well you take care of it between getting it cleaned.  If you only wear your suit 2 times a year and only for a few hours at a time and do not spill anything on it, you don’t need it cleaned as frequently.  However, if you wear the same suit at least once a week – we recommend cleaning it every 3-4 wears to keep it looking it’s best.  And of course if you spill anything on it – bring it in right away to be treated!

FORMAL DRESSES

Pretty much the same as above…it depends on how careful the wearer of the dress was when they wore it.  You may be able to get up to 4 wears out of it before needing to clean it.  Some formals after one wear have beverages spilled on them, the hems look like they danced in the parking lot all night and there are visible perspiration stains!

If there are no spills, no major perspiration or deodorant marks (which can cause color fade and fabric to weaken)… then you’re probably ok to just hang that lil black dress till the next time you need to wear it and just steam / iron out the wrinkles (or take it on for a professional press only in between wears).

2

Storing Winter Garments

Spring is here! The snow is finally melting and it’s time to swap out the winter gear for those fresh spring looks.
Before we get too eager, it’s important to prep your garments for storage.
tumblr_inline_n1lbb7znvU1r6zr9i

 The first step is cleaning. The reason we clean items before storage is because any dirt or stains have the potential to become
bigger problems when left untreated for an extended period of time.
We often see garments come in that have stains that sat untreated all year, which makes them difficult to remove.
Some stains are easily forgotten about and can cause major problems on your garments. For instance, say you spilled some clear soda on your sweater and when it dried you couldn’t see it anymore.
Even though the stain has “disappeared”, you still have sugar and other chemicals that hide. Once they oxidize, it’s common for them to turn a yellowish/brown color. As mentioned above, the longer a stain goes untreated, the harder it is to remove. So even if it comes to our attention during the dry cleaning process, we still can have our experts
work on it rather than having it sit all year and turn into a much worse stain.

A huge mistake many of our customers make is storing items in the plastic you receive your garments back in. Storing your garments in plastic can cause discoloration if left for too long!
We suggest promptly removing the plastic bag when you get home.

Our favorite tip when tucking your clothes away is instead of using moth balls, try the skin of your favorite citrus.
They need to be changed periodically but you completely avoid the moth ball smell and instead are greeted by a citrus scent.

lemon-peel

1

Valentine's Stains

Every holiday comes with its own assembly of tough stains. Valentine’s Day is no exception to that rule.
With the celebration of friendship and love comes the chocolate, strawberry, lipstick, candle, and pollen stains.
But if you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to get your garment to the cleaners,
we’re here to help with some methods that can come in handy.
Keep in mind all these suggestions do depend on the type of fabric the garment is made of.
These methods are safe on cotton, however may not be successful on fibers like silk or rayon.
So proceed with caution. If you’re ever unsure, bring it to us and we can get our experts working on it.

1. Chocolate

peanut-butter-filled-milk-chocolate-hearts-126241

Whether it’s truffles, fudge, or cake, chocolate always seems to find its way on to your whitest top. The best way to approach this stain is to immediately flush it out with warm water.  Then, create a solution of water with a small amount of dish soap and blot (dont rub) the stain. The dish soap breaks down the oils in the chocolate and prevents the stain from setting.

2. Strawberry or Red Wine

 red-wine-imgembed

Both strawberries and grapes contain plastic elements in them. So when you get a stain, you want to prevent it from setting. We suggest flushing this with COLD water first. Using an ice cube, go over the stain in a circular motion. Then continue by blotting the stain and again, repeat using the ice cube. Continue this process and slowly the stain should pull out. Sometimes a solution of dish soap and warm water may help; however, these stains are very tough to get out. If you can’t seem to get it, bring it in to us while the stain is still saturated. Once the stain dries, its harder for us to get it out.

3. Candle Wax

Candle wax

Place a thin terry cloth towel on top of a wax stain. Then gently iron over the top of the towel – this will pull the stain right out. The terry cloth acts like a sponge and absorbs the wax as you iron it.

4. Flower Pollen

roses

This is the trickiest of them all. Pollen is literally a dye that is used to color treat fibers. So when you get some on your clothes, it’s hard to get out. We suggest bringing this one straight to our team. Whatever you do, do not attempt to rub this one. By rubbing or trying to brush the pollen off your’re simply deepening the stain. Rubbing can also damage the fabric itself.

0

120 Years of Cleaning Service

This year celebrates our 120th year in business. As one of the oldest cleaners in the Midwest, help us celebrate!
We have a rich history of serving customers using top of the line methods to ensure a great product.

white_way_early_1900s
Pictured above is out ELK location in St. Paul. Which was once owned by
White Way Cleaners until St Croix Cleaners acquired them in 2010.

