Mike Asked: Should I Dry Clean My Shirts or Launder Them, & Can You Clean Leather Boots?
Mike S. asked
1. I have a pair of leather chukka boots that have had some salt/snow/elements get to them so the leather is discolored in some spots. Would you be able to clean them?
2. Is it better to dry clean shirts or have you launder them and then press them? Whatever is better for the material?
The harsh New England weather can really put a pounding on leather. As you can imagine, we handle lots of salt and water damaged items every winter. Leather products go through a process called tanning and have a dye, finishing, and sometimes a gloss added to them during manufacturing. These processes, among other things, affect the color of the leather. Because of this, discoloration is not only caused by the loss of dye, it is also caused by damage to the finishing and the hide itself.
We provide leather cleaning, color correction and oil replacement for leather products. However, because of the different factors that go into a leather product’s final shade, we would need to assess the damage to your chukka boots before we could guarantee our color correction will match the original hue. Our Boston and Watertown locations provide shoe repair services and can assist you in caring for your boots.
Your second question is one we receive often. The answer, it depends. The laundering process uses specialized detergents mixed with water to clean garments. Dry cleaning uses cleaning solutions and soaps (no water) in the cleaning process (we use green cleaning solutions GreenEarth and EcoSolv). Some fabrics hold up better with dry cleaning, others should be laundered.
Most dry cleaners (us included) launder and press cotton button down shirts because cotton fibers typically have minimal reaction to water (no shrinking, shriveling, less deterioration). Also, it is easier to use laundering to remove stains that are commonly found on dress shirts (body oils, perspiration, etc.).
We dry clean dress shirts that are made with different fabrics or blends that may be damaged or shrink when placed through the laundering process. Color bleeding & fading in water can be another reason an item is dry cleaned or wet cleaned instead of laundered.
Manufactures sometimes use different fabric blends, dyes, or finishes like stain repellent that require a specific cleaning process. Often people believe they should dry clean an expensive shirt simply because dry cleaning is more expensive. The truth is, the right cleaning process should be used for the appropriate fabric. It is best to seek a quality cleaner like Dependable Cleaners, who can make the appropriate decisions on how to clean each of your shirts.
Thank you for your question,
Dependable’s Expert Team