Professional dry cleaners take the utmost pride in their ability to remove stains and know that a strong reputation as a cleaner that can remove those difficult stains can go a long way in growing their business. Professional drycleaners also know that the stain removal department is often the most labor intensive and most profit draining department in the dry cleaning operation. When garment damage occurs from using improper stain removal procedures, this challenging part of the dry cleaning business becomes even tougher, with possible claims and unhappy customers. Luckily, by taking just a few small steps during the stain removal process, garment damage can be greatly minimized if not eliminated all together. Here are a few ideas you can use to help reduce the number of damaged garments and claims you may have from improper stain removal procedures.
- Always test the fabric in an inconspicuous area with the chemicals you plan to use, to ensure safe and effective removal.
- If unsure of the staining substance, start with the dry-side spotting agent first.
- Following the proper procedures, it is very unlikely that properly constructed garments will be damaged. Unfortunately, some garments are not properly constructed. If damage did occur, try to retrace your steps to identify what went wrong. If it was caused by improper construction, please inform the manufacturer and your drycleaning trade association about the problem.
- Recognize that a color change does not always mean a garment is permanently damaged. In the unlikely event that a color change has occurred when using an alkaline or acid type spotting agent, simply apply the opposite spotting agent to the stain, i.e. color change with acid--apply alkaline.
- If you determine there is a risk of damage to the garment when spotting, the customer should be made aware of the problem. If the customer would like you to try to remove the stain anyway, it is best to have them sign a liability release.
In the event of a damage claim, work together with your customer and demonstrate a genuine concern for their satisfaction. They will remember and appreciate your actions.