About Très Bon
Think all dry cleaners are the same? Think again! Dry cleaners are like restaurants: a great restaurant uses the best ingredients, employs the most skilled chefs, and takes the proper amount of time to prepare their dishes to perfection. Likewise, a great dry cleaner will use the highest quality solvents, employ the most skilled technicians, and spend significantly more time on each garment they clean than an average dry cleaner does. Many people have the misconception that their garments will be handled the same regardless of which dry cleaner they choose. But in actuality, the way a garment is handled, and the way it looks after being cleaned, will differ significantly between a great dry cleaner and an average one.

Wait a second though, what is dry cleaning in the first place? Do dry cleaners somehow blow stains out with air, or cast them out with a magical spell? Well, actually you might be surprised to learn that we use dry cleaning machines that look a lot like giant (huge!) front-loader washing machines. Dry cleaned clothes tumble in large machines filled with liquid. However, the liquid is a solvent that contains no water. The term "dry cleaning" actually comes from the fact that the liquid solvent contains no water, and is therefore "dry". Click here to learn more about our dry cleaning process, and why some garments must be dry cleaned.

Did you ever wonder why one dry cleaner can remove stains that another dry cleaner failed to get out? Well, there are actually a few reasons. But the biggest reason is that dry cleaning machines are ineffective in removing some types of stains. Those stains must be individually removed, by hand, after they leave the dry cleaning machine. In fact, more than half of the stains we receive require the attention of a skilled technician to be removed. And this is where the great dry cleaners really separate themselves from average dry cleaners. The technician must be able to properly identify the type of stain in order to choose the correct method of removal. Trying to use acetic acid to remove milk stains will be just as ineffective as trying to use amyl acetate to remove coffee stains. (By the way, both of these common stains require a technician's care to remove, they do not come out in the dry cleaning machine). We utilize over 20 different CP-grade (Chemically Pure) spotting agents, each of which are effective in removing specific components of stains. The technician's skill in identifying the type of stain, and then being able to choose the correct spotting agent (or combination of spotting agents) to remove the stain, is the key to either removing the stain, or failing to do so. There is also technique involved, which is sharpened over years of practice, and through continuing education. It is important to note that most dry cleaners have little, if any, formal training in their craft. But our technicians have received formal training from the New York School of Dry Cleaning (located in Manhattan), as well as periodic off-site seminars on solvents, dyes and pigments, fabric composition, weaves, and spotting techniques. We also regularly invite consultants to our plant to help us stay current with the latest cleaning technologies and techniques. Perhaps most importantly, our technicians can leverage decades of experience, as we have developed expertise in the dry cleaning process over four generations in the industry. All this contributes to why we can often remove stains that other dry cleaners cannot.

Hold on a second, these aren't my clothes! Have you ever wondered how your dry cleaner makes sure you get the right garments back after all the sorting, cleaning and pressing is finished? Previously, like most dry cleaners, we attached single-use paper tags to each garment to identify who it belonged to. This system was generally adequate, although there was the occasional mistake due to human error. However, in 2012 we upgraded our computer system and began utilizing permanent, computerized bar coded and heat-sealed garment tags to track garments throughout the cleaning process. Utilizing these new, permanent computerized tracking tags not only allows us to considerably cut down on the paper products we consume, it also allows us to better track your garments throughout the entire process. We know exactly who performed each task on your garment, and exactly when they did it. Better yet, since the assembly process is fully computerized, human error is eliminated, ensuring that you never end up with someone else's pair of pants in your order. Plus, we're now able to offer you some great ways to keep track of your clothing throughout the entire process. When we first receive your garment for cleaning, we enter its details into our state-of-the-art computer system. We include information such as garment type, brand, color, and fabric type. Once the all of your garments are entered into our system, a detailed ticket is automatically emailed to you, so you'll know exactly what's at the cleaners. Plus, on our website you can always login to your account to see what we're currently cleaning for you, and if it's ready yet. The moment all of your pieces are complete, the status automatically changes from "In Process" to "Ready ". You can also review past orders that you've already received back, or change your preferences. We even have Android and iPhone apps, so you can check on your orders from your smartphone! Does your dry cleaner offer that?

Now what about that "dry cleaning smell" your clothes get at some dry cleaners? Here's the bottom line: your clothes shouldn't have any "dry cleaning smell" if they are processed properly. None. And I'm pretty sure you'll be disgusted when you discover the real reason why your clothes pick up an odor at some dry cleaners. Dry cleaning solvent is volatile by nature, meaning it evaporates very readily. So when your clothes are dry cleaned, the solvent actually evaporates quickly during the drying cycle, and does not remain in your clothes. So what is that smell then? Well, many dry cleaners re-use their solvent over and over again, load after load, day after day, in order to cut costs. As you can imagine, all the dirt, grease, and body oils that are removed from clothing (and their associated smells) build up in the re-used solvent. However, the "dry cleaning smell" you may have experienced is actually primarily due to bacteria that builds up in the dirty re-used solvent. So, if a dry cleaner re-uses dirty solvent, although the solvent evaporates away during the drying cycle, the odor from the bacteria in the solvent remains on the clothes. That's the foul "dry cleaning smell" you may have experienced, and although it is common at many dry cleaners, it will not be present if your clothes are processed properly in clean, pure solvent. We use fresh, pure solvent in each of our cleaning loads ensuring there will be no "dry cleaning smell" left in the garments we clean. Click here to learn how we maintain our solvent purity.

