Author Archives: Utopia Cleaners

Tracking your order: How we keep it straight

Week after week you drop your clothes off to be cleaned.   After we process your order, how can we tell your navy blue wool pants from the many other navy blue wool pants we receive? 
That’s easy.  Before a garment goes through our drycleaning operation we give it a tag, so we can identify its owner. We do this by attaching a tag to each garment. The tags are specially manufactured so the ink and dye will not wash out during cleaning.

Because not all fabrics can be processed the same way, tagging garments allows us to separate the items from a customer’s order and process them together with pieces from orders belonging to different customers. Thus, it is important that each order has a distinctive identification tag so we know which pieces belong together. 

Once the clothes have been separated into similar groups, we weigh enough similar garments to make up a load and put them into the cleaning machine.  At the end of the cleaning cycle, the clothes are taken to the finishing department to be pressed.

Employees in the finishing department restore your clothing to its original appearance on pressing machines designed to handle the great variety of fabric types and garment designs.

After pressing, the clothing goes to an assembly area.  Our employees collect all the items in your order and put it together in one package in this area. When the pressed items come into the assembly area, employees reunite your garments. When the number of items assembled equals the number of items on the invoice, the order is complete. 

Then comes packaging. We take the completed order, cover it, and attach the invoice to the order. The completed order is then filed onto a conveyor or racking system to await pickup. 

Using this system, we combine clothing from different customers and put them back in order without losing any of your clothes!

The Incredible Shrinking Comforter

The other day, a customer asked “I washed a comforter that shrank. What happened?”

comforterWell, some natural relaxation shrinkage can show up after cleaning household
items such as comforters, bedspreads, and blankets. There is usually a
fullness of the backing or shell fabric, causing a puckered appearance.
Also, any piping borders, quilting stitches, and seams may be rippled or
distorted.

Although many factors can contribute to this type of
shrinkage, the major cause is the original fabric not being properly
preshrunk or stabilized before the article was constructed. When this
occurs, the latent strains of relaxation will appear during any
acceptable care procedure.

Some slight shrinkage (approximately 2-4
percent) is to be expected on all household items, but on properly
cleaned items that shrink excessively, the manufacturer should be held
responsible.

Read more about caring for down comforters >>

 

Coffee Stains Can Be Sneaky Stains

table setting with coffee in cup and saucerSome sneaky stains can be a real head scratcher for us if we are working
with incomplete information. You may not realize it, but some stains
can be made up of compound elements beyond just the obvious presumed
cause of the problem.

Coffee stains, for example, often contain milk
or other additives, making the stain more difficult to remove since the
coffee is a tannin stain and the milk leaves a protein- based stain.
Both the coffee and the milk in the coffee are water-based stains, but
protein stains require more work to get out. Such stains will have to be
treated individually, even though the actual staining occurred at the
same time. If you drop off an item with a coffee stain, please inform
our customer service representative how you take your coffee (i.e., with
cream and sugar, milk and sugar, black, etc.).

Six truths about dry cleaning

1. Club soda is not a cure-all stain remover.

Successful stain removal depends largely on the nature of the stain, the type of fabric, and colorfastness. Home remedies more often makes the situation worse, not better. If you must do something – never rub a stain. Blot the stained area. This may help remove some of the staining substance while avoiding damage to the fabric. Bring a stained garment to us as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting. We are trained and equipped to deal with stains, and if anyone can safely remove them, we can.

2. There is such a thing as an ‘Invisible’ Stain.

Some stains caused by beverages, food, or oily substances may not be visible after they dry. But later, with exposure to heat or simply the passage of time, a yellow or brown stain will appear. This is the end result of oxidation or caramelization of sweetening agents. It is the same process that makes a peeled apple turn brown after exposure to air.

Please point out spills such as those from, fruit juice, soft drinks, other beverages and food stains that may not be visible after they are blotted or allowed to dry. ‘Invisible stains’ require special attention. If we don’t know about it we can’t fix it, so let us know if you spilled something.

3. It’s not ok to put a garment away without being cleaned.

Every year we see garments that weren’t “dirty when I put it away for the summer,” only to be taken out in the fall full of holes and stains.

The smallest unseen food crumb, body oil, perspiration, or other spillage invites insect damage even in the cleanest of homes.

4. Care labels are not always correct.

Most manufacturers never test garments (they are not required to) before the required care label is attached. The U. S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) only requires that a manufacturer have a ‘reasonable basis’ for their care instructions. Sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s wrong. We always attempt to alert our customer to a potential cleaning problem beforehand.

5. Always clean all matching pieces of a garment or home furnishings at the same time.

We understand that only the pants or skirt was soiled and the jacket was still ‘clean.’ Or, just the bedspread was dirty. The rest of the bed set did not need cleaning.

However, we strongly suggest that all matching or coordinating items are cleaned at the same time. This way any color changes, however minimal, will be uniform.

6. We’re not casual about casual wear.

Sure, you may be able to wash your casual clothing at home, but time spent doing that along with the most hated household chore – ironing – only takes away time from family and other pursuits.

We have the skills and equipment to make your clothes look and feel their best by creating a finish and cleanliness that simply cannot be duplicated with home care.