Storing Clothes in Plastic Bags Harms Them

clothes on hangers in plastic bags

Customers often ask us if it is best to store their dry-cleaning items or laundered clothes in the plastic bags we send them home in.

The answer is: No! Long term, plastic harms the clothes.

This surprises many customers, who then ask why we use the plastic. The plastic is meant to protect the clothes on the journey home. Then it should be removed and, if possible, recycled. Our plastic poly is 100% recyclable. If you’d prefer to return the used plastic to us, we’ll happily recycle it for you.

How is plastic harmful to newly cleaned clothing?

Dry cleaner plastic bags are meant to protect items during the trip home. Remove and recycle them to prevent damage to fabric. 

Plastic prevents fabric from breathing, as it naturally is made to do, and leads to yellowing, weakening of fibers and mildew. Yes, mildew! Even though our process is called dry cleaning, there is a little moisture involved, which is why a plastic covering can cause mildew.

The discoloring culprit is a chemical called BHT, which is used in the manufacture of the plastic. BHT breaks down over time, causing yellow pigments that attach to the cloth.

We have other concerns about leaving the plastic in your closet, and that is printed right on the plastic. Thin plastic is a risk to children. If children play in the closet, the plastic can be dangerous.

Cotton is a better clothing protector than plastic

With the season changing, you may have items you want to store until next year. We do recommend covering newly cleaned clothing, table linens and other keepsakes that are stored for any length of time. Covering keeps off dust, especially on the shoulders of garments or the folds over hangers.

What should you use instead of plastic? The ideal covering is a white cotton sheet. Just fold the sheet and cut a hole for the hanger. You can sew the covering into a pouch, but it’s not necessary. Cotton lets the cleaned items breathe while keeping out dirt or stains from items nearby.

How to clean garments stained by plastic coverings

If your yellowed item was originally dry cleaned, and you’re ready to use it again, bring it into us and we’ll dry clean it again. This often removes the yellowing. In general, we’re always happy to give you advice on removing specific stains. Stop by any time with the stained item, and we’ll share our experience as to what should be effective.

Five Top 2022 Wedding Dress Trends

From May through October, wedding season is in full bloom. While most people think June is the top wedding month (with 15% of all weddings), September actually takes first place, with 16% of all weddings. Every year in the U.S., about 2.4 million weddings are performed.

Notice Grace Kelly’s high neckline in her 1956 marriage to Prince Rainier in Monaco. High necklines are back in 2022.

What are brides wearing this year?
This year, brides are selecting corset bodices, voluminous skirts, square or high necklines, and bridal hoods. Here’s a look at the top five trends.

  1. A mix of old and new. 2022 brides are combining traditional and unconventionalbridal dress elements. For example, brides are mixing minidresses, blazer dresses and colorful gowns with classic accessories, such as birdcage veils and gloves. The high neckline, popular in the 1950s, is back.
  2. Exposed corsets. This peek-a-boo into how the dress is structured gives a nod to the craft of the dress as well as being sexy.
  3. Oversized ruffles and skirts. Just as there is a trend for larger weddings, there is a trend for bride skirts and shoulders to be oversized, with huge, ruffled and textured fabrics.
  4. Color. While 82% of brides wear white, the recent trend toward colored gowns is gaining steam, as are patterns with colorful flowers. Pastels are favored, but so are stark black and white patterns.
  5. Personality. More and more, brides want their dresses to reflect their personality, whether it be modern or romantic, dramatic or traditional.

    Pastels and oversized ruffles are gaining in popularity. This short dress with a long train mixes old and new.

These styles and trends cost money
The average wedding dress in 2022 costs $1,251, plus $227 for accessories.

While tradition says the bride’s family covers the majority of the wedding costs, including the gown, times have changed. Today’s customs vary and support comes from multiple sources. Sometimes the bride and groom pay for the wedding costs. One study found that, on average, parents of both the bride and groom contribute a combined 51% of the wedding budget, while the wedding couple covers the remaining 49%. The bridal party tends to pay for their own dresses and suits.

The average cost of a 2022 wedding, including the gown, is $28,000.

Protecting that investment
Most brides want to preserve their wedding gown. Some brides hope to share their gown with their daughters when the daughters get married. Others save their gown for sentimental reasons. To best preserve a wedding gown, brides should select a cleaner that specializes in wedding gown cleaning and preservation. The best cleaners mend repairs, use cleaning processes that preserve the material and shape, and provide a storage box that maintains the gown’s integrity over time.

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.

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.

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How to Clean Your Clothes to Reduce Coronavirus Risk

How to Clean Your Clothes to Reduce Coronavirus Risk

By now, we’re all singing two rounds of “Happy Birthday” while washing our hands. We’re spraying down countertops even more regularly with disinfectant cleaners. And we’ve moved quickly from handshakes to elbow bumps to strict “social distancing.”

But what about our clothes? During the COVID-19 pandemic, proper laundering is no longer a matter of simply keeping your garments looking their best; it’s another smart precaution we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching—or spreading—the coronavirus.

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Sorting Laundry: Is It Really Necessary?

Sorting Laundry: Is It Really Necessary?

Do you separate your clothes into piles before doing your laundry? Or do you throw everything in the wash together and get on with your day? Although sorting has long been the status quo, “new and improved” laundry detergents, along with advances in washer technology, have sparked a debate: Is sorting still important, or is it an unnecessary holdover from a bygone era?

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