Dry Cleaning or Washing? The Answer: It Depends

There are arguments to be made for both dry cleaning and washing a clothing item. Which process is best depends on the item and how you use it.

Dry cleaning and washing are different and yet similar. Dry cleaning uses solvents (and sometimes detergents) removed during the drying phase. Washing uses a combination of water and detergents. Aside from that, the process is similar since both dry cleaning and washing are done in a tumbling drum of some sort.

When is dry cleaning the best choice?
For absolute cleanliness and minimal (to no) damage to the fabric or clothing item, dry cleaning is tops.

Dry cleaning (as its name indicates) doesn’t use water. Water can be harmful, as it alters certain fabrics. For instance, it shrinks wool fibers and fades wool colors. Water is also rough on silk, bleeding silk colors and shrinking and wrinkling silk fibers that often are coated with an anti-wrinkle treatment that water removes.

What’s more, dry cleaning uses less agitation than washing. During the wash cycle, sloshing and spinning twists and tears at fabric, wearing it out. In addition, washing doesn’t always remove all the detergent. When detergent remains in clothes, it attracts rather than repels stains and odors. It’s ironic, but true.

On the other hand, the dry cleaning process removes the solvent as well as the dirt.

When is washing the best choice?
It sometimes makes sense to wash items instead of dry cleaning them. Some everyday clothes and certain fabrics that aren’t harmed by washing can be cleaned at home or at Oceanside by our “wash and fold” service. Fabrics most appropriate for washing are some every-day cotton, cotton-blend and polyester clothes where longevity of the fabric, fading and the “look” of the item are not as important.

In fact, certain fabrics cannot be dry cleaned. These include fabrics containing or made up of plastic, PVC, or polyurethane. Fabrics composed of these materials deteriorate during the dry-cleaning process.

Always check the care label on your clothes. That label will give an accurate description of the type of fabric and the ideal care instructions.

Oceanside will help you decide on dry cleaning vs. washing
If you aren’t sure whether to dry clean or wash an item, bring it into Oceanside. We’ll look it over and help you decide the best course of action.

Stain Removal Tips from the Professionals

All of us have to deal with stains on our clothes: grass stains, grease stains, tomato stains, coffee stains, ink stains…the list is never-ending.

There is no avoiding occasional stains, no matter how careful we are. In fact, simple spaghetti dinners are the most searched stain on the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) website! More research by ACI found that:

  • Men are more likely to have sports, wine and food-related stains
  • Women are more likely to have food incidents and bloodstains
  • Kids are more likely to have grass stains and marker and paint stains

Thankfully, Oceanside Cleaners has 30-plus years of experience successfully removing stains from every type of garment, from work clothes to wedding dresses. And, because stains are so common, we’d like to share a few professional tips you can use at home to either remove common stains or keep them from setting before you get garments to the cleaners.

  1. Use detergent sparingly. Many customers think the more detergent they use on a stain, the better the removal. It’s the most common error we see. When it comes to detergent, more is not better. Too much detergent can linger in a garment for a long time and even attract dirt and dust. We advise our customers to do the opposite: use just a teaspoon or two of detergent on a stain and then soak the garment in a bucket of water. Pre-soaking can keep the stain from setting before bringing it to us. The more rinsing, the better the stain removal.
  2. Some special cleaning compounds work on specific types of stains. We recommend Dawn dish soap for grease and oil. Hydrogen peroxide often removes yellowing stains on whites. Neutral detergents help prevent color fade when soaking out everyday dirt. Sometimes, vinegar works on tomato stains. At Oceanside, we also have several professional-grade and targeted stain removers that have proven successful over time.
  3. Sometimes it’s better to remove stains by laundry; other times dry cleaning is best. Whether to choose the laundry or dry cleaning for stain removal depends on the stain. Because dry cleaning uses solvents, it can attack petroleum and oil stains. Dry cleaning is the best way to prevent or remove color bleeding stains. Dry cleaning also works on sweat stains. The laundry process works on most of the other stains. We have a complete line of professional-grade laundry stain removers that often work better than any home remedy. We’ve even found a way to remove a red Gatorade stain, known as one of the most stubborn stains.
  4. Know when to use hot water and when to use cold water. This is a complex question we often get from a customer trying to remove a stain at home. What makes it complex is that the answer is sometimes to use both water temperatures! Many stains respond to a cold-water soak followed by a warm or hot water wash! However, in general, our rule of thumb is to use cold water to remove stains on natural fabrics like wool, satin and silk and to use cold water on food stains. But for coffee, chocolate and wine stains, hot water works best.

