Posts tagged dry cleaner
Time to replace the hot cocoa with lemonade…ski season is coming to a close. Hopefully, you’ve mastered a new trick or two on the slopes, though it’s likely your snow apparel underwent a little wear-and-tear in the process. Before storing ski clothing, there’s a few things you can do to ensure its in tip-top shape for when the resorts reopen.
- Give all items a good cleaning to remove any excess water and prevent mold and mildew from harboring over the summer. This includes, hats, headbands, gloves, scarves and socks (no, your boots are NOT the best place to be storing your socks).
- For the extreme winter sport adventurers (or just the accident-prone), now is the time to mend any rips and tears in jackets and pants to help prevent any further damage, as well as remove stains so they don’t permanently set or attract critters while in storage.
- Once clean, do not store items in plastic bags or containers. This will only lock in moisture and humidity, counteracting the benefits of cleaning beforehand. Storing without any protectant or well-sealed coverings, on the other hand, can make clothing susceptible to insects and other pests. Specialty storage boxes or natural cotton garment bags, such as those found at the Container Store, are good options. Clean, ventilated suitcases are another alternative.
- Ideally, avoid placing in environments prone to high temperatures. Cool, dark, dry places help prevent any fading and mildew growth.
As for tips on extending the life of ski gear, check out this article from SkiMag.com: http://www.skinet.com/ski/article/how-store-your-ski-gear-summer
Proper storage takes a little extra effort, but come next winter, you’ll be ready to hit the slopes! Let Sudsies make it a littler easier for you…we’re known for our specialty garment services and can have your items clean and ready for their summer hibernation. For even more added convenience, make use of our new Sudsies Express Services, where you can ship your clothes to us right from your ski town and we’ll prepare and have them delivered back to your South Florida home, or wherever your Summer travels take you within the USA.
The people have spoken! Sudsies Dry Cleaners & Laundry is officially South Florida’s most beloved dry cleaner as the category winner in the 2013 WPLG Local 10 Top 10. The television station granted the company the top ranking following a dynamic voting campaign conducted through the station’s website and social media outlets. Sudsies offers a full range of clothing and specialty item services across Miami-Dade and Broward counties, including complimentary pick-up and delivery to its clientele’s location of choice.
“This is such a great honor,” says Founder and President Jason Loeb of the results. “We’ve developed a great team that is truly dedicated to quality of work and above-and-beyond service. It’s wonderful to see that our customers are responding enthusiastically to our efforts.”
Founded in 1996, Sudsies has been a pioneer in the industry, becoming South Florida’s first fully-mobile dry cleaner. The company has expanded its services over the years to meet every customer need including environmentally-friendly dry cleaning, laundry, alterations, restoration and preservation, as well as care of couture garments, wedding gowns and other specialty items. Most recently, Sudsies opened a second processing facility in North Miami and enhanced its customer convenience even further by offering Sudsies Express Mail services across the United States.
High-tech facilities, in-depth skills and expertise, and customer convenience are part of the Sudsies S.M.I.L.E. mantra to provide friendly, impacting experiences for its clients. Both locations incorporate EPA-sanctioned green cleaning initiatives including wet cleaning processes, gentle detergents, water-conserving machinery and recyclable hangers and packaging.
More information about Sudsies and its many offerings can be found at www.sudsies.com or by phoning 1.888.898.SUDS (7837).
I recently read an article that detailed the world’s most expensive clothing hanger. For $460, you get a birch-wood plywood mold with your selection from an array of designs across the lower rod area. You’d have to be a pretty serious, and wealthy, fashionista to invest in that.
While not as extravagant, we at Sudsies think our hangers are pretty nifty too. Forget wimpy wires, your clothes will hang happily upon return from our facility. The blue coating is safe on fabric, while the speciality design ensures no wearing or warping around the shoulder area. For slippery garments, our plastic hangers have built-in fasteners, while our wide shoulder design option supports heavier pieces to prevent any sagging.
Even Mother Nature loves our packaging, which is made completely from recyclable material. Furthermore, we provide recycling assistance for the hangers (if you’re willing to part with them) – simply return the items to our facility, or place with your next Sudsies order for complimentary pick-up.
While your clothing may not command a $460 hanger, they do deserve to be perched on quality hangers that preserve their look and overall life. For more information about our many laundry and dry cleaning services, visit us at www.sudsies.com.
