Dry cleaning…how it works.

Dry cleaners… 

What are they? A business designed to take care of your clothing and household items.

How does it work? It is not a simple process. But I will explain in full detail at another time. The short version… They take your items check for spots, rips, holes and color loss. Attempt to pre spot then clean. Afterwards the items are pressed. 

How are prices created? Well now that is very tricky. But these are items that the company must pay for in order for your item to be done. 

Personnel: 

counter person: that took in your items, 

check in person: that looks your items over and puts them into the system and sends them on, 

dry cleaner: this person double checks the items for any additional spots, prespots any stains,  sorts the items by carelabel and color, put the items through the cleaning process, checks the items after to see if any additional work need done, the item is then sent to be pressed.

Prefinisher: this person steams out or tops the items for the presser to finish. Sport coats for example have formers put into the sleeves and clamps are out on vents if any and then steam and hot air are pushed through the items gently.

Presser/finisher: this person looks over the garment for any touch ups needed for the upper body of the item. Looks for pleats and Ruffles and steams and/or presses them back into place.

Inspector: this person inspects the items to make sure that there are not spots or missing buttons or seams that need repairs, and make sure they are pressed up to that companies standards, assembles the item on the correct order, when the order is completed the order is sent on to the bagging station.

Bagger: this person looks over the order to insure that the customers preferences are done (I.e. creases or no creases in pants, bag or no bag for the order). Puts the items in proper order and tries to insure all items are there and accounted for, items are connected together by whatever means that cleaners uses (string or twisty ties).

Hanger: this person attaches the tag onto the item and puts the order on the line or conveyor by whatever order that company uses (numerical or alphabetical).

Pickup: the person that gets the order/orders for you when you pick up and takes your payment.

Management: person or persons helping in all areas and overseeing the entire process helping to ensure the quality you are expecting. 

Then there are the other items involved in processing your item/items. 

Utilities, rent or building payment, cost of equipment, hangers, plastic for bagging, computer software or paper products used for the tagging process, phones for communications, And the chemicals used for the spotting and cleaning process. I am sure I am missing some of the smaller items involved in the process. 

Trying to come up with pricing is a very very tricky process because the cost of supplies and utilities is constantly going up and down. And as expecting wages goes up that doesn’t make it any easier.

What is the most important thing to a dry cleaners? Making their customers happy and return customers. 

Admittedly dry cleaners cannot please every customer every time. They try to do the best they can but they are human like the rest of us.

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Hello, My Name is Kim Smith

Hello,

I am Kim Smith your average every day woman. I work hard for my money. I am a wife to my wonderful husband Ron. Although I didn’t get it right the first time. I didn’t give up. I have not had your run of the mill life. I am 48, on my 4th and 18 year strong marriage. I have 4 wonderful children. Although they each have given their own set of challenges I love them all very much. I have 5 wonderful grand daughters! I have an awesome  and challenging career managing a dry cleaners.

I was raised in a poor home with a step dad and step siblings. My step dad taught me how to work on cars and raise chickens and rabbits for food. He also taught me how to grow a garden, and fish. We went floating down the river for a week every summer sleeping on the river banks. Great memories. As a young adult I made one bad decision after another. But through those decisions I made I became a stronger person because I did not give up. I did not roll over and just sink into an oblivion of depression. Most people would have if they had gone through the what i have been through. I am a winner just because I never gave up and I persevered and came out the wonderful mentor and leader I am.

I want to thank all the people I have in my life right now. They are my support team and the reason I never gave up dispite all of the battles you are helping me win the war.

Now about the knowledge I can share with my readers and viewers.

I am the manager of a dry  cleaners. But in that process of getting to where I am I have learned every position there is in a dry cleaners. I can wait on a customer with finess and knowledge of that item. I can check in their item insuring it is directed in the correct area for the cleaning process needed for that item. I can prespot and clean any item that comes in the door and if I can’t I will let you know when you drop it off what the concerns I have with cleaning that item it. I can press any item that comes in the door from the standard shirt and pants to antique wedding dresses. I pressed the original dress Shirley Jones wore in the musical The Music Man when she came through Springfield on tour doing The Music Man with her son. It was very delicate being a dress from 1962 and not preserved as well as it could have been. In short I can work any position and clean or press just about anything you put in front of me. I have restored some antique and vintage items and well as saved items that had red wine spilled on them. Now that being said I cannot get every spot out of every item. I have failed to get some spots out. But through failures comes a learning experience. I learn and grow every day.

I also have knowledge from my time as a Detroit Metro Transit Police Officer. We were trained by the Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy. I come from small town  Missouri and was enforcing laws in big city Detroit. It was a major learning experience. I met a lot of wonderful people and had a ton of fun during my stay there.

I have also learned a lot about a lot of different things during my lifetime. I can do drywall… and I am quite good at it. I can work on an older model car as well as figure out how to work on current pieces of equipment if I need to.  I do sewing and have made some clothes and I have made some quilts. I can do anything that I put my mind to.

If you have a question for me just ask.  And I will do my best to answer it.