Spring has finally arrived! Many of us were fortunate to experience a kinder and gentler winter in 2016. Still, spring turns our thoughts to warmer weather, relaxing vacations and special events ahead. As you start to swap out your wardrobe and plan for the months ahead, Swiss Cleaners has an array of services and tips for you that can help!
Swapping Out Clothing and Bedding
Getting ready to take out those warmer weather items? Before you put winter away it is important to give it one last cleaning. Why? Even items that appear free of dirt and stains are likely to contain body oils that can cause spots and even odors to evolve when left to set over time. These body oils, along with subtle food stains our eyes may have missed, also act as an attractant for insects, such as moths. Cleaning your clothing, bedding, tablecloths and other fabrics before storing them provides for their continued use and longer life!
Did you know that Swiss Cleaners will store your winter items for you for FREE, with paid cleaning? You give us your cold-weather items. We clean them and store them. Your order is ready for you in the fall. When you get your orders back you just pay for the cleaning – no storage fees!
Spring and Summer = Proms and Weddings
Warmer weather also brings more events. The most common and popular among them are proms and weddings. When choosing dresses, gowns and other outfits for these events, it is important to consider how to care for the garment after it has been worn. Instructions are provided by manufactures to let you know how to best clean and care for a garment. These care labels are usually found along an inside seam of the garment, along the neckline or inside a pocket. Here are some things to consider when reading care instructions:
Embellishment: If the outfit you are choosing has a form of embellishment, dry cleaning may prove to be hazardous to the survival of that embellishment. Beads, sequins, flocking, real or simulated leather and other trims often use dyes, plastics and glues that are not well-suited for dry cleaning. Garments are often produced and sold to a variety of stores. These stores often have embellishment added to create a style that is unique to that store. These additions are not reflected in the care label, which can sometimes result in dye-bleeding, cracking, separation and other damage to the trim and to the whole garment. What to do? If choosing a garment with special trim, try to find care labels that allow for washing. Although we are unable to guarantee results, we have found that trim often holds up best with professional washing.
Spot Clean Only: Garments that call for spot clean only cannot be dry cleaned or professionally washed. The process required here is to treat only the stain or spot that is dirty, leaving the rest of the garment untouched. The problem is that the treatments used to remove stains often leave their own rings and spots behind, which then cannot be removed without cleaning the garment. As professional dry cleaning and washing requires the entire garment to be cleaned, Swiss Cleaners is unable to only spot clean. We recommend avoiding garments with this care instruction if possible.
Did you know that Swiss Cleaners provides press and steam-only services for garments? Did you just buy a new suit, dress, gown or other outfit for an event, but it’s wrinkled or needs some freshening up? We want you to look your best and are happy to simply steam or press your garment at a reduced price!
Food Spills and Other Stains. What To Do?
Food, drink, makeup, deodorant…it seems like no matter how careful we are, stains are inevitable. The question is what to do when they appear.
After the spill it is important to act quickly, but deliberately in treating the stain. First, gently remove any excess sitting on top of the fabric (such as with a food spill). Second, use a white cloth to soak up any remaining liquid, working from the outside in so the stain doesn’t spread. Next, treat the area with a damp, white cloth lightly soaked in cool water, again working from the outside in. This will often help to lighten the area and in some cases may help remove the stain altogether. Finally, clean the item at home or bring it in to Swiss as soon as you can. AVOID pressing hard or rubbing a stain, using hot water, using excessive moisture or using chemicals or alcohols. These may actually expand the stain and can permanently damage the dyes in the fabric, though you may not notice the damage until after the garment is cleaned completely.
Makeup, deodorant, cologne, perfume and body oil: These stains are the most common, and yet are not as easily seen or treated. Without proper cleaning, spots can form and over time the acids from these stains can damage both the dyes and the fibers in the affected areas of the garment. It is important to always avoid spraying colognes and perfumes directly onto clothing. The best solution to minimize any negative impacts of makeup, deodorant, perfumes and body oils is have garments cleaned as soon after wear as is feasible.
