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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Big Surprises About Dry Cleaning

When I first moved to Greensboro in 1993, I lived out by the airport so my first cleaning experience was at the A Cleaner World off Inman Road. I handed the CSR a pile of clothes, and she asked me, "Is it all dry cleaning? Do you have laundered shirts?" I had no idea what she was talking about.

Fast forward three years, and I was being hired by A Cleaner World to be their Controller/Office Manager. But before starting my position, Chris (Edwards, President) had me spend one month working in two different A Cleaner World locations. He believed it was important for me to really learn the business. He was right.

I learned so many fascinating things about dry cleaning, and here are my three favorite:

1. Dry cleaning isn't dry. A liquid solution called perchloroethylene or perc is used, and it is from the same family of cleaning agents used in household cleaners and swimming pools. A Cleaner World goes to great lengths to make sure it is handled properly. I could give you a long list of company guidelines but believe me when I tell you that I learned really quickly that A Cleaner World takes its environmental responsibility seriously.

2. Laundered dress shirts are pressed wet, and they dry during the pressing process. That's one of the reasons why they look so crisp and like new when you get them back from A Cleaner World as opposed to when you do them at home.

3. There's a machine that folds shirts. Well it's actually this apparatus that helps manually fold dress shirts so they look like you've just purchased them at the store. The shirts are wrapped around cardboard and placed in a plastic bag then stacked in a nice paper tote with a handle. I found myself loving it when a customer wanted their shirts folded.

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