We’re all human. Coffees get spilled, no matter how nicely you’ve dressed, be it a business meeting or a formal night out.
Most men perceive the cleaners as a place to resolve disasters after the fact. However, what might come as a surprise to many is that dry cleaners are here to help you prevent stains from ever rearing their ugly heads.
At Zoom Dry Cleaning, we’ve compiled this useful resource to help men understand when to bring their dress suits in for dry cleaning and how often.
When Disaster Strikes
Spilling red wine on that tan Armani men’s suit jacket is the perfect time to go mingle with your favorite dry cleaning specialists. That said, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- You’re not in trouble until the stain sets. Zoom Dry Cleaning can work out most stains without a hitch, so long as they haven’t set by the time you come in. However, set times vary based on the type of stain and air temperature.
- Timing is everything. It doesn’t need to be within 5 minutes of an accident, but you should aim to get to your dry cleaners by early the next morning. Most stains won’t have fully set by then.
- Heat is the enemy. DO NOT apply heat to the stained article of clothing, as it expedites the setting process. This includes ironing, cycling it through the dryer, or leaving it in a hot car.
- Blot, don’t scrub. When doing so won’t risk ruining the fabric (as is the case with silks, suede and velvet), blot the stain with lukewarm water shortly after an accident occurs. Do not rub it, as this can cause abrasive damage to many materials.
For the best results, point out and identify the stain to your dry cleaning specialist upon drop off. Was that the Merlot or the Cabernet Sauvignon?
Invisible Enemies – What If I Can’t See It?
Let’s say that it was a white wine. Is dry cleaning still important when you can’t see the stain?
Yes, and here’s where things get interesting.
Science. Sometimes it’s fun, though for fabrics it’s a pain. You know how an apple gets brown if you peel it and let it sit for a while? Well stains on nice dress suits behave the same way.
Ok, it’s not exactly the same process, but similar. Over time, invisible stains go through chemical reactions that cause them to slowly darken. With some substances, this is the sugar caramelizing. With others (as with the apple) it’s oxidization. Stains you can’t see when you get home might not be the same the next time you pull your dress suit from the closet, especially in the case of lighter outfits.
Therefore, whether you see it now or not, it’s always important to bring your dress suit into the cleaners after a spill.
Preventing Stains – Dry Cleaning Before Storage
“When I packed it away it was fine…why is my dress suit covered in stains and holes?”
We hear this line a lot.
Again, we’re only human. We don’t always notice when bits of food and drink get spilled on our dress suits, but it’s bound to happen when you wear one often enough.
Many people pack away clothing at the end of certain seasons (winter pea coats, lightweight summer suits, etc.), only to find disaster come next year.
There are multiple processes at play here:
- As was mentioned earlier, “invisible” stains often develop a brown/yellow color after prolonged exposure to the fabric.
- Moths are naturally attracted to food & drink, therefore dress suits that are stored away without dry cleaning are at higher risk for moth holes.
- Body oils and perspiration tend to break down wool & silk over time. If you were sweating at any point while wearing a dress suit prior to storage, you risk permanent discoloration and damage to the fabric.
It’s always a smart idea to have your dress suits dry cleaned prior to being stored away – especially if the storage location gets hot. That said, storage can also mean being tucked in the back of the closet – it’s the length of time that a stain is left on a garment that’s important.
Extra Tips for Protecting Your Investments
Your dress suits are a serious investment in both your business and personal life. Use these additional pointers to ensure their long-term protection:
- ALWAYS dry clean matching suit pieces together, even if one hasn’t been stained. While Zoom Dry Cleaning uses the safest materials available, the process does cause imperceptible changes in the fabric. Over a number of washes, these changes can become distinguishable if the pieces weren’t washed together.
- Semi-frequent dry cleaning prolongs the life of your dress suits. By regularly removing the substances and particles that break down fabrics, you can expect to get much longer wear out of your dress suits.
- Be careful with attempting to remove any stains on your own. Most home remedies actually make it more difficult for us to remove the stain once you bring it in.
- While ironing is necessary, be aware that if you suspect an invisible stain somewhere on the garment, you should bring it to your dry cleaners first.
To learn more about protecting your clothing, visit Zoom Dry Cleaning today or call us at (412) 521-2407!