Dry Cleaning FAQs

Dry Cleaning FAQs will answer all your questions regarding Hallak’s services.

In short, dry cleaning utilizes solvents to remove to stains and odors.  Additionally, this process dissolves grease and oils that water cannot.

Besides being a safe process, natural fabrics  (wools, silks) benefit and prefer this treatment.  In water, they can often shrink, distort or worse.  Have you ever tried to clean a stain on silk? Water rings, anyone?

While some clothing requires dry cleaning, Hallak encourages all customers to ask questions.  Our team is here to assist you with your wardrobe’s care. Trust the experts. Feel free to contact a customer service representative today by emailing info@hallak.com. If you wish, you can request an item being picked up and evaluated.

Additionally, Hallak chooses eco-friendly solvents and processes.

Hallak’s garment dry cleaning journey:

Drycleaning isn’t dry at all. Even so, it is called “dry cleaning” because of the solvents used – rather than water.

However, many dry cleaners consider wet cleaning a form of dry cleaning. This wet process uses water as a solvent; then very special equipment controls the chemicals and agitation. With this in mind, many ‘dry-clean only’ items can be cleaned this way.  For example, oxidized wedding gowns respond well to a wet cleaning.

If looking through a dry-cleaning machine, clothing will appear ‘wet’.  This is due to the solvents being used.  Miracle solvents remove oily stains without shrinkage and other issues.  Following EPA regulations, all machines clean and dry garments.  It is not possible to open a machine mid-cycle (such as to drip dry). This way, there is always heat and agitation during the cleaning process.

According to the CDC, laundering and dry cleaning are proven to be effective in sanitizing fabric. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns you may have.

First, Hallak is one of the only cleaners offering several different methods of safe cleaning.

For instance, the most common is perchlorethylene (perc), However, hydrocarbon, GreenEarth solvents and wetcleaning are additional methods.

In general, Hallak customers’ have the option to request a specific method; all customers’ have notes in their accounts.  If a chosen method is not ideal for a garment, a team member contacts the customer.

Regarding a garment’s life, dry cleaning is a great option.  It has been proven to extend the life of clothing.

Hallak Cleaners works hard to ensure that our employees and customers feel confident.  Like you, we take our responsibility both to you and the environment very seriously.  In fact, we far exceed environmental industry standards.  Also, our team   continues to look superior, safe cleaning techniques.

For years, there has been no choice but to clean clothes in solvents which have been based upon carbon chemistry. Over three years ago, we have found a new solvent – liquid silicone. Unlike current solvents, it’s a solution that is not based on carbon chemistry. GreenEarth Cleaning, L.L.C., has patented the process which uses this exciting solution. We, along with other cleaners, have formed a Network of Affiliated GreenEarth Cleaners to bring this GreenEarth Cleaning process to the drycleaning industry and to our customers.   Along with Green Earth, Hallak Cleaners also introduced a new process called System K4 which is also environmentally friendly.

No, not if the drycleaning process has been carefully controlled. We have the latest in drycleaning equipment in each of our operations. They are all computer controlled with specific programs for each different garment and fabric type. Our drycleaning technicians have been fully trained and have years of experience in handling even the most problematic and difficult fabrics and garments. You can have confidence when you leave your clothes in our care.

We are professional drycleaners and are skilled in keeping the drycleaning solvent clean and pure. We are also intent on using proper drying procedures making your garments odor-free and ready to wear.

Frequent dry cleaning prolongs the life of your garments and textiles. Since some stains are invisible at first, or may simply go unnoticed, it’s important that you consult a dry cleaner about your garments on a regular basis to ensure that irreparable damage is not done over time. This damage includes the danger of stains setting in, insects eating the fabric, and ground-in dirt and soil acting as a sandpaper-like abrasive that will rapidly wear down fibers.