As we remove stains, Oceanside Cleaners is committed to green cleaning as recommended by the Green Cleaners Council. On a side note, we were recently awarded “Best of Weddings” from The Knot for the fifth year running. If we can successfully clean something as complex and important as a wedding dress, we can tackle the more common stains you experience in your life.

So, the next time you or your family has a fabric stain, do what you can to stabilize it and then bring in the garment so we can do our best to restore it to like new!

High-End Workout Clothes Require Special Laundry Care

In the past, throwing a pair of $15 cotton sweatpants into the washer and dryer was low risk. If cleaning at home shrunk them or permanently set the sweat stains, people just bought another pair.

In recent years, though, athletic clothes have increased in quality and price, as fabric, design and fit have improved. For example, Lululemon and Athleta workout pants start at about $70. Vuori leggings cost up to $100 each. Tanks, crops and hoodies can cost another $100. As a result, workout outfits range from $200 to upwards of $400, making them an investment worth preserving.

“When you put on new fitness gear, you begin to get into character like an actor putting on a costume for a performance. As a result, you expect to have a better performance, making you more mentally prepared for the task.”
– Dr. Jonathan Fader, Sports Psychologist

Regardless of price, high-end workout clothes have become extremely popular for many sports, including biking, yoga, spinning, dance classes and weights. This is due to the fact that well-made workout clothes look good, offer more support and make longer duration workouts more comfortable. What’s more, the fabric breathes better and wicks sweat. These fabrics also often offer UV protection for outdoor wear.

An important consideration, though, is that cleaning these fabrics between workouts requires dedication. More fabric care is required to ensure the fabrics remain long-lasting and so the clothes retain their shape and color.

Cleaning high-end workout clothes at home can cause problems

For do-it-yourselfers, washing workout clothes at home unfortunately results in common mistakes, such as presoaking in the wrong chemicals, using fabric softeners (a no-no) or using the wrong temperature water. In just one wash cycle, even the most careful person can unwittingly destroy expensive workout clothes.

Because high-end workout clothes are often made of Lycra, spandex and polyester, the wrong home cleaning approach can result in some damage that may not always meet the eye:

  • Damage to stretch
  • Coatings that attract and trap smells
  • Increased static cling
  • Trapped bacteria that can harm your skin
  • A fungi smell from too much soap

Some people try to save cleaning costs or extend wear by using workout clothes several times between cleanings. There are downfalls to this approach, though, which range from the faster growth of potentially harmful bacteria to skin irritations.

Cleaning high-end workout clothes at home can cause problems

For do-it-yourselfers, washing workout clothes at home unfortunately results in common mistakes, such as presoaking in the wrong chemicals, using fabric softeners (a no-no) or using the wrong temperature water. In just one wash cycle, even the most careful person can unwittingly destroy expensive workout clothes.

Because high-end workout clothes are often made of Lycra, spandex and polyester, the wrong home cleaning approach can result in some damage that may not always meet the eye:

  • Damage to stretch
  • Coatings that attract and trap smells
  • Increased static cling
  • Trapped bacteria that can harm your skin
  • A fungi smell from too much soap

Some people try to save cleaning costs or extend wear by using workout clothes several times between cleanings. There are downfalls to this approach, though, which range from the faster growth of potentially harmful bacteria to skin irritations.

Why a professional cleaner is the best choice

Careful cleaning of expensive activewear prolongs its life. Professional launderers know the best combination of cleaning agents and the right types of detergents to use on expensive workout clothes. At Oceanside Cleaners, we use temperature-controlled laundry detergents and delicate wash cycles based on the fabric type and color.

If you work out every day, Oceanside Cleaners can set up a regular cleaning pick-up and delivery, so you always have professionally cleaned activewear ready for the day’s workout.

We also pre-spot sweat and odor areas and launder in ways that prolong the life of the garment, so you get maximum use for your investment. We never wash workout clothes with other clothes such as jeans, jackets or zippers that can snag your workout clothes.

Oceanside is much more than a dry cleaner!

Oceanside is much more than a dry cleaner!

Oceanside Cleaners specializes in dry cleaning and laundry, but did you know we also offer a number of other services? From sheets, duvets, blankets, and comforters to altering your wedding gown for the best day of your life, we are skilled in many different departments. We understand that, as a result of the times we are all facing, you are not in need of dry cleaning as often as you used to be. That’s why we want to introduce you to these services that we believe might make your ability to deal with these lifestyle changes easier!

