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Your Questions Answered by the Experts at Parkway Custom Drycleaning

Is Dry Cleaning Really Effective?

Dry cleaning is a special method of cleaning garments and fabrics when water cannot be used. Many factors contribute to the need for dry cleaning over washing or wet cleaning, including type of fabric, dye, texture, accessories, ornaments, and design. But how effective is dry cleaning, and is it a better option than regular laundry in a washing machine?

Professional Dry Cleaning vs. Your Regular Laundry Wash

Professional dry cleaning utilizes specialized solvents and equipment to clean garments effectively without the use of water. This method is particularly effective for removing oil-based stains and odors that may not respond well to traditional washing methods. Additionally, dry cleaning is gentle on delicate fabrics and helps prevent shrinkage and damage to the original texture and design of a garment.

In contrast, regular laundry washing involves using water, detergent, and agitation to clean garments. While suitable for most everyday clothing, washing may not be as effective in removing tough stains or preserving the quality of delicate fabrics. Certain fabrics, such as silk, certain wools, and cashmere, may require dry cleaning to maintain their integrity and appearance.

That said, some stains can only be removed with the use of some water. We have invested in specialized “wet cleaning” equipment that our experienced spotters and cleaning staff can use to remove water-based stains on articles that typically can only be dry cleaned, with minimal if any risk. If a certain stain requires this treatment, our customer service staff will speak with you to go over the recommended treatment along with any risks, if any, that remain. 

Our goal is to fully restore your garment or special item to as close to its original condition as possible.

Is it Safe?

One common concern about dry cleaning is its safety, particularly regarding the use of chemical solvents. Historically, dry cleaning solvents such as perchloroethylene (perc) have been associated with health and environmental risks. However, advancements in dry cleaning technology have led to the development of safer and more eco-friendly cleaning solvents.

Since our founding in 1926, Parkway Custom Drycleaning has prided itself on always being as environmentally-friendly as possible. And we are a leader of new technologies, especially when it comes to eco-friendly solutions. Parkway Custom Drycleaning was the first dry cleaner in the Mid Atlantic region to adopt a new technology and solution that is sugar cane-based – blending cleaning effectiveness with care for the environment. 

What Happens to My Clothes at the Dry Cleaner?

At Parkway Custom Drycleaning, we believe in transparency, so let us walk you through our meticulous process.

1. Initial Inspection and Tagging of Your Items:

After you drop off your items at our store or our driver picks them up (as we offer pick-up and delivery in Montgomery County, MD, most of Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia), every garment undergoes a comprehensive inspection by our expert team. We meticulously examine each piece for stains, tears, pre-existing conditions, repair needs, and restoration requirements,  ensuring personalized attention to detail. Each item is tagged in order to match it up at the end with the other clothes prior to bagging. 

2. Pre-treatment of Stains and Spots:

Our skilled technicians deploy advanced solutions and techniques to remove each stain. We have dozens of spotting mixtures to remove almost every kind of stain imaginable. Unlike many cleaners who simply sort out lights and darks and put a load into a large dry cleaning machine, we pre-spot each item.  This is much more time consuming but results in the removal or significant reduction of each stain. Other more automated processes may be fast and cheap, but stains are not always completely removed, and dyes and textures can be impacted with the aggressive techniques so many dry cleaners use to cut corners and save on cost.   Whether it’s a delicate silk blouse or a rugged outer jacket, we apply targeted solutions to ensure effective stain removal while safeguarding the fabric’s integrity.

3. Cleaning With Eco-Friendly Solvents:

Parkway Custom Drycleaning is committed to sustainability. That’s why we’ve integrated eco-friendly solvents into our cleaning processes, balancing effectiveness with environmental responsibility.  Depending on the garment and type of stain, we use a unique sugarcane-based solution along with a petroleum solvent for optimal results.