Stain removal is never a guarantee, and whether having your garments professionally cleaned or cleaning them at home, it can be surprising when stains do not come out, appear worse or even appear out of nowhere. Avoiding permanent stain hazards, properly treating stains and having your garments, bedding and tablecloths cleaned timely can go a long way in preventing these unfortunate disappointments.
Did you know that Swiss Cleaners cleans wedding gowns? Swiss can clean your wedding gown and present it back to you beautifully formed on a hanger or sealed in a viewing box with acid-free paper to ensure its longevity. Stop by any of our 8 retail locations for more information on our cleaning services and a price quote.
Prom season is fast approaching, and whether it is the prom, another special event or an everyday need, Swiss Cleaners has a full-service alterations department able to assist you with most of your clothing alteration needs. Many simple items such as fixing a fallen hem, replacing a zipper or re-stitching an eye and hook can be dropped off at any of our locations. We are also able to provide fittings by appointment at our 35 Windsor Avenue location in Rockville. Here are some important things to remember when scheduling a fitting:
- It is best to allow for at least 2 weeks between the fitting the time you will need the garment.
- Please bring the shoes and undergarments you will wear with the outfit to the fitting.
- A second fitting may be suggested to allow for any final adjustments of the garment.
Call our Alterations Department for an appointment today! 860-872-0166
Did you know Swiss cleaners offers military alterations? Rank, insignia, patches, Velcro removal, and uniform fittings – we offer a full array of military alterations services at a 10% discount! Stop by or call us for more information.
Swiss Cleaners has been around for 4 generations, more than a century. It began as a mom and pop shop in 1913, and I think that's a very impressive feat. The success of this company can be largely attributed to their attention to detail and focus on customer service. There is a lot of understanding, communication, and appreciation that comes from working within a small team of people. Having never worked for a family-owned business before, I was pleasantly surprised by the closeness of the staff here at Swiss. I was welcomed immediately. I can also see that same sincerity they've built with their customers. I'd say that 3 out of 4 customers who walk in the door are greeted by our front counter clerk by first name.
In just a few months I was able to know which customers liked to get their sleeves creased, or which customers liked their pants pressed a special way. It's been nice to build that kind of rapport. Our customers take care of us, so we take care of them.
Finders Keepers? Not at Swiss.
When clothes are processed we inspect them for tears, worn-out areas, stains, etc. These inspections are carefully noted prior to any cleaning. If garments have a little problem, e.g. a shirt with a torn pocket or a pair of pants with holes in the pockets we will repair them – and usually at no additional charge or maybe just a small fee. Nobody likes a torn pocket and we know that.
Speaking of which, we check pockets to make sure nothing was left in them. A very critical step. Just one pen left in a pocket can do a whole lot of damage in a wash load. We regularly find jewelry, paper work, checks, loose change, even paper money. We have a system in place to get these valuables back to you. We don't keep anything we find. On average, we probably return cash and/or credit cards to about 5 or 6 customers every week. A few months ago we found $250. It was returned.
Swiss Cleaners has always had a large focus on customer service. Right from the beginning of your experience we try to make everything as convenient and pleasant as possible. One way that we’ve found really makes our customers’ lives easier is our Home and Office Delivery service.
Twice a week we come out to your home or office, pick up your dry cleaning, clean it, and return it to you a few days later. The best part?
It’s completely free!
Our Home Delivery features a fleet of four drivers, three mark-in processors, and one supervisor. We currently service customers in over 25 towns throughout Central and Northern Connecticut. Home and Office Delivery offers all of the same services as our stores; you can send in alterations, special requests such as stain removal, button replacements, pressing requests, and all coupons are still applicable.