Continue reading “Oceanside is much more than a dry cleaner!”

Postponed Wedding? Here’s How to Store Your Gown

Postponed Wedding? Here’s How to Store Your Gown

If your wedding has been postponed, you’re undoubtedly making alternate plans. Maybe the “backyard wedding” isn’t quite your style and you’re choosing to wait. Or, maybe you’re having a small ceremony on your original wedding date and the reception later. No matter what your plans, here are a few tips on how to safely store your gown until the big day.

Continue reading “Postponed Wedding? Here’s How to Store Your Gown”

Why Brides Love Oceanside Cleaners Pre- and Post-Wedding

Why Brides Love Oceanside Cleaners Pre- and Post-Wedding

With the rise in do-it-yourself weddings, more couples are tackling their wedding logistics solo. But even without a professional planner, weddings take a village to pull together: the caterer, the venue staff, the photographer, the wedding party. When it comes to wedding garments, savvy brides turn to Oceanside for exquisite, hands-on care—without extra planning or hassle. Here’s why brides love using Oceanside before, during and after their special day.

Top-Notch Tailoring & Alterations

The complex structure and delicate materials of a wedding gown require expert care. Oceanside’s astute team ensures you—and your dress—look your absolute best for your big day. With our professional alterations, your dress will look as if it’s been designed specifically for you, beautifully accentuating and flattering your figure. In addition to gowns, we also alter bridesmaid dresses and formal wear plus we tailor tuxedos and suits so everyone in the wedding party can look and feel their best. Schedule your bridal fitting at our Ponte Vedra location.

Pre-Wedding Pressing and Finishing

The gown’s intricate beading, lace, and embroidery requires time, attention, and expert care. We carefully steam and press your gown a day or two before the ceremony so it’s wrinkle-free and picture-perfect for the aisle. The final days before the wedding can be harried and frantic, so rest easy knowing you’ve left the pressing details to us.

Venue Delivery

Cross another wedding “to do” off your list with our venue delivery services. Our experienced transportation staff will personally deliver your pressed gown to the wedding or photo venue, giving you peace of mind and extra time to spend getting ready, sipping champagne, and making memories for years to come.

Post-Wedding Pick Up

After you’ve said your vows and tossed the bouquet, chances are your dress will show the evidence of your bliss: makeup smudges, dirt, sweat, wine, tears, rips. The sooner you get your dress cleaned and preserved the better to prevent permanent damage. But who wants to make a trip to the dry cleaners in her first days of marital bliss? Oceanside’s concierge pick-up services get your dress the care it needs while giving you precious time with your new spouse.

When you say “I do” to Oceanside’s award-winning gown specialists, you can plan on having an exceptional experience that makes wedding planning easier.

How to Ensure your Wedding Dress Survives Dry Cleaning

How to Ensure your Wedding Dress Survives Dry Cleaning

Whether you’ve invested $1,000 or $10,000 on your perfect wedding dress, you want to make sure it’s treated with the same care you have for it. We all know that the bride makes the dress, but boy, does a dress you love make you feel special on your day. When the time comes to send your gown in for cleaning and preservation, you want to make sure it comes back safe and sound. Your daughter may want to wear it some day!

Of course, your go-to dry cleaner is going to be the first place you check for dry cleaning your gown. And, they may be the right place! But first, make sure to check these items.

Find a cleaner that specializes in wedding dress cleaning

If the dry cleaner does not focus on wedding dress cleaning and they try to clean your dress anyway, you could end up with a singed or soap-laden dress on your hands. Wedding dress dry cleaning is not one-size fits all. Do your research so you don’t end up in an unfortunate situation.

Ask if they do the work in-house

It’s a common practice for shops to send gowns out to a contracted service for cleaning. There are too many stories online about wedding gowns being lost in shipping or damaged by a careless process and never the same again.

Your wedding dress is more than just some beautifully draped fabric, it’s a representation of the special day you will never forget. When you’re celebrating your 20th anniversary, you will be relieved to know your dress is properly preserved and is still holding onto memories. And who knows, maybe you won’t be the only one who will wear it down the aisle.

Oceanside Cleaners is the only dry cleaner in Jacksonville that cleans bridal gowns in-house.

If you’d like to learn more about wedding gown services at Oceanside Cleaners, just call (904) 642-6177 or check out our Instagram.