4. Air Drying:

Not all garments, drapes, or household linens require air drying, but many do. Almost all wedding gowns are gently air dried before they are hand finished, and many other delicates are air dried as well. This eliminates the risk of shrinkage and other fabric damage.  Of course we do use delicate drying machines as well.

5. Post-Cleaning Inspection and Minor Repairs:

After cleaning, your garments undergo a thorough examination for any additional areas that need attention. For example, a button might need tightening, a hem might have fallen out, or perhaps a seam needs a bit of work. We have 2 excellent couture quality seamstresses who not only do fittings and alterations, but also spend many hours a week repairing and restoring garments for our clients.

6. Hand Finishing and Packaging:

Our pressers have decades of experience and hand finish each garment. Lapels are rolled, gentle steaming is applied, and creases (when called for) are crisply applied. We employ a generous amount of tissue to further protect your garment. Body forms are used for gowns and certain dresses, and specialty hangers are imported to protect clothing from transport to preserve your garment for the next wearing. We also remove all tags – no more broken nails! Additionally, we might attach a note about your garment if we want to point out a repair that was done or perhaps a condition you should know about.

7. Final Inspection:

Before it is racked to a location for store pick-up or delivery to you, your garment undergoes one more final inspection. We check each piece for any special requests or global preferences (like “fold all French cuffs”) to ensure you receive your garments and other items back in outstanding “ready-to-wear” condition. We have hundreds of customers with special notes and preferences so that every time we service an item, it is customized per a customer request. After all, “custom” is in our name.  

All of this translates into “The Parkway Difference.”

What other Specialty Cleaning Services does Parkway Custom Drycleaning offer?

As Washingtonian magazine’s “Best Area Drycleaner”, Parkway Custom Drycleaning offers numerous specialty services beyond fine quality garment dry cleaning and premium shirt laundry. We’ve broadened our services to include expert tailoring and alterations, leather and  suede cleaning, fur cleaning and on-site storage, table linen cleaning, regular bed linen cleaning and pressing services, drapery and blind cleaning, area rug and fine oriental cleaning and repair, household textiles, and more!

Fine Alterations and Tailoring

After you drop off your items at our store or our driver picks them up (as we offer pick-up and delivery in Montgomery County, MD, most of Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia), every garment undergoes a comprehensive inspection by our expert team. We meticulously examine each piece for stains, tears, pre-existing conditions, repair needs, and restoration requirements,  ensuring personalized attention to detail. Each item is tagged in order to match it up at the end with the other clothes prior to bagging. 

Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

Parkway Custom Drycleaning is one of North America’s foremost experts on wedding dress cleaning, preservation, and restoration. We have been gently hand-cleaning, air-drying, and hand-finishing simple bridal dresses and elaborate wedding gowns since 1926.  We also clean and service wedding gowns for many of the area’s finest wedding gown boutiques and specialty department stores.

Leather, Suede, and Fur Care

Dealing with leather, suede, and fur items requires a delicate touch, something we’ve perfected at Parkway Custom Drycleaning. 

We have also partnered with a fur specialist, formerly managing the fur departments at Saks Jandel and Neiman Marcus. She is available for consultations and inspects every fur we process – looking for any repair needs and weak sections that might need attention to ensure your fur is preserved for many years to come. We also offer fur restylings – turning a coat into a rug, handbag, set of slippers, or scarf, for example. 

Off-Season Storage in our Onsite Climate-Controlled Vault

For your convenience and to protect fine woolens, off-season clothing, furs, and leathers, we built a climate controlled storage vault that we house onsite in our 10,000 square foot facility in N. Bethesda.  Most companies don’t have a climate controlled facility and those that offer storage often have to send their furs or woolens out of state. Now you can have the peace of mind that your precious furs and clothing are housed right under our roof in the Washington, DC area. Protect your fine winter woolens from the risk of moth and other insect damage by storing with Parkway Custom Drycleaning.

