I service a commercial account that has just purchased some rather inexpensive, polyester table cloths that wrinkle when washed. Even the client admits that she bought an inferior product.We pre-treat these items, wash them in warm water with Tide (no bleach or softener), and then dry the table clothes on low heat. We process only a few at a time, so there is plenty of room in both the washer and the dryer.However, the fold creases are very obvious, as well as just general wrinkles. Is there a process for laundering polyester table clothes so that they don’t wrinkle?

To launder and process table clothes properly – whether they’re polyester or cotton – you need a starch cycle and an ironer, which is the only way you can remove the wrinkles. Unless you pull the table clothes out of the dryer immediately after the cycle and fold them right away, you’ll need to iron them – either with an ironer or a hot iron.It’s also best to use a starch on these items. There is synthetic starch that is made for synthetic fabrics, and there is natural starch that is designed for cotton items. I would talk to your chemical distributor about what type of starch would work best for your particular client.The bottom line is that, without some form of ironing, you will always have some type of wrinkling issue with those table clothes.

I have a question about fragrances and scents. Is there any way to add something different to the wash to get it smelling fresh, aside from the normal scented detergents or fabric softeners? Sometimes I wish there was something to add for customers with pets who need a boost of fragrance in their blankets or comforters.

There are certain odor-removing and fragrance-adding products that your local distributor likely has available. Some of these items are sold frequently to drycleaners and even veterinarians’ offices. Therefore, I would suggest first calling your distributor to see what types of commercial-level products he carries.On the retail shelf at your local supermarket, there are a couple of odor-neutralizing products that leave a pleasant after-scent, include Febreeze. If you add a product like that to the last rinse of your wash cycle, you not only remove certain odors but you infuse a little fresh fragrance into whatever you’re washing.Of course, the retail products are on the lighter level. To tackle stronger odors, talk to your local distributor about the many commercial products that are available.

I’m considering offering drop-off drycleaning at my laundry. How do I choose a drycleaner with which to partner?

First of all, you should try to locate a drycleaner that is located relatively close to your store, which will make pickups and deliveries quicker and easier.Second, you need to find out the drycleaner’s policy on lost or damaged items. If he’s not willing to accept the liability of losing or ruining a garment, I wouldn’t even consider partnering with him. Find someone who will guarantee his work – as well as his pickup and delivery dates.As far as the quality is concerned, it only stands to reason that the cleaners that do a better business generally have the better quality. So, investigate the individual drycleaning businesses you are considering to see how much volume they’re actually doing, along with how many other drop-off accounts they have.In most cases, you can’t truly gauge a drycleaner’s quality until you’ve had some experience using him – so the key factor initially is the cleaner’s policy on lost, stolen or damages garments. There needs to be some type of guarantee on his workmanship.

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