Five signs your dry cleaner cares (about you and your clothes)

Feeding frenzy: A good dry cleaner will help you deal with life's sometimes messy times with ease. Image: Shutterstock
Feeding frenzy: A good dry cleaner will help you deal with life's sometimes messy times with ease. Image: Shutterstock

This is sponsored content for Sapphire Dry Cleaning and Laundry

Finding a great dry cleaner that you can rely on can be the start of a beautiful partnership in life.

A professional, convenient and friendly dry cleaner can ease the pressures of your busy life by taking over some of those time-consuming household cleaning chores.

And they'll save you money by making sure your precious garments are cleaned the correct way to ensure they stay looking better for longer.

But how do you choose the right dry cleaner for you, one that is going to deliver that tender loving care you want?

Here are five things to look for to help you get the dry cleaning partner that's an asset in your life.

1 Experience and expertise

Before you hand your much-loved and expensive dress over the counter ask if there's a professional dry cleaner on staff. There are qualifications for dry cleaning and certifications that will give you peace of mind that the business takes their profession seriously and has the experience to handle any job. You can check if the business is a member of an industry association that focuses on professional standards.

2 What kind of cleaning solvent does the business use?

The term dry cleaning is a bit of a misnomer. The process isn't actually dry at all but uses various chemicals that lift dirt and stains out of fabrics without damaging the fibres in the way that just washing in water can. But some of the solvents traditionally used have been under fire for their potentially harmful properties. As a result, more environmentally-conscious businesses have switched to processes using non-toxic chemicals that are safer and more environmentally friendly. Ask your cleaner about the kinds they use.

Jo Postance, the owner of Pambula business Sapphire Dry Cleaning, offers dry cleaning using a hydrocarbon solvent rather than the traditionally used perchloroethylene (PERC) which can be toxic to people and the environment. Sapphire also offers the newest and most environmentally friendly option available - wet cleaning. Wet Cleaning uses water and specialised biodegradable and non hazardous detergents combined with computerised washers and finishing equipment. "The advantages are many, including using less water compared to both traditional washing and dry cleaning and a much shorter cleaning cycle, so it's helping to reduce our carbon footprint," Mrs Postance said.

3 Convenience & service

Your time is valuable and a dry cleaner that offers convenient hours, as well as pick up and drop off services can be a lifesaver to help you manage your day. Some offer even more time-saving services. How about having your curtains collected from your home, cleaned, pressed and delivered back and rehung? Or having all your woollen underlays, doonas, lounge covers, pillows, and blankets whisked away and returned fresh and clean. If your family is fond of camping, dry cleaners can also clean those sleeping bags so they're smelling fresh for that next trip.

4 Friendly professional advice

Your dry cleaner can be a fount of knowledge - they are the stain and fabric experts and a good one will be happy to share their experience. They will take the time to inspect your garments and ask about any stains or concerns you have. They can advise you on whether the garment really needs to be dry cleaned or if it could just be washed in your washing machine at home.

5 Damage compensation

There's always the chance some garments could be damaged. It could be the dry cleaner who is at fault or the problem may be in the manufacturing of the item. It's worth checking with the dry cleaning business what their policy is about who is responsible for damaged items and how claims are handled. Ask about the pressing process as well - good dry cleaners will take extra care and hand press particularly delicate items like those with beading or sequins.

Like any relationship there is give and take to make sure it's the best it can be. One way is to make sure you are vigilant about bringing in items as soon as possible after staining - the longer it's there the harder it could be to remove. Your dry cleaner will love you for it!

This is sponsored content for Sapphire Dry Cleaning and Laundry.