Extend the life of your clothes: know the difference between laundering and dry cleaning
When you have clothing that needs to look sharp, like a suit, dress, sweater, or dress shirt, chances are you take it to the dry cleaners. But many nice articles of clothing don’t actually need to be dry cleaned—often, having your clothing laundered and pressed is a better choice.
So, what is the difference?
The short answer - water.
Dry Cleaning: When your clothes are dry cleaned, non-water based solvents are used to remove stains, before they are crisply pressed.
Launder & Press: With laundered items, water and detergent are used. Your clothes are washed in a commercial-grade washing machine, emerge slightly damp, and then are individually pressed.
Why Launder & Press?
So what's the benefit of using Launder & Press?
• It's gentle on fabric: The chemicals used to dry clean your clothes can cause fabrics to deteriorate over time. Laundering, on the other hand, removes stains and everyday grime using water and gentler detergents.
• It's ideal for removing sweat, oils and dirt: Laundering is actually more effective than dry cleaning at removing sweat and oil from fabrics, so it is typically the best choice for dress shirts and cotton blouses. After clothes are laundered, they are pressed and hung for that crisp, fresh-from-the-cleaner look.
High-quality laundry services like Rinse read the care label on your clothing and make the call between chemical dry cleaning and laundering to maximize the life of your clothes. When you’re the one making the call, read the label: if it doesn’t say “Dry Clean Only,” ask for Launder & Press. Your clothes will thank you!
Why Dry Clean?
You may be thinking - Why on earth would anyone choose to dry clean when Launder & Press is just as effective (if not more in some cases) and gentler on fabrics? Well, the truth is, it really depends on the fabric and the piece.
• It's ideal for clothing made of natural fibers, like silk or wool because water can have an adverse effect on the fabric. Water can cause the fibers in the fabric to become rigid and even cause the garment to shrink, fade, or lose its shape.
• It's often the only way to get out certain stains: When an item is dry cleaned, it also goes through the “pre-spotting” process where an experienced cleaner will examine each garment to locate stains and determine the source so that they can treat the stain with the appropriate non-aqueous solvent. It’s not uncommon for a pre-spotter to have decades of experience!
A helpful tip to extend the life of your clothes: If you know the source of any stain on your garment, let your dry cleaner know. Be it ketchup, wine, or a splash from a puddle, your dry cleaner will use that information to choose the right solvent and minimize the risk of damage.
There’s a reason both dry cleaning and launder & press are offered today—each serves a different, valuable purpose. Both are aptly named and both keep you looking sharp!
Learn more about How Dry Cleaning Works from our COO James. He grew up in dry cleaning!
Or, read Our Guide For Which Clothes You Should And Shouldn't Dry Clean.
Rinse’s complete guide to properly caring for your bath mats.
Sure, your bath mat probably feels nice and soft on your feet after every shower, but underneath all that comfort may be some pretty gnarly grime and not-so-nice germs.
Before you add burn bathmat to your to-do list, I recommend at least skimming this post. Just as with bed sheets and clothing, there is a correct way to care for your bath mat so that it stays fresh and clean, shower after shower.
Caring for your bath mats in 3 steps
So what can be done to care for your bath mats?
- Determine how much use your bathmat gets - The condition of your bath mat really comes down to how much you use it.
- If you’re like most people, you are using it daily. If you share a bathroom with more than one person you then have to factor in their daily usage in addition to yours.
- You also need to consider the time in between each use where your bath mat can dry and air out. The more it is used and the less time it has to dry the more likely your bath mat has unseen dirt, germs, and even mold or mildew settling in!
- Wash your bath mats accordingly - This answer to how often you should wash your bath mats can be subjective and a bit complicated. To make things simple, a good rule of thumb is to wash your bath mat at least once per week.
- If you find yourself in a household that shares a bathroom between two or more people, then we suggest washing your bath mats every 3 to 5 days.
- If you have your own bathroom, you may be able to get away with washing your bath mats about every 10 days to prevent mold or mildew build up underneath the fabric.
- Minimize long-term moisture - It’s important to create an environment that allows your bathmats to fully dry.
- Turn on your bathroom’s fan or open a window during and after showers. Why? Because adding a little ventilation to your bathroom helps cut down on the steam buildup, which can seep into both soft (read:bathmats) and hard surfaces, making your bathroom a tropical paradise for mold spores, bacteria, and other unpleasant things.
- When you are done using your bath mat, hang it up! Exposing both sides of the bath mat to the light of day will help it dry more quickly and reduce the risk of mold and mildew.
