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

Water Temperature


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.