Cleaning Tips

Here are a few general tips to help you extend the life of your clothes.

  • Bring your stained garments in to us immediately so that the stain does not have time to set and damage the garment. Make sure to let us know what the stain is prior to cleaning.
  • Dry cleaning is sometimes the only safe method for cleaning a fabric.
  • Never attempt to remove a spot at home with chemicals or water. You may inadvertently set the stain and make it impossible to remove.
  • Synthetic fibers have an affinity for oils. Dry cleaning is particularly effective at removing greasy, oily stains.
  • Finally, if you're cleaning a suit, bring in both pieces. In any cleaning process, colors may fade slightly. If dry cleaned separately, the pieces of your suit might not match.

Frequently Asked Dry-Cleaning Questions

Want more in-depth information about cleaning? We've compiled some specific information on cleaning that will help you choose a fabric, as well as clean it. And if you have a specific question, or a story about a stain, feel free to let us know.

Do you wear silk? What about draperies?
What about "salt and pepper" dyes? What is the hardest stain to remove?
Can you remove chewing gum? Why do only certain pieces of a matching outfit lose their color in the dry cleaning process?
Do you do wedding dress preservation?
What items can't be dry-cleaned? What are your guarantees?


Do you wear silk?

The alcohol in many perfumes and colognes can damage silk fabrics. It's best to apply your perfumes before you dress, then allow time for the perfume to dry.

What about draperies?

Because of the invisible factors that might affect both the life and the appearance of draperies and curtains, the retail store you buy them from cannot guarantee how long they will last, and a dry cleaner cannot always determine what the result of the dry cleaning process will be. However, if you keep in mind the following hints, you'll be able to better protect the life of your draperies:

  • Know the fiber, weave and finish of the drape or curtain you select.
  • Examine the quality of its construction.
  • If possible, rotate curtains and draperies from sunny to less sunny windows or vary your window treatments to keep colors from fading.
  • Inform your cleaner of the fiber content in your draperies or curtains before you have them cleaned.
  • The life expectancy of lined draperies is five years; of unlined, four years; and of sheer fabrics, three years. However, exposure to sunlight and certain atmospheric conditions in the home will substantially shorten their lives.
  • And remember, always send your draperies or curtains to Pilgrim Cleaners.

What about "salt and pepper" dyes?

Fashionable garments, especially men's sports jackets, contain both white and colored yarns in random or tweed-like weaves, commonly known as salt and pepper. Sometimes the dye of the colored yarns will migrate into the white yarns upon contact with any form of moisture. The following may answer questions you have about this occurrence:

  • The time to prevent migration is at the very beginning of the manufacturing process: through a better selection of dyes that are colorfast to water.
  • The manufacturer is responsible for these dye disturbances, due to use of dyes that are unable to withstand expected conditions of use and cleaning.
  • Due to the weave of dark and light yarns, once the colors have run, no form of cleaning can restore them to their original condition.

What is the hardest stain to remove?

Mustard is the hardest stain to remove. Mustard is insoluble in water (i.e. a solid suspended in liquid).

Can you remove chewing gum?

Chewing gum is an organic chemical, and dissolves readily in dry-cleaning fluid.

Why do only certain pieces of a matching outfit lose their color in the dry cleaning process?

  • Fading can occur when the dyes or pigments used during manufacturing are not colorfast to dry cleaning solvent. One component may not fade because it has been constructed from different bolts of material. In some cases, pieces of the same outfit are made in different countries, using fabrics that were dyed under different conditions.
  • Because the pieces may look identical, a dry cleaner might not be able to tell if one piece will fade or not. Only the manufacturer is able to prevent this damage with tighter quality control conditions.
  • Unfortunately, there is no means of restoring a color on the faded garment once the damage has occurred.

Do you do wedding dress preservation?

Pilgrim will clean your wedding dress, fold it, then box and seal the dress for long storage at a low cost to you.

What items can't be dry-cleaned?

All items which have a label marked "do not dry clean" or unlabeled items such as plastic or items with plastic backing, plus all rubber and rubber backed items cannot be dry-cleaned. We also will not be able to clean some items that are from manufacturers we know to be unreliable.

What are your guarantees?

Pilgrim guarantees fast, reliable service that will please you. Your cleaning will be ready when promised and you will be pleased with our cleaning and finishing efforts. Otherwise, please let us know. If we ruin your clothing (and it is our fault and not a manufacturer's defect) we will give you the full value of that clothing. At Pilgrim, we want you to be satisfied with our work so you will continue to trust us with your drycleaning needs. If you need to know more about known defects in clothing, the International Fabricare Institute maintains a database of manufacturer's clothing defects.

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