Like most things related to laundry, we have an easy solution for you. If you have regular laundry to do (like most non-nudist adults), our subscription Wash & Fold service, Rinse Repeat, may be just what you need. You just fill up your Rinse Repeat bag with all of your laundry - including bathmats - and we’ll pick it up, wash it, fold it, and deliver it back to you on a weekly or biweekly cadence (depending on your plan).
So, then next time you hop out of the shower, remember your hardworking bath mat and be sure to give it the care it needs!
At Rinse, we feel strongly about the care we provide for your clothing. It’s our job! We thoroughly vet all of our cleaning partners to ensure you are receiving the highest-quality care possible.
We feel just as strongly about the environment and the health implications involved with some of the cleaning services we provide. We have a strict policy that all of our cleaning partners use environmentally friendly cleaning processes. The green revolution is the best solution!
What is perc and how am I exposed to it?
Historically, the dry cleaning industry has been known for using the solvent perchloroethylene (“perc”), which is a known carcinogen and potentially hazardous. While we do not partner with any cleaners that use perc we believe it is important for us to provide you with further insight on perc and green dry cleaning.
If your clothes are being cleaned at a dry cleaner that uses perc you most likely are exposed to it through inhalation or skin exposure. Common side effects include dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, nausea, and skin and respiratory irritation.
Yikes! Needless to say, it is important to find out if your dry cleaner is using perc or not.
The majority of our cleaners offer a hydrocarbon-based solvent, which is one of the preferred alternatives to perc. This type of solvent is non-toxic, has no documented risk of causing cancer, and is environmentally safe.
Many cleaners outside California still use perc and our decision to work with non-perc cleaners everywhere is accelerating much-needed change in the industry.
If all of this talk about toxic solvents has you a bit worried about dry cleaning your clothes there may be an alternative for you. Wet cleaning!
What is wet cleaning?
Wet cleaning is a water-based alternative to dry cleaning that is safe for use on dry-clean-only items. It uses special machinery to maintain the size of the garment and feel of the fabric while cleaning the garment with water and detergents. We only work with cleaning partners who have demonstrated a great quality and consistency in the wet cleaning process.
It is recommended for water-soluble stains on dry-clean only materials since it will have greater cleaning efficacy while maintaining the look and feel of the fabric. However, we do not recommend wet cleaning for all your dry-clean-only clothes. In summary, it is both safer for you (our customers) and the environment to go green and avoid perc.
We strongly suggest that you find out if your current dry cleaner is using perc or not. Or just schedule a pickup with us and we’ll make sure your items are cleaned using environmentally friendly cleaning processes. We guarantee it!
If you are still hesitant don’t just take it from us. Here is a “Smart Science” segment on green dry cleaning from who else? That’s right! The Weather Channel.
Whether your annual Thanksgiving dinner is smooth sailing or full of cringe-worthy questions from the family (how’s your job? when are you getting married? have you thought about kids?), we can all agree on one thing. We always enjoy the delicious food and quality time spent with family and friends!
What we don't enjoy are any stains from accidental (or maybe not so accidental) spills that may occur while eating.
If this happens the best thing to do is to schedule a Rinse. Seriously! Turning over your stained items to garment care professionals is one of the best things you can do if you want to properly treat stains and have your items looking new again.
But much like you, we (and our vendors) enjoy a break once and awhile and we are not available for pickups on Thanksgiving. Don’t worry we have compiled a few helpful tips for dealing with stains this holiday!
- After you spill anything the best thing to do is to immediately wipe off the stain (gently), making sure to not use downward pressure as it may accelerate “setting” the stain.
- If it is an oil stain water only makes things worse so it is best to avoid using water when wiping oil stains.
- Food stains are complex. They are often are a mixture of water-soluble and non-water soluble stains and organic material, which is best taken care of via pre-spotting and then dry cleaning.
- Butter Stains: Like most stains the key is to deal with butter stains fast. Salt is useful in absorbing the grease while the stain is still fresh and helps prevent the stain from soaking deeper into the fabric.
- Gravy Stains: One suggestion we have is to carefully apply laundry prewash product and soak the soiled linen overnight in the washing machine using warm water with enzyme detergent and all-fabric bleach. The next day, be sure to drain the washer and start a new cycle using the hottest water setting and the type of bleach that is safe for the soiled fabric.
- Cranberry Stains: First, try and scoop or scrape the excess cranberry with a utensil and sponge using a little cool water. You can then mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and ½ teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent into 1 quart of cool water. Soak the stained item in this for about 15 minutes. Rinse and dab the soiled fabric with rubbing alcohol if the stain still remains. Lastly, launder the soiled fabric as you normally would with a small amount of bleach added if you have it.
No matter what you’re eating this Thanksgiving take a moment to be grateful and enjoy the much needed break and time spent with loved ones!
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Rinsing!