If you’re worried about how your special requests will be handled since you won’t have that face to face interaction you would receive in the store – don’t be. There are many options on how you can relay your requests to our processors. Leaving a note in the bag pouch attached to your garment bag, calling your route driver, calling the Swiss plant, or sending an email through our website. You can even use or free mobile app to place these requests and use our coupons. Whichever way you choose our team will ensure your requests were followed. Our “checklist” keeps tracks of all customer requests and checks them before the garment goes out for delivery. It’s our simple way of ensuring, and maintaining, this level of quality to all our customers.
If you would like more information on Swiss Cleaners Home and Office Delivery you can sign up right here on our website or give us a call at 860-872-0166.
Attention NEW Home & Office Delivery Customers
Receive 25% OFF everything for the first 90 days when you mention this Blog post at the time of sign-up!
Stains are a fairly tricky business in the dry cleaning world. No two stains are alike. The success of stain removal hinges on a few things; the type of fabric, the type of stain, how long has the stain been there, and perhaps most importantly is making us aware of the stain. We aren’t claiming we can get them all. Some fabrics are too delicate which limits the effectiveness of the removal, and some clothing dyes are soluble, which means they’ll come out along with the stain. Ink stains can be impossible to get out. But we'll certainly try our best.
Help us help you with stain removal.
- Bring us the stained garment as quickly as possible.
- Tell us what the stain is, or what you think it could be.
- Show us the location of the stain.
- Let us know about any removal techniques you’ve tried.
Time is of the essence when it comes to stain removal. The less time the stain has to set-in then the better the chance at removing the stain. Some stains can breakdown materials which can cause thinning and holes in the fabric. Stains react differently on different fabrics. The way we would treat a coffee stain on cotton varies greatly to the way we would treat a coffee stain on silk. What starts out as a simple coffee stain on your pants can quickly turn into you buying a new pair of pants.
The disappearing stain.
If you spill a little white wine on your blouse you may notice that once the stain has dried it has pretty much disappeared. Fantastic! Right? Unfortunately it’s a trick. The stain is still there. Some stains dry clear, but when exposed to heat or cleaning chemicals they reappear. At which point it becomes almost impossible to remove. We carefully examine every garment brought in for cleaning. But we can’t see what isn’t there. Therefore showing us the location of these “not there stains” can save us all a lot of headaches.
Do it yourself?
We appreciate your attempt to get the stain out before you bring it in, but sometimes you can do more harm than good. We’ve all seen the ads on TV where someone squirts ketchup on their shirt, quickly grabs some seltzer, and starts to vigorously rub the stain. DO NOT rub a stain into the fabric! Rubbing a stain can break the fabric’s fibers leaving it vulnerable to holes and irreparable damage. Lightly blot a stain to remove any excess substances, but NEVER rub a stain.
Again, please let us know if you have tried any stain removal techniques at home. Maybe you pre-treated it with detergent or a stain stick? Whatever you used to pretreat that stain may react negatively with our own cleaning chemicals.There is no such things are over-sharing when it comes to stains on your clothes. Be as thorough as you can. We promise to do the best that we can to remove your stain. The best thing to do is bring it right away and let us work our Swiss magic.
It seems these days that everyone is moving at warp speed. It only seems natural that we are attracted to things that save us time and make our lives easier. We go through drive-thrus to save the time of getting in and out of the car. We choose texting over calling because it’s quicker than having an actual conversation with someone. We can even do all of our grocery shopping online, and even have it delivered right to our front door. All of those things make our lives so much easier; but easier isn’t always better. The latest time saving trend in the clothing world is No-Iron Shirts. Sounds great. I mean who likes to iron? It can’t get any better than just washing, drying, and wearing your shirt instantly. Can it?
