Doing laundry is one of the least favorite household chores along with cleaning the bathroom and doing the dishes. This is according to a survey of 1,775 American adults.
A pile of dirty laundry, which may be quite large depending on how long you've avoided doing the task, can seem daunting. Laundry isn't a straightforward task. You first need to sort your clothing into lights and darks before you even approach your washer and dryer.
Skipping this can cost you one or more of your favorite items of clothing. Once you complete the washing and drying, you're forced to face the pile that now requires folding. Then you have to repeat this process every week.
But you can end this weekly torture with dry cleaning. There are even cleaning services that will pick up your laundry and return clean, folded clothes to you. Read on to find out how you can access these services.
The Dry Cleaning Process
Whether you drop off your dirty laundry or have a cleaning service company collect your clothing, the dry cleaning process will be the same. It usually follows these steps:
Tagging and Inspection
Tagging helps the dry cleaning service identify your clothing. It is also used to note any special cleaning requirements for your clothing. A few cleaners opt to use barcodes to track items of clothing.
Some manufacturing labels also include special dry cleaning instructions such as:
- No steam finishing
- Short cycle
- Low heat
- Reduced moisture
At this point, the cleaners will also inspect your clothing for tears, holes, or missing buttons and make a note of them.
Pre-spotting or Pre-treatment
During the inspection, the cleaner will look for stains as well. They'll treat these with a chemical solvent. Your garment is then heated or vacuum cleaned to remove the stain. This is a really important step before the actual dry cleaning takes place.
After pre-treatment, the cleaners place your clothes into a machine. This involves submerging them in a solvent that's non-water-based. A perforated cylinder rotates your clothing.
The holes pump out an equal amount of the cleaning solvent throughout the process. The machine's spin cycle then releases warm air. This removes any excess solvent and allows the clothes to dry completely.
During this part of the process, the cleaner inspects your garments for any additional residue or stains. If there are stains, they repeat the stain removal procedure done in the pre-spotting stage. This helps to ensure the removal of any persistent stains.
After the complete dry cleaning procedure, the process of steam ironing begins. This is the step that makes your clothes look like you just bought them from the store. Depending on the item of clothing, your clothes will be placed on hangers. If you use a full-service cleaner they will have your other garments neatly folded and packaged.
Things In Addition to Cleaning Services Offered By Some Companies
The process outlined above is the basic service most dry cleaners provide. However, there are cleaning service companies that also offer an extensive range of services. These can include:
- Repair and maintenance
- Same day service
- 24/7 service
- Odor Removal
- Pick up and delivery
- Linen services
These services take the hassle out of doing laundry by eliminating your need to do it. Because not all dry cleaners offer these services, if you require them, you'll need to find a cleaner in your area that provides them.
Choosing a Dry Cleaning Service
Having access to these extra services may be one of the main criteria you're looking for in a cleaning service. However, you may be asking - 'How do I find a pickup and delivery laundry service near me?' It's an important question because not all companies provide them.
Here are a few ways to find one:
Ask Your Family and Friends
Recommendations are always a good way to find a reputable company. Especially if your family or friends use the service regularly. Make sure they're happy with their experience.
However, you'll still need to find out if they provide the services you require. Call the company or check online to see if they have a website that lists their services. While there, look at review sites to see how the company ranks.
You can also look for the company on Better Business Bureau (BBB) or see if they're listed with your local chamber. These sites will also provide reviews on the company.
See If They Meet Your Criteria
Once you've narrowed down your list of dry cleaning companies, ensure they meet your list of criteria. Besides providing the services you need, find out about their pricing. They should also be able to tell you their turnaround time.
If you know there are times you may need emergency services, find out if they offer same-day service or if their customer service is accessible 24/7.
Find Out Their Replacement Policy
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. You would love to choose a company that keeps your clothing in good condition, but sometimes mistakes do occur. In the event they do, you must know the company's replacement policy before you start using them.
Will they provide you with a refund or a credit? Once you're comfortable with their policy and start using their services, always get a receipt. This provides a record of what you dropped off. You can compare the items listed on your receipt to the clothing you receive to ensure no items are missing from your order.
Try the Service
If your shortlist includes two or three companies and you still can't decide which is best for you, try them out. You can try each with one or two items of clothing, preferably not your favorite ones.
This will allow you to see how professional they are. If they pick up and deliver when they say they will and if they meet the turnaround time promised. Once you've tried each service you should be able to make a more informed decision.
The Benefits of Drying Cleaning That Outweigh Using Your Washer and Dryer
Dry cleaning is a process and so is doing your own laundry. The main difference is in the effort you need to put into each. When you use a dry cleaning company that offers pick up and delivery, you only need to schedule a pick-up, gather your dirty laundry, and have it ready in time for the pick-up service.
However, when you do your own laundry you will need to:
- Sort your lights and darks
- Put aside clothing items that require hand washing or a delicate cycle
- Ensure you use the right detergent for regular loads and another for delicates
- Remove clothing from the washer promptly to avoid the build-up of odor
- Transfer clothing to the dryer and choose the appropriate cycle
- Remove clothing from the dryer
- Fold clothing
You'll need to repeat this for each load. The number of loads will vary depending on the amount of dirty laundry you have. You'll also need to handwash delicate clothing.
Some garments may also need to be pre-treated or soaked to remove odors or stains. On the other hand, dry cleaning not only requires minimal effort on your part, but they're also many benefits when you dry clean your clothing.
- Lessens the risk of discoloration
- Provides a thorough, deep clean
- It effectively removes old stains and grease
- The process is quick
- Regularly dry cleaned items preserve their texture and color
- Clothes don't shrink
- There's no wrinkling
- Clothing doesn't fade, bleed or become distorted
- Curtains and carpets retain their thickness and sturdiness
The process used in dry cleaning ensures that delicate materials such as silk and wool get the appropriate care needed. You'll also no longer have to throw out clothing due to stubborn stains and odors as dry cleaning can eliminate these as well.
Removing the Intimidation of Dirty Laundry
There may be very few people that would describe cleaning their dirty laundry as a fun activity. Most tolerate it as a necessary evil they have to get done every week. Having a washer and dryer makes the process easier. But using them still requires time and effort if you want to keep your clothes in good condition.
Dry cleaning has been around since the 1600s and is a proven way to get your clothes clean and help them last longer. Over time, dry cleaning companies have extended their cleaning services to provide you with even more. Pick up, delivery, and folding takes the hard work out of doing laundry.
Hamperapp can provide you with these services. We connect you with a dry cleaning service in your area so you can easily schedule a pickup. Let us wash, dry, fold, and deliver your clothes to your door. Download our app to get started.