Clean Tip from Sudsies: Once your dry cleaning order is returned safe and sound, remove the plastic covering before placing back in closet to prevent any humidity moisture from building up and getting locked inside, which can cause damage to your favorite items over time. Good news, Sudsies protective coverings are made of recyclable materials too!
Green this. Green that. Green me with an eco-friendly whiffle ball bat.
That’s right. Everyone – and everything – is going green. In fact, chances are YOU have already “gone green” (go ahead, look in the mirror…if you dare). Or if you haven’t, your neighbor has (and is probably chastising you for lagging behind the times). But what does it all mean, really? Would you necessarily even know it if you’ve already gone green? And once you go green, can you ever go back?
Simply put, it means living a more environmentally friendly and conscious lifestyle. By choosing to do things – both big and little – a little bit differently than the ways most of us have done them in the past. You know, like recycling bottles and cans. Printing out fewer emails. Purchasing more fuel-efficient automobiles. Biking and walking to local spots. These are all ways we can work to reduce our individual “carbon footprint” on the planet. At a time when it needs all the help it can get.
Individuals like you aren’t the only ones taking further steps toward establishing and maintaining a more eco-friendly world, however. Businesses are also getting in on the action, perhaps motivated by consumers and their increasingly healthy and conscious choices. Companies both large and small alike are researching and implementing more environmentally sound practices, and often listening closely to consumer feedback and suggestions in doing so.
Examples range from Enterprise Rent-A-Car offering “carbon offsets” (allowing consumers to fund green energy projects to compensate for polluting behavior) to New Belgium Brewery manufacturing and bottling craft beer entirely via alternative energy sources to Clif Bar eliminating shrink-wrap packaging and shipping its organic energy bars via biodiesel-powered trucks. And more and more, such examples are becoming the norm.
You can get more insight into the “greening of mainstream business,” including news, podcasts, videos and job listings, by visiting
The professional dry cleaning industry has also seen a surge in eco-friendly practices and businesses. More progressive dry cleaners, such as Sudsies, employ an “environmental wet cleaning” process that utilizes specially treated and conditioned water, in addition to more traditional solvents. Other environmentally friendly dry cleaner practices include instituting systemic recycling programs, conserving more energy and water, investing in technology or services that exceed regulatory requirements and educating and training staff in environmental regulations and issues.
There’s even a Green Cleaners Council working to promote and reward genuine environmental sustainability efforts and expose “greenwashing.” The council has established a set of benchmarks to rate dry cleaners on their eco-friendly practices, and also provides them with a forum to share their successes and discuss strategies for future growth. The scores achieved on the “blind review” also help customers determine how green their cleaner really is.
Bring Lunch: It reduces waste from takeout lunches like styrofoam, plastic, and paper; while saving you five to ten dollars a day!
- Eat Vegetarian (at least occasionally): It is believed that raising animals for food is contributing to global warming. Vegetarian alternatives like pasta and beans are much less expensive than meat!
Shop Online: It is a more eco friendly way of getting what we need; saving gas and many grocery bags. There are also great online deals and coupons that can save you 10-15% or more!
Buy Bulk: It reduces the amount of wasteful packaging and trips that you will have to take to the store, it saves money in the long run.
Buy Used: If you do so, it cuts down on the emissions from manufacturing and transport of new goods. Buying used things are always cheaper than brand new; just make sure to look for gently used while shopping online!
Just a word of caution about buying used: BUGS - MOTHS – SILVER FISH – BED BUGS. A friend of mine made a ‘like new’ purchase on ebay of a white wool skirt. The only problem was the skirt came complete with moth larvae, which infested her whole closet. Sure, you can purchase used, but ALWAYS send it out for professional cleaning BEFORE you add it to your wardrobe or household decorations.
On line billing and bill payment: Cable companies are doing it. Utilities are doing it, and if your cleaner is a member of the Green Cleaner Council they may be doing it too! Sign up for on line billing and payments whenever possible. It saves paper, transportation costs and time!
Pick up and delivery services from your drycleaner: Make use of your cleaner’s pick up and delivery services. There is an economy of scale attached to one cleaner travelling to many homes, as opposed to each customer making a trip to the cleaner. Saves you time too!
Visit www.greencouncilcleaners.com to find a GREEN cleaners near you!
