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!


How To Make Your Clothes Last Longer


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 Frequently Should I Dry Clean My Clothing

A very common question we receive is, “How frequently should I dry clean my clothes?”  Being the dry cleaning expert in State College, we’re here to help answer that for you!  Although it’s not essential to dry clean every item, with every wear, there are certain situations that warrant a cleaning.

Anytime a garment comes into direct contact with your perfume, deodorant, sweat, salt stains (as in wintertime salt) or has any type of stain, it should be cleaned ASAP.  Some of these stains start out as invisible, but over time they disrupt the fibers in your clothing and can cause color changes.  The longer the stain stays on the fabric, the harder it is to remove.  It’s as simple as that!
During normal wear, clothing is exposed to various environmental conditions.  Air pollution and dust weaken fibers.  They act as an abrasive agent and will wear down fibers if it’s not removed from time to time.  To extend a garment’s life, it’s essential to remove them.  Certain fibers are more prone to “wearing out” than others.  For example, we recommend silks and linens be cleaned with every wear if they come into contact with your skin (like a blouse).

A linen blazer worn over a top may only need dry cleaned with every 3rd wear because it’s not being directly exposed to your skin and sweat. Or a typical suit may only need cleaning every 2 or 3 wears depending on the situation you’re wearing it in.  
We ALWAYS recommend that you clean clothing before storing it for the season.  Garments that are stored without cleaning are covered in skin flakes (gross, right?) and they attract bugs and have a higher chance to discolor and will be unpacked with stains.

If you ever have ANY questions, please feel free to call us!  We’ve been in business for 88 years and we’re State College’s textile experts and we’re here to help!

The Best Time of Year to Clean Your Clothing

Did you know there are specific times of the year that are better to clean your garments and household items?  We get this question from many customers and wanted to address this query.  Here’s a quick reference guide to help:

Stained Garments: ASAP!  The sooner you can get a stained garment in for cleaning, the better.  Over time, stains can permanently alter the fibers of a garment or pull it’s color making them impossible to remove. This can include any garments stained by food or even pant legs stained with salt from the winter.  If the garment can be laundered, try washing it at home but don’t dry it.  Take a look and see if the stains are gone.  If they are, go ahead and dry it, if not, bring it to your dry cleaner for professional help.

Coats: Springtime.  This includes, wool, leather, and suede.  These items  should be cleaned in the spring when you’re done wearing them but before they’re stored for the season.  Food, perspiration, and dander are favorite foods of moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish so it’s important to remove all stains.  Plus those stains can set over the hot summer months making them difficult to remove later.

Sweaters: Springtime, same as coats above.  It’s important to make sure they are cleaned to remove stains before they are packed away for the season.  We see so many sweaters with insect damage which can be preventable.  (Don’t use moth balls, the odor can be virtually impossible to remove, even for us!). Also make stored folded and not hanging as this can stretch them out in combination with the humidity.

Uggs: Springtime. Like stained garments, Uggs accumulate salt stains which can permanently change their color.  Have them before you’re ready to put them away for the season.

Rugs: Early summer.  Although winter may have made your rugs a mess, spring can be muddy too!  Wait until the April/May showers are done to clean your rug so you’re not messing it up right away again.  Vacuuming only removes the top layer of dirt.  An annual cleaning will extend the life of your rug and make sure you remove all the ground in dirt and salt.

Comforters/Spreads: At least twice a year.  Most people opt to clean their comforters once each season but may skip winter so they have them during the cold months.  Others do a monthly cleaning.  A lot depends on if you have pets sleeping in your bed and what other covers you may use.  A professional cleaning will help kill any dust mites and remove skin flakes that accumulate while you’re sleeping.

Any other items can be cleaned as needed.  Have a garment question?  We’re happy to help!