There is an old cleaners saying “Wear it twice, it will clean up nice.” This is a nice slogan, but you need to put more thought into your decision. For garments you wear next to your skin, like blouses, pants, shirts etc. you should follow the same logic you would use if it were machine washable. If you would wash it after one wearing, then you should dry clean it after one wearing. For suits, sport coats, overcoats, and sweaters worn over a shirt or blouse you may get two or more wearings between cleanings. Dry cleaning is especially useful to remove food stains, dust, soils, makeup, cologne, and perspiration. Over 95% of bacteria will be removed with proper cleaning and steam finishing. It is this bacteria that will produce an offensive odor if the garment is worn too long. Always clean garments before storage for any length of time. This will help prevent moth damage. Some antiperspirants and deodorants can attack colors and fibers if not removed soon after wearing.

The dyes and/or sizing may be solvent suitable and may require wet cleaning for best results. Yet again there may be other safe methods of processing a garment. The manufacturer is required to list only one safe method. With the experience, training and expertise of our drycleaning technicians we can properly test each of these garments to ensure that your clothing wardrobe is properly cared for.

If you are unsure about what any care label says, refer to our Care Label Dictionary under Useful Information for help. If that doesn’t work, call us!

One of the main differences between dry cleaning and home-laundering is that dry cleaning uses fluids (solvents) to remove substances from textiles in a way that laundering cannot. There are many advantages to this: Dry cleaning allows greases and oils to be dissolved in a way that home-laundering with water cannot. Natural fibers (i.e. wools and silks) will not shrink, distort, or lose color if dry cleaned, whereas they will with home-laundering. Although dry cleaning provides a more thorough cleaning, it is kinder to textiles and will not, discolor damage or affect the fabric’s integrity. In effect, dry cleaning returns the garment to you “like-new.” Dry cleaning is a time-saver and helps to maintain a smart, professional and fresh look to garments.

The bags we provide are intended to protect your garments until you get them home. Fabric needs to breathe. It’s best to store clothing uncovered or in fabric garment bags.

This is caused by excessive shrinkage of the interfacing within the collar and cuffs. The manufacturer must select an interfacing, which is compatible with the shirt fabric.

Lucky for you, we specialize in French hand laundering! A firm in Paris, France was credited with being the first to use an organic solvent in drycleaning garments. This process became known as “French Cleaning”. Some garment manufactures are using the term to suggest that the garment be hand cleaned in solvent. The term may also imply that the garment can only be spot cleaned because no immersion methods are acceptable. This instruction does not meet the FTC Care Label Rule, nor is it practical because it would not produce a clean garment. As a consumer you should be aware of the risks of cleaning such a garment. Often there is no safe way to care for these garments.

Industry standards allow for a normal shrinkage of two percent. This is usually not enough to notice. Shrinkage beyond this is usually due to poorly stabilized materials. To be sure, measure the collar and sleeve length. Measure the collar from the beginning of the button hole to the center of the button. Measure the sleeve length in a straight line from the center of the back of the collar to the end of the cuff. If these measurements correspond to the shirt size, it has not shrunk.

Both silk and rayon fibers clean very well. However once the fiber has been woven into fabric and it is dyed and treated with various sizing, it becomes a whole different ballgame. It is important that the care label instruction on the garment be followed. This is where we, as your professional drycleaner, are best in making that decision. We are the drycleaner you can trust!

The dyes used to color beads, buttons, and sequins, do not always perform the same way as the dyes used in the fabric of a garment. Some dyes are not resistant to drycleaning fluid. General fading, dulling of the finish or even entire color loss can occur. Worse yet, in some cases, the color transfers from the trim and permanently stains the garment. The Care Label Rule clearly states that the care instructions must apply to all component parts of the garment, including any attached decorative trim. Do not hesitate to return this garment to the retailer for an adjustment. The retailer should likewise return it to the manufacturer.

The dyes on acetate and other blends of fabric are sensitive to the effects of nitrogen oxide gas found in the air. These gases are formed when air comes in contact with a heated surface, such as a furnace in the home. The gases collect on the fabric as it is stored in a closet. This type of color change may not be noticed until the garment has undergone the cleaning process. Unfortunately, this color change cannot be reversed.