No-Iron shirts have a shorter lifespan than normal business shirts; about 20-25% shorter. The reason behind the reduced lifespan is the formaldehyde resin finish. The formaldehyde stiffens the yarns in the shirt which helps the fabric not to wrinkle. However, as the shirt is worn and washed the yarns eventually bend and flex, causing them to weaken. The shirt will weaken to the point where it can no longer hold up during the cleaning process. The main cause of material break down is that the resin finish has been known to trap residual chlorinated bleaching agents and acids that are used on the fabric during the dying process. The hot water used during a wash and the heat used in ironing – even a No-Iron short will still need touch ups – accelerates the effects of the trapped residual chemicals. Random holes or rips can appear after only a few cleanings, leaving the consumers scratching their heads as to what happened to their new, favorite shirt.
You know that annoying little tag sewn into the side seam of your garment? The one you want to cut off to make your clothes more comfortable? Well, that tag tells the dry cleaner how the manufacturers suggest your garment be properly cleaned and treated. At first glance, it might seem to contain only gibberish and weird symbols that cannot possibly mean anything. But let's see if we can help make sense of the nonsense. The care label will tell us what cleaning method can be used to clean your garment. There are a couple different methods used to clean clothes at a cleaners:
Regular Dry Clean uses normal dry cleaning solutions found in the majority of dry cleaning machines. The process may also include adding moisture to the solution, using a high heat cycle (up to 160°F) to dry, and pressing either by steam or steam-air.
Professional Dry Clean uses a much stricter process than regular dry cleaning. Methods that can only be achieved in commercial dry cleaning plants. A professional dry clean care label will have more specific instructions, such as low heat, no steam finish, or to use reduced moisture.
Machine Wash tells us that the garment can be cleaned using a commercial or home washing machine; usually accompanied by specific washing temperatures (see chart below), size of the wash load, or drying procedures.
Type of Wash
Up to 86°F
Between 87° to 111°F
Between 112° to 145°F
As helpful as these tags can be, the Federal Care Labeling Rule DOES NOT require a manufacturer to test these instructions before putting a tag on the clothes. In fact, the manufacturers are not even required to give the best care procedure – they are only required to offer a procedure that will work.
Should there ever be any concerns, we will always contact the customer prior to cleaning the garment. At Swiss Cleaners, we know fabrics, and we know how to best care for them. We’re confident in our knowledge, our team, our procedure, and in our ability to clean your clothes.
Celebrating 100 years of Swiss: 1913-2013
When Henry Kloter opened a laundromat from his basement in Rockville, Connecticut, in 1913, he probably never dreamed his great-grandchildren would still be overseeing the expanded family dry cleaning and uniform services business 100 years – and eight locations – later.
Not every business is fortunate to last four generations and still be going strong. We believe the secret to our success is to change with the times – while keeping our style of customer service just as old-fashioned as it was in 1913. To make each Swiss customer feel like our only customer.
To celebrate our centennial, we thought it only fitting to spend all year honoring our community of loyal supporters.
In addition to offering our regular, weekly money-saving coupons through our convenient smartphone app (and recently refreshed website), we gave Swiss customers a summer of deep discounts – typically 50% or more! – on our most popular services. We helped raise funds for the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce with donations to their silent auction event. And we expanded our fleet of Swiss Cleaners vehicles to ensure we’re at your door for pick-ups and deliveries precisely on schedule.
The most excitement came when we aired our first-ever TV commercials (hopefully you saw one, two or all three of them! Check them all out and subscribe to our YouTube channel), and then we ended the year with our “Check Your Pockets” event! At the start of the holiday season, we secretly hid ten $100 Swiss gift certificates in the pockets of ten randomly selected customer garments across all eight of our locations – guaranteeing at least one lucky winner in each of our service areas! Whether they were discovered dropped into a dress or tucked into a tux, the scavenger hunt was a thrill for customers and staff alike!
So what’s next for Swiss? We'll continue to explore greener, more environmentally friendly cleaning practices. Smarter and smarter smartphone app conveniences. And keeping you happy.
We know you have other options for your dry cleaning and uniform services. That’s why we’re especially thankful you have chosen Swiss to serve you.
We wouldn’t be 100 years old without you! Here’s to celebrating the Swiss bicentennial with you in 2113!