Convenient Bed  Linen and Tablecloth Cleaning

Parkway Custom Drycleaning offers a weekly bed linen cleaning service, including pick-up and delivery in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, MD, and Northern Virginia areas.  With our household item cleaning service, you get the same level of care and detail for your home essentials as you do your clothing. We clean comforters, bedspreads, and blankets along with fine lace tablecloths and napkins.

Drapes, Shades, Upholstery, and Patio Cushion Cleaning – Both Onsite and in our Plant

A specialty for decades, Parkway Custom Drycleaning cleans and restores all forms of window treatments. We are certified by Hunter Douglas to clean all of their blinds, including Duettes, Silhouettes, and Luminettes. We offer onsite cleaning of furniture and drapes, and we also have an expert technician who can take down and rehang your blinds, curtains, and shades. We can also restring your roman shades and repair broken brackets and carriers too. 

Another specialty is the cleaning and restoration of patio cushions and outdoor furniture, including umbrellas. We can remove almost all stains, including berries, bird droppings, food and drink stains, suntan lotion, and tree droppings. Many of our customers have us pick up all their outdoor cushions before the season starts or after the season is over to ensure their patio cushion investment is maintained. 

Drapes, Shades, Upholstery, and PatThe Benefits of Choosing Local: Why Maryland Residents Prefer Parkway Custom Drycleaningio Cushion Cleaning – Both Onsite and in our Plant

Choosing Parkway Custom Dry Cleaning isn’t just about getting top notch dry cleaning services; it’s a heartfelt choice that supports the community right here in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Parkway Custom Drycleaning has been a proud local service provider to the most discriminating clientele in the greater metro DC area since our founding in 1926. 

  • Personalized Service From Your Neighbors: We love nothing more than the idea of serving our own. We’re always here to listen, whether it’s a special care instruction for your grandmother’s quilt or just a chat about the latest community news. This is all part of the Parkway Custom Drycleaning difference.
  • Fast, Reliable Turnaround Times: Waiting around is the last thing you should be doing. That’s why we’ve streamlined our process to guarantee your clothes are returned to you not just in impeccable condition, but also with a turnaround time that fits your busy schedule.  While we like to have a week for the absolute best results so we can hand spot and air dry when necessary – we’re here to provide you with your items when you need them – we even offer same day service when necessary!
  • Hassle-free Dry Cleaning Pick-up and Delivery: If you’re pressed for time and making a trip to visit us is too much of a hassle, please consider trying our pick-up and delivery service. This service is available throughout the metro Washington, DC area, including most of Montgomery County, MD, and Northern Virginia. Let us do the driving!

Experience the Parkway Custom Drycleaning Difference!

Parkway Custom Drycleaning has been a household name in the Washington Metropolitan area since our founding in 1926. We take pride in being recognized as the first dry cleaner in the Mid-Atlantic region to introduce a new eco-friendly dry cleaning process. This process features a revolutionary odorless, non-toxic, biodegradable solution – one of the most environmentally friendly solutions introduced in the last decade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I create a Parkway Custom Drycleaning account and manage my service online?

Absolutely! You can create an account, and you can manage your pick-ups, deliveries, and preferences conveniently from your phone or computer. Click here to register online and schedule your first pick-up

Is the pick-up and delivery service available for both home and office locations?

Yes, we can pick it up from your home or office. Many of our customers provide pick-up and drop off locations (front door, back porch, or front desk for clients in buildings, for example), and they leave their dry cleaning for our driver to pick up so they can get on with their busy day.

Is Parkway Custom Drycleaning an eco-friendly dry cleaner?

Parkway Custom Drycleaning is committed to being an eco-friendly dry cleaner. We are proud to be the first dry cleaner in the Mid-Atlantic region to use a new dry cleaning process that features a revolutionary new odorless, non-toxic, biodegradable solution. This is one of the most environmentally friendly solutions to have been introduced in the last decade.

In addition, we recycle hangers, as well as paper and plastic, and have minimized our carbon footprint by installing low-energy lighting.