One Hour Cleaners
What about Home Drycleaning Kits?
Now 3 or 4 companies market a kit that is advertised as "home drycleaning". It is important that the consumer realize what the kit can and cannot do and how it compares to professional drycleaning.
First, the home kits usually consist of a "pad or dryer sheet" that you put in a bag along with a few garments. The PRIMARY PURPOSE is basically to freshen up garments. Most garments that come in for professional drycleaning, have dirt, oils, perspiration on them, and these home kits do not remove such. The near equivalent in human terms is after a long day of work, if you want and wrapped yourself completely in a "nice smelling" towel in a warm room and then stepped out.. (pretty silly isn't it).
You might say, wait a moment, it also comes with some "solution" to remove stains... If stain removal could happen with one chemical, then the professional drycleaner would not have about 12 to 18 special chemicals to use in removing spots and stains from your garments every day. This excludes specialty items like enzymes, digesters, bleaches and strippers. And the professional drycleaner has staff especially trained in proper removal of stains as it is both a science (chemistry) and an art.
You see, spots/stains can be solvent soluble, meaning they will dissolve in solvent but not water (grease would be an example of one); water soluble, meaning they will dissolve in water but not in solvent; insoluble which means like ground in dirt. Within the water soluble stains, some require an acid to remove the stain, others require an alkali. And some stains like chocolate, coffee, etc. are what we call combination stains. That means they have both solvent and water soluble stains along with requiring both the use of an acid and a protein spot removal agent. Do this in the wrong order and you can make the stain difficult to remove. And to think that all stains can be removed with one little bottle.... (it can't)
Can these home products ruin garments?
But I have seen several garments which have been ruined by the application of this "wet" agent, as it has created a permanent ring and in some cases removed color... Recall also that sweet stains, that is sugar stains along with other stains can be permanently set with heat from the dryer. So you risk getting brown/yellow spots that can't be removed plus some silks when exposured to moisture like that or even rayons will have the gum sizing disturbed in the fabric and you will get rings.(like drapes do when they get wet). Worse, color can be damaged. Recall some dyes are set with acids, some dyes are set with alkali. So again, why one bottle of spotting solution can't do it all. If you put an acidic chemical on a garment that the dyes were set with a pH above 7.0, the dye can change color and be ruined. The opposite is true. (pH scale measures acids and alkalis and their strength. 7 is neutral (non-acid, non-alkali), above 7 is alkali, below 7 is acid...).
How does it differ from Professional Drycleaning?
Also realized that garments professionally cleaned are cleaned all over, not just "freshened" up. And they professionally finished (pressed), ready for you to wear. Do your clothes always come out of your home dryer, wrinkle free, pleats pressed in, etc.?
So is there a place for these home drycleaning kits?
(not in my opinion) but say you have a sweater or garment that has a bit of a "smoke" odor and you want to remove it, that might be it... Do they replace professional drycleaning? NOT HARDLY. The fellowship (study) that Proctor and Gamble paid the International Fabricare Institute (IFI) to do for them showed very limited uses and compared poorly to professional drycleaning. You may have seen the piece on Good Morning America and other "investigative" programs about these home drycleaning kits and the news was they were very limited in what they could do and did not compare to the professional drycleaner.
What does Dryel folks do with their dirty garments?
read what Dryel personnel did while on a demonstration tour...
Dick Pakko, owner of Four Seasons Cleaners in Seattle, remembers walking in to work on Sept. 10. "I saw all these turquoise sweaters in the plant," he recalls. Then he noticed a familiar logo on the front -- Dryel. Apparently, Dryel representatives in town for demonstrations at local malls needed 45 of their sweaters drycleaned and finished. Pakko wonders why the P&G representatives didn't use their own product, but he jokes, "We're the official, chosen drycleaner for Dryel." Asked if any of the sweaters needed stains removed, Pakko recalled seeing a spotter working on one sweater, but he wasn't sure what type of stain it had. Oil-based, perhaps? (from December 1999 National Clothesline).
(source and author of the above not known).
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