So you’ve picked up your favorite garments from your favorite dry cleaner. They’re wrapped snugly and safely in their fresh new plastic bags. You hang them carefully in your car, close the door gently and head back to be reunited with them at home.
But what comes next for them – especially if you won’t be donning them for awhile? How best to show them the love and protection they so clearly deserve (and quietly desire)?
For starters, don’t let them linger in those plastic bags for too long. In fact, it’s best to free them as soon as you get home. Why? Because if left in these bags for any length of time, the plastic will actually cause humidity to condense inside, weakening the fibers. So bag the bags as soon as you can. But don’t just throw them away – recycle if at all possible.
Once you’ve removed your garments from their temporary plastic shells, you’ll want to hang them up if at all possible. Use plastic, wood or padded hangers, never metal. Place acid-free tissue paper over the top to prevent dust from settling on the shoulder area. Or use a traditional dust cover.
If you’re storing coats or jackets, you might also consider stuffing the arms with acid-free tissue paper or washed, unbleached muslin (a type of loosely-woven Middle Eastern cotton fabric). If you have an extra special suit or dress to store, you can keep it even safer by draping a 100% cotton sheet over it. You can also use a muslin bag here.
If you must put them in a dresser or on shelves, place acid-free tissue between each garment. Washed, unbleached muslin is another option here.
When it comes to proper care and storage of your garments – and selection of an ideal storage space – it’s best to keep four words in mind:
Dark. Dry. Cool. Clean.
Storing your garments in a dark place will prevent any fading or discoloration. Housing them in a dry area guards against mold, mildew and insects. Keeping them cool takes the heat – which can break down some fibers – off them. The clean part you won’t really have to worry about. After all, that’s why you took them to the dry cleaners in the first place, right? Just make sure that the location you store them in is as clean as your garments themselves, or at least close.
When it comes to selecting a storage space for your garments, it’s best to keep them away from attics or basements. While these secret hideaways often fit the “dark” criteria, they are often home to excessive heat and moisture (the enemies of “cool” and “dry”). And we all know that “clean” doesn’t exactly accompany them very often. In addition, these places are often strongholds for moths (and sometimes even more nefarious creatures). Instead, consider a dark closet in an area of your home that tends to stay cool – without getting too damp. Ideally, you don’t want your storage space to ever exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Having your garments cleaned prior to storage is also the most effective way to prevent moth damage – especially when it comes to clothing made of natural fibers like wool, silk and cotton. Moths feed on particles and invisible stains left by food, beverages, perfumes, sweat and body oils. And they’re also drawn to the proteins in natural fibers.
If you want to go the extra mile to guard against moths, you can use cedar in your storage area. Unlike mothballs, cedar is non-toxic to people and pets, and the cedar oil vapor kills young moth larvae. Just be sure to replace the cedar wood every few years, as the oil loses potency over time.
So there you have it. Take a little time to show a little extra care for your favorite garments, and the next time you break them out of storage, they’ll return the favor by making you look – and feel – extra special too.
“Out, damn spot!; out I say!” – Lady Macbeth
When your most beloved garment suffers at the cruel hands of a nasty, dirty, evil stain, it’s easy to view the event as a tragedy of Shakespearan proportions. Especially if you’re out at a late dinner or party, and there’s just no possibility of rushing to a dry cleaner to save the day (or in this case, the night).
Of course, there’s no shortage of home stain removal remedies out there, especially thanks to the magic of the Internet. From blotting out grease stains with rubbing alcohol to soaking a coffee stain in borax to rubbing toothpaste onto stray lipstick, you’ll find a variety of home-based healing methods to send that stain back to the hell from whence it came.
But when push comes to scrub, do you really want to take that chance? Sure, you might eliminate the stain, but there’s a very real chance you’ll take out some of the soul of your garment in the process. Or at least wash out a bit of its brilliance.
And nobody wants to see that happen. Well, maybe the villainous stain does…
Yes, there’s really only one way to ensure that your stains are eliminated while your garment remains illuminated – trust your wounded garment to the healing hands of a professional. Even if you have to wait until the next morning to do so.
THE MANY FACES OF EVIL
Much like fictitious villains, stains come in all sorts of ugly shapes, sizes, colors and smells. But these evildoers are all too real, as most of us can easily attest to.
Here’s a look at some of the most common culprits we here at Sudsies are asked to exterminate with extreme prejudice.
