How Shirts Are Professionally Laundered

When we professionally launder or dry clean your shirts, you can rest assured they will come back to you crisp and clean.  We inspect every shirt prior to cleaning and sort it based on color and material composition.  Any shirts with stains or dirty collars are pre-spotted prior to laundering.  Our process involves laundering shirts using our premium detergent to keep colors from fading.  We then use a shirt press that looks similar to a mannequin to press the body of the shirt as well as the cuffs and collars.  Lastly, we inspect every shirt to replace any loose & broken buttons or iron out any wrinkles we missed the first time through.

To starch or not to starch?

The preference for starch really depends on the you.  Starch is added to the washer when shirts are laundered.  Shirts that are 100% cotton hold starch best.  When there’s a blended fabric such as 60% cotton and 40% polyester, those shirts are unable to “hold” the starch as well and may feel unstarched, even though they’ve been treated with starch.
Starch adds stiffness to your shirts.  Many people like the crisp look that starch give their clothes.  The downside of starch is that it shortens a shirt’s lifespan since it weakens the fibers of the shirt and buttons causing them to crack more easily.  The other concern is that shirts wrinkle more readily when they are starched.
Shirt lifespan

The typical men’s dress shirt is meant to last about 52 washes (which is usually the equivalent to wearing the shirt every other week for 2 years).  Depending on the fabric, weave construction, and your starch preference, this number could be longer or shorter.  If you look at your cuffs and collar and notice small tears, it’s probably time to purchase a new shirt.  Oftentimes, we see older shirts with “dry rot.”  This occurs when the fabric is weakened from wear and the agitation in the cleaning process causes the shirt to tear.  We can tell when a shirt is dry rotted because when you pull slightly on a tear it rips very easily.

Using a professional shirt service is the best way to save yourself time.  The final product of a professionally laundered shirt cannot be compared to home ironing.  Give it a try and see the difference!


9 Tips To Extend The Life Of Your Clothing


We know how much your clothing means to you.  Our customers have spent top dollar on their garments and often ask us how they can make them last. At some point, even the best made pieces will begin to pill or deteriorate but with a few little tricks you can extend a garments’ life.  We put together some tips to be sure your clothing lasts as long as possible.  

1). All items, even those worn only a handful of times should be professionally cleaned before seasonal storage.  Bacteria can grow on garments that have not been cleaned and can attract hungry larvae.

2). Clean a stained item as soon as possible.  Permanent fabric bonding can occur after a few days which sets the stain.  Once a stain is set, there is no guarantee that it can be professionally removed.

3). Beware of “invisible stains.”  When clothes have been exposed to perspiration, perfume, alcohol, soda or sugar from food or drinks, they should be cleaned right away.  Invisible stains will dry clear but if hung back up and allowed to set they will eventually re-appear as bleached and darkened splotches, many times after cleaning.

4). Cigarette smoke lingers in fabrics and can cause yellow discoloring if not cleaned.

5). Never try to remove a spot from a tie or pocket square.  Because they are cut on the bias, even a small amount of rubbing will cause them to twist and stretch out of shape.

6). Apply cologne and perfume and let it completely dry before getting dressed to prevent your garments from being “bleached” by the alcohol they contain.

7). Wearing a scarf under a leather jacket, or any jacket for that matter, prevents soils and oils from creating a shiny, slick sheen around the neck.

8). Folding sweaters and rolling linens helps them last longer.  Knits  will stretch and fray on the hanger especially at the shoulders.  Hanging or folding linens will create permanent creases and wrinkles.

9). Clothes will look newer for longer when stored away from natural light, in a cool, dry place.  Extreme temperatures will attract insects and hurt fibers.  Avoid mothballs and try cedar and lavender instead.  

We know your clothes are important to you because they’re important to us too.  These are some of our best tips to keep your clothing in great shape for years to come.  Unfortunately, garments won’t last forever but with proper care, you can give them their maximum life expectancy.

How to Choose The Best Dress Shirt

We deal with a lot of men’s dress shirts.  Many of our customers ask us, what’s the best shirt out there?  We wanted to give some tips on choosing the best dress shirt based on quality, value, and lifespan.  We know you put money into your clothes, so make sure they last!

Cotton vs. Synthetic Fibers

The best dress shirts are always 100% cotton, not a blend of fabrics.  Polyester is a man-made synthetic fiber that we’re seeing in more and more dress shirts.  For cotton/polyester blends the hand (softness or feel) of the dress shirt is different than a 100% cotton shirt .  Synthetic fibers are not as strong, breathable or comfortable as cotton and they drastically shorten the lifespan of a shirt.  For those of you who take starch, polyester blend shirts will not hold starch.  Starch cannot bind with fibers in polyester so those shirts will never feel crisp and starched like the normal 100% cotton shirt. If you’re looking to save money, these shirts are OK but realize they may only last for a year with regular wearing.

Is it really 100% Cotton?

More and more we’re seeing manufacturers selling “100% cotton shirts” that are not 100% cotton.  The regulations in the textile industry state that shirt-makers only need to say the fiber content if the additional fibers exceed a certain percentage of the entire shirt.  The biggest issue is 100% cotton shirts that are “non-iron” or “wrinkle-free.”

Non-Iron/Wrinkle-Free Shirts

Be wary of any shirt that is touting “no-iron” (and we’re not just saying that because we’re a dry cleaner!).  There are a few inherent issues with non-iron shirts:

1.  These shirts have a chemical resin applied hardens the fibers then dipped in formaldehyde which “embalms” them helping them to keep their shape. This isn’t a huge deal as there’s only trace amounts of formaldehyde on the shirt but it’s still can be an issue for the 9% of the population who are allergic to formaldehyde.  Also, we’re not entirely comfortable wearing formaldehyde on a daily basis.  (If you insist on buying non-iron shirts make sure you always wash them first!).
2.  Non-iron shirts are made with less cotton.  If you have an 100% cotton shirt and an 100% cotton non-iron shirt, there is actually more cotton in the regular shirt.  Creating non-iron variations allows the manufacturer to make the shirt with less cotton and therefore save money on materials.  The worst part is, many non-iron varieties are sold for more when they’re actually cheaper to make.  Because there’s less cotton, these shirts don’t live up to their normal lifespan and are very likely begin to fray and tear earlier than a normal 100% cotton shirt.
3.  Non-iron shirts aren’t meant to be exposed to heat.  AND it’s rare that a non-iron shirt comes out of the drier looking perfect.  That means either a). You’re ironing the shirt at home b). You’re taking it to the dry cleaner to be cleaned.  The problem is the resin on these shirts isn’t supposed to be exposed to high heat.  This causes discoloration of the resins and over time an extreme weakening of the fabric leading to frays and tears.

Our best advice is to buy 100% cotton shirts that are not “non-iron.”  Unfortunately, these shirts are becoming harder and harder to find.  Although some may be a little more expensive upfront, they’ll last longer in the and stay looking newer longer.