“Finishing is too hard?”

If you are new to wetcleaning, you will probably have experienced finishing problems. Wrinkles, twisted seams, stiff and rough textures… These are the most common complaints I hear from drycleaners who tried wetcleaning

Well, that’s because they did laundry, not wetcleaning. If you are doing wetcleaning properly, the condition of clothes out of the dryer should be no different from drycleaning. The time and effort required for finishing should not be more than drycleaing. Here are some of my suggestions.

No strong extraction

If you do dry-to-dry wetcleaning, clothes go from the washer to the dryer and to cut down on drying time, you would want a strong extraction. If it is polyester, this approach is OK. But with silk, wool, rayon, dark cottons, suits and overcoats, you should do a mild extraction and then hang dry.

All fabrics become weak when wet because the yarn relaxes. If you tumble dry weakened fabric too long, it can cause damages like pilling, delustering, chaffing and etc. To avoid them, you need to remove most of the moisture by hang drying first. Then tumble dry all the way and send to pressers. The drying temperature should be between 45℃ and 53℃.

The second reason I recommend medium extraction is because remaining moisture helps remove wrinkles while hand drying. Also, the conditioner plays an important role in finishing and you don’t want to remove it with a strong extraction.

The third reason is because a strong extraction leaves hard wrinkles, especially with silk and rayon.

Then, what is the proper amount of extraction? Many people ask me for a “RPM” number but it is a moot question. Because the extraction force is expressed by the G-force of centrifuge and it depends upon not only the RPM but also the diameter of the wheel. If a salesman brags about “800 rpm,” or “1,000 rpm,” please don’t be so easily impressed.

So, every time I receive a question like that, I answer in a different way. After the extraction and hanging, one or two drops of water drip. You should find the appropriate extraction speed on you machine that will accomplish this.

The amount of conditioner

If you extracted and dried properly and you still have a lot of wrinkles, then you have to check the amount of the conditioner. The conditioner plays a vital role in relaxing the fiber and removing wrinkles. It also adds sheen and softness. The more conditioner is left in the fabric, the better.

If you don’t use enough conditioner, you will never get rid of finishing problems.

Proper moisture retention

The next thing to look out for is the amount of moisture left in clothes before tumble drying. If they’re too dry, tumble drying won’t remove wrinkles. Clothes should feel moist when you touch.

Over-drying happens a lot during warm season and over the weekend. That doesn’t mean you need to work on Sundays. Use the water spray next to a press before you tumble dry. No need to spray evenly. The moisture level will level out in the dryer.

The moisture retention before tumble drying is often overlooked but shouldn’t be. It is absolutely critical for smooth work flow.

Picture of Yangsoo Kim

Yangsoo Kim

The author is the developer of Aqua Master wet cleaning chemicals and is currently operating Green Life Cleaners, a 100% wet cleaning service. You can contact him by phone (201) 699-7227 or email at yangkim50@gmail.com.

Click the ad to connect by phone