Ink: It’s been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. And sometimes, it whoops up on the shirt too. Or the pants. Or, in really odd cases, the socks. No matter where your ink leaks, it’s best to let a pro clean up this oil spill.
Grease: Some guys prefer grease stains on their clothes. But most of the time, it’s not a word we want to hear. So let a dry cleaner mop up your mess, unless you’ve got a Fonz Fetish. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
Grass: The spontaneous football game was a blast. But your favorite shirt got blasted. Unless you plan on enshrining it in your personal hall of fame, you’ll want to let the pros tackle this tough stain.
Ketchup: Great on fries. Not so great on frocks. As you can imagine, we tend to see a good bit of this one. And whether you say tomato or to-mat-o, it’s best to call on a pro to squash this stain.
Coffee/Tea: Coffee is for closers, not clothes. And this one can really leave a mark. Bring your dirty duds down to a professional dry cleaner, and they’ll brew up a solution.
Lipstick: Passion got the best of you. And your favorite dress shirt too. So show the proper love and bring it to a professional, would ya?
Chocolate: Chocolate makes everything better. Except clothes. If you’re combining this stain with a lipstick one, maybe we should start calling you Customer Cupid.
Deodorant: Get a whiff of this: yellow underarm shirt stains are usually caused by a combination of deodorant (aluminum salts) and perspiration. Don’t sweat it, though. Let a dry cleaner make you so fresh and clean again.
These are but many of the faces of evil that can cast a shadow across your favorite clothes if you let them. Remember, when it comes to fighting stains, time is always of the essence. The quicker you can get them into a dry cleaner for some tender loving care, the better.
And the less likely a tragedy is to occur.
Aventura, Florida – November 18, 2009
It’s shopping as a full-contact sport and the women who took part in the first ever RUNNING OF THE BRIDES event in South Florida wouldn’t have it any other way.
There were over 1300 brides, and Sudsies was there to help provide information on cleaning, finishing and preserving wedding dresses. We also had our tailors and seamstresses’ on site to help with fittings and all types of adjustments for the special day.
The legendary bargain stampede took place on January 15, 2010 at the new FILENE’S BASEMENT in Aventura. If you’ve ever seen this event in the news, you’ll know that many brides-to-be and their helpers literally pounce on dresses priced from $249-$699 that might otherwise cost as much as $9,000.
“We promise our vendors that we won’t reveal the labels, but I can say that these are well-known names featured regularly on the pages of popular brides’ magazines,” said Nicole Laricci, FILENE’S BASEMENT’S wedding gown buyer. Which is why, when the doors open, there is a mad dash to the racks – held up by store employees so they don’t topple – and those racks are usually stripped bare in under a minute. Then it’s time for the women to strip – down to leotards, sports bras or even underwear – to try on the gowns right on the sales floor.
If it doesn’t quite fit, a seamstress can do the trick, and the bride can still come out way ahead. But what happens if a petite bride found she pounced on a size 14 dress in pink chiffon instead of a size 4 in white satin? That’s when the real fun begins, as the women start bartering to find the right designer or size. It’s a ritual that turned Filene’s Basement into an old-fashioned bazaar.
FILENE’S BASEMENT is at 176th and Biscayne Boulevard in Aventura. Store hours for the sale are 8:00am to 9:00pm. Checks, credit cards and cash are accepted. Wedding gowns are not returnable. For more information visit www.filenesbasement.com and click on Our World-famous Bridal Event.
FILENE’S BASEMENT, INC.
We all know where to find the local dry cleaner. At least those of us who have to dress up for a living do.
But do we really know just what it is that goes on behind those doors? Do we really want to know? And if we did know…could we even handle The Truth?
If your answer to all of the above questions is “YES!” (or even a dryer “sure, why not?”), then you’ve come to the right place.
THE ANCIENT ART OF DRYCLEANING
The practice of dry cleaning actually dates back to ancient times, likely beginning with the advent of textile clothing itself. The famous first-century ruins of Pompeii provide a record of a sophisticated trade of “fullers”, who used a type of clay called “fuller’s earth” along with lye and ammonia. The Parisian firm of Jolly-Belin, launched much later in the 1840s, is considered the first official dry cleaning business. We’re pretty certain they didn’t have a website, however.
NOT ALL DRY
Contrary to its name, dry cleaning is not a completely dry operation. In fact, certain fluids called “solvents” are always used in the process.