The care label is provided so that both the customer and the cleaner have reasonable guidance regarding care and cleaning methods. Some cleaners decline cleaning garments when care labels are removed, others require a consent form before proceeding with cleaning. We are happy to evaluate any garment, with a care label or not, for cleaning.

There is some risk involved in using any care process not recommended by the manufacturer. Hand washing involves manual removal of soils with water, detergent, and a gentle squeezing action. A care label that calls for machine washing, in a delicate or gentle cycle, indicates the soil can be removed with water, detergent or soap, slow agitation, and reduced time in a washing machine. Hand washing is a restrictive care process that minimizes the amount of abrasion a garment receives in cleaning. If hand-washable garments are machine washed in a gentle cycle, agitation may be further minimized by putting the item in a net bag. Even this procedure is in violation of the care label instruction, however, and places responsibility for damages on the launderer rather than the manufacturer. If you are uneasy about washing it at home, bring it in to Hallak and let us clean it for you.


The “fatty” material in a fabric softener attaches directly to the fabric and makes the fabric feel softer. However, fabric softeners can buildup over time, and can reduce the ability of the fabric to manage moisture and breathe. Frequent use of fabric softeners can also reduce the absorbency of cotton towels. The web site of Cotton Inc. provides the following tip for consumers: “Use fabric softeners occasionally. Overuse will cause your towels to stiffen and become less absorbent.”

There are several reasons why clothes loose their brightness. Common reasons include the use of too much/too little detergent, use of too large of washer loads, inadequate rinsing, and using the wrong water temperature. Read the detergent package for the correct amount of detergent for your type of washer. If the washer is too full, there’s more rubbing/abrasion on the clothes, which dulls the fabric/colors. So, don’t overload, and use the right amount of water for the load. Regarding the temperature, follow the care instructions on the garment label. Periodic use of appropriate fabric bleach (all fabric or chlorine, as appropriate) and/or laundry boasters will help keep clothes bright. Sometimes changing detergents may help. Many clothes have optical brighteners or fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) applied, which help brighten colors. Unfortunately, if the FWA are damaged by sunlight, bleach, or simply age, there is nothing you can do. Prolong your garments by sending them to Hallak from the start!

Unless the care label describes what must be done with trim, the label does not meet the legal requirements for garment care labels and should not be purchased, or if purchased and worn should be returned to the retailer. At times trim can be removed, for additional cost, and then reassembled. We might ask the you for a release recognizing possible problems in cleaning.

It is always best to follow the manufactures instruction. Although the FTC does not require labels on blankets, care instructions are usually provided on permanent labels or temporary hang tags. Wool blankets can be made of either a woven or knit fabric construction and they require special precaution when cleaning. Hot water or hot drying temperatures can cause wool blankets to shrink and feel harsh and stiff. Wool blankets can be drycleaned successfully, or they can be machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle with mild detergent, then line dried or tumble dried on low heat. Even thought you may follow the recommend care instructions, some wool blankets may still experience shrinkage. Industry standards allow for as much as 6% after five laundering! For example, a wool blanket that measures 81 x 108 can shrink as much as 4″ in the width and 6 ” in the length. For ease in caring for your wool blankets, just bring them into us. Remember: We are the drycleaner you can trust.

Proper caring for feather pillows depend on several factors. How often they are used, whether a protective cover or covers are used, if there is excessive perspiration causing stain and odor on the pillow. Generally an annual feather pillow cleaning is recommenced for pillows in regular use.

We have expert tailors at our locations to ensure you get the proper fit. If you are comfortable including a note with the inseam measurement with the pants, we are happy to make them the correct fit for you.  While both locations have a tailoring department on-site, we do suggest you call ahead to make sure that someone is available to help you.

We will patch the hole for you by inserting a similar fabric on the backside and sewing neatly matching stitches in matching thread on the front. This process secures the hole and prevents it from getting larger.

Pilling of a fabric occurs when groups of short or broken fibers on the surface of the fabric become tangled together in a tiny ball called a pill. Pilling results from rubbing (abrasion) of the fabric during normal wear and