Is it true that dry cleaning a white garment will turn it grey? At a good dry cleaner, absolutely not. At a poor dry cleaner, probably. The reason is the same as why some dry cleaners leave an odor in your clothing: solvent purity. A high quality drycleaner (such as Très Bon!) will clean white garments only with other white garments in pure, crystal clear solvent. The result is a beautifully clean, perfectly white garment. But what happens at poor dry cleaners that re-use dirty solvent? The solvent not only develops an odor (as previously explained), but it also becomes visually dirty and turns black and opaque as dirt and dyes from dark colored clothes accumulate. When you clean a white garment in that dirty dark solvent, you can guess what it looks like afterwards. If your dry cleaner "greys" your white clothes, it's a clear indication that their solvent is not... clear... at all. Click here to learn about the environmental benefits of our solvent filtration and distillation process.

What about pressing, what separates the good from the bad? Pressing is one of the most important stages of the dry cleaning process, as it plays a pivotal role in finishing the look of a garment. A bad pressing job can make a quality garment look terrible, and a good pressing job can often make a mediocre garment look and fit great. When pressed properly, a garment will have no wrinkles, and will drape on your body the way the designer intended. However, pressing is one of the most time consuming parts of the dry cleaning process, and therefore the most costly in terms of labor. Low quality (low price) cleaners survive by processing as many garments per hour as possible, to keep labor costs per garment low. So, they must cut corners. (They also cut corners in their cleaning process, as mentioned earlier). The lowest quality dry cleaners simply send garments through a steam tunnel to relax some of the wrinkles out. This results in a garment that is still wrinkled and droopy, without proper body. Others will try to press some parts of the garment but save time by doing things such as pressing both legs of a pair of pants at the same time, one on top of the other. The result is seam impressions, double creases, and wrinkles actually created from the pressing process. At a quality dry cleaner, garments are first put on a form finisher to relax out some of the wrinkles and give the garment proper body and contours. Afterwards, the entire garment is pressed by hand, section by section. Pressing by hand rather than using automated equipment results in a far superior finish, because a technician is able to attend to each of the garment's contours individually, whereas an automated press has a standardized "buck" that the garment is fitted over. If the garment's contours don't exactly match the buck's dimensions, imperfections are created. Additionally, pressing by hand allows the technician to ensure that the garment has the proper body and drape, without any distortions, so that it lays correctly on your body when worn. Here at Très Bon, we also add conditioners and sizings during the dry cleaning process to help give your garment proper structure, body, and texture. Did you know that in order for a sport jacket to be pressed properly, ensuring it drapes correctly when worn, a finisher (aka presser) must complete, at minimum, 17 separate steps (more steps may be necessary, depending on how the garment is tapered). When completed, the sport jacket’s lapels will roll naturally to the top button, and there will be no wrinkles, pocket impressions, seam impressions, button impressions, or shine. In other words, it will look exactly the way it should - which is exactly what you should expect when you’re paying to have your garments professionally cared for. Click here to learn exactly what to look for in order to determine if your garment has been pressed to perfection, so you won’t have to just take our word for it.

I gave my suit to the dry cleaner and it came back with a ton of lint on it, what’s the problem? The dry cleaner didn’t practice good load separation. Most likely they cleaned your suit with a bunch of sweaters, and the sweaters’ lint got all over your suit. A quality dry cleaner sorts garments into various classifications, and cleans each classification separately. Garments should be sorted by color, material, ornamentation, lint content, and bulk, and cleaned in separate loads. The more classifications, the better. However, all of this sorting requires more separate loads to be processed, increasing overall processing time and cost. A low quality dry cleaner may cut corners and clean incompatible classifications together instead of separately. However, a high quality cleaner may take it even one step further, cleaning more delicate garments individually in net bags. Some of the most delicate garments must be cleaned entirely by hand to avoid damage.

I keep getting shirts back with missing and broken buttons. Doesn’t my dry cleaner have any quality control? Buttons do occasionally break or fall off during processing. However, there is no excuse for receiving a garment with broken or missing buttons. Garments should look great and be ready to wear when you take them home. What good is a shirt or pair of pants that can’t be buttoned? That’s why we practice tight quality checks on every garment before it is approved for packaging. In addition to checking buttons (and replacing any missing ones), we ensure that all garments are pressed to perfection, and no stains are overlooked. At minimum, 4 pairs of eyes check each garment before it is approved for packaging.

Some dry cleaners stuff clothes with tissue paper and use fancy packaging. Isn’t that such an unnecessary waste? A quality dry cleaner puts so much effort in making a garment look great. If the garment is subsequently wrinkled or soiled during storage, all of that effort would be wasted. Robust packaging isn’t just for presentation - it ensures that garments will not lose their quality in the aisles, or on the way to their owners’ closets. Quality dry cleaners utilize tissue paper to give a garment body and prevent wrinkles from forming when stored. Stuffing a shirt’s sleeves and collar will prevent them from collapsing, which in turn prevents wrinkling. We also utilize collar supports to keep collars from drooping. Sweaters are folded over a hanger to prevent them from being stretched and distorted by their own weight. A quality dry cleaner will also insert a piece of tissue paper inside before it is folded to prevent creases from forming at the folds. Molded plastic forms are fitted over hangers for men’s sport jackets to ensure the collars and shoulders maintain their proper form. Touches like these ensure that your garments look great all the way until you’re ready to wear them.

Expert Advice: The plastic bags we use are intended to protect your garments from getting dirty during transportation. However, once in your closet, we recommend removing the plastic to allow the fabric to breathe. All materials break down over time and “off-gas”. Keeping the plastic bag on a garment for extended periods of time can trap these gasses and contribute to a garment’s aging. Click here for more Expert Advice.