In the early days, camphene, benzene, kerosene and gasoline were all used as solvents. As you can imagine, this made for some “heated situations”, and in the 1930s, a nonflammable, synthetic solvent called percholoroethylene, or “perc” for short, came into play. Perc is still used in many dry cleaning plants, though other solvents have also been developed and implemented.
THE RISE OF THE MACHINES
Today’s dry cleaners are efficient, machine-run operations – although the careful attention to detail at the end is always done the old-fashioned way. While there are a wide variety of dry cleaning machines out there, they all work on the same principle, and consist of four basic parts – a holding tank, a pump, a filter and a cylinder.
The cylinder, or wheel, holds the garments. The holding tank holds the solvent, and the pump circulates the solvent through the machine during the cleaning and disinfecting process. The filter is used to trap solid impurities. After the cleaning cycle, the solvent is drained and an “extract” cycle is run to remove the excess solvent from the clothes. Once the clothes have finished extracting, the cylinder stops.
The drying process is a personalized affair, and uses warm air circulated through the cylinder to vaporize the solvent left on the clothes. Stain removal, finishing and packaging are all done by hand, although specialized finishing tools and machinery may also be utilized.
There’s a little more to the process, but you get the drift. After all, we don’t want to be too “dry” here.
Of course, more and more dry cleaners like Sudsies are environmentally conscious and employ increasingly eco-friendly dry cleaning processes. So let it never be said that this is a dirty business – at least as far as we’re concerned.
What does a local brick-and-mortar business really need to know and do to get going online? You probably think, as I did, that the first step is to develop a website.
This obvious answer came quickly: People search for information on the Internet; a website insures your presence. But a second thought tickled my mind: Is the obvious really the best answer?
So I did my homework: The decision — website or not — depends on your market, location and competition. Actually, a brick-and-mortar business may have a better chance of being found through search listings than via a new website. So, building a website may not necessarily be your first priority.
This question came from the owner of a well-established dry cleaning store. I learned that referrals provide new customers. Successfully taking on difficult cleaning tasks has built their reputation. They also do expert alterations.
When I entered “dry cleaners” and the ZIP code in Google, their store showed up within a local cluster of nine other dry cleaners — all within easy driving distance for prospective customers. Local search tools provide presence for all nine. But, looking closely, only one competitor takes full advantage of the search engine’s marketing resources.
An effective local listing requires much more than entering a business’ name, address and telephone number. An effective listing requires an ongoing investment of time, patience and creativity — but almost everything is free.
Start by checking your business presence with the local listing power players: Google Maps, Yahoo! Local Listings and Yellow Pages. Other local directories help you create a business profile on their pages: SuperPages, SwitchBoard and CitySearch.
Think of each of these local profile pages as a mini business website. If you create a profile on just five different platforms, you’ll have five mini websites in places where prospects are likely to be looking for a business like yours.
Local listing sites may already show basic business information: name, address and telephone. They’ve gathered this information from other sources. When this takes place, claim the profile; then update and start enhancing with information for both users and search engines.
Without a doubt, Google Maps is the most powerful for localized online marketing. They provide applications for the iPhone and other mobile devices, as well as an automatic top spot on Google searches that specify location.
Make it a point to visit Google’s Local Business Center (google.com/lbc). Their video demo provides clear and concise guidance on how best to enhance your listings. Easy-to-understand analytics help grow your business. Attract new customers by adding Google Coupons to your listing. This feature is free!
SuperPages Business Solutions provide a variety of enhancement options including do-it-yourself video ad production. Consider pay-per-click ads to maximize marketing dollars; only pay for quality leads that actually click to learn more about your business (advertising.superpages.com/spportal).
The most important listing enhancement is customer reviews and ratings. So encourage your customers: Ask for reviews and ratings, then remind them to do so with a note on each delivery. But avoid the temptation to write the reviews yourself; they never ring true.
Will you ever need a website? Look to your competition: Sudsies.com, dry cleaners and laundry. They guarantee free, on-time pickup and delivery in both Dade and Broward counties. I’d say they’ve got a powerful new idea. One that cherry picks the most profitable zones and customers. I’d ask if their business model is more profitable than opening new store locations.
Courtesy of The Miami Herald, September 28th, 2009, written by Jack Hardy. Here is a link to the article: http://www.miamiherald.com/business/small-business/story/1254865.html