Though we don’t deliver garments by horse and buggy anymore, we do pride ourselves
on the 120 years of experience we have gained.

Until the 1930s the dry cleaning process was limited to large central plants with delivery routes into all parts of the city. In 1935 the grandson of the original founder of Despatch developed the concept of the “package plant” or neighborhood dry cleaning store. He is credited nationally as the originator of the dry cleaning store concept. The first one in the country was a White Way, which he opened in south Minneapolis.

0

Holiday Countdown

 

 10 days to go and counting until Christmas! It’s not to late to get last minute cleaning in.

We clean all of your unique holiday items from Tree Skirts, Stockings, to even Santa Suits!
Pictured below is a recent Holiday item we’ve cleaned.

DSC03156

Feel free to speak with your local Customer Service Representative
about any of your cleaning needs regarding holiday apparel.
We want you and your home to look your very best this year and to start the New Year off right.

Here is a picture of Santa visiting our production facility last year.

IMG_3493

0

Quick Fix For Chap Stick Stains

Ever forget to check and miss that chap stick
that’s hidden at the bottom of the pocket before putting your clothes in the washer or dryer?
We’ve seen more than our fair share of stains due to grease and chap stick come through our doors.
Some of these stains can be taken care of right at home! They often look similar to the image shown below. The fabric will appear darker and splotchy.

Chapstick
For a quick fix at home, try laying a piece of cardboard or paper bag under the stain and using a hot iron, go over the stain. The cardboard or paper will act like a sponge and absorb the grease or wax (depending on the brand). Its best to catch the stain before putting it in the dryer because the heat can cause the stain to set.

When all else fails bring it to us and our team will work on the stain!

0

Grass Stains

In honor of the world coming together in the world cup games in Brazil, we thought we might remind you on how to remove the notorious grass stain.

Grass contains chlorophyll which is the substance that makes plants green. The green is what you see on the surface of this stain. Bleach can work great on white items however use caution with this because sitting in bleach too long can cause damage to the fabric. If the garment is not able to withstand bleach, try soaking it in a solution of water and detergent, then gently brush or dab the area. Be sure not to rub the stain because that may cause the stain to spread. After, wash the item. Before drying it be sure to check the stain is gone. Drying a stain such as this can cause the stain to set and make it very difficult to get out.

The quicker you deal with the stain, the better chance you have of getting it out.

When all else fails and the stain is a bit stubborn to get out at home. Bring it to us and our experts can work on getting the stain out.

0

Eco Friendly Dry Cleaning

eco friendlyAs you know, we pride ourselves on being an Eco-friendly dry cleaners.
But what exactly does that mean? What sets us apart from our competitors?

We offer numerous green options in all aspects of our product.
Including biodegradable plastic bags, recycling hangers, and most importantly our actual dry cleaning solution.

You may have heard of the harmful effects of PERC recently on the news.
Studies have shows that PERC can cause harmful effects to the body if exposed.
This is why St. Croix Cleaners had decided to be one of the few cleaners to offer a newer, organic, option called K4.

K4 is a extremely innovative solvent that is safer for you and your family.
It has very different properties than conventional dry cleaning solvents.
It is Halogen free, 99% pure, and not to mention its outstanding cleaning ability that keep your clothes looking great.

For more information on K4 visit our About section on our website or go directly to the source at http://www.systemk4.com/en/products/solvonk4.html

 

 

0

How Does Dry Cleaning Work?

As Featured on WCCO’s “Good Question”:

What happens between the time you drop off your most treasured garments at the cleaners and when you pick them up?

John Lauritsen of the WCCO team asked this “Good Question” last week, and we invited him to take a tour with St Croix Cleaners’ Owner, Dave Nemec, of our main facility here in Stillwater, MN.  There’s a little more to dry cleaning than you might think!  Take a look:

Or watch the video here: Check out the video here: CBS Minnesota’s Good Question

0

Winter Storage Tips

We stopped by the Twin Cities Live studio yesterday to share some winter storage tips for your favorite garments!

Here are a few of the tips for storing your winter garments until next season:

  • -Clean your clothes before you put them away.  Food and beverage stains can attract clothes moths and silver fish.
  • -Once you get your clothes back from the dry cleaners, remove them from the plastic garment bag.  Your clothes need to “breathe”.   And, don’t store your sweaters on hangers.
  • -When storing winter bedding, make sure to wash and completely dry your comforters.  Remember, comforters can take up to 8 hours to completely dry.
  • -Use lemon rinds and baking soda in your closet.  Lemon rinds keep bugs from burrowing in your clothes.  The baking soda, just like in the refrigerator, will eliminate odors in your clothes.  Don’t use mothballs!  These will leave a permanent odor on your clothing.

Watch the video here.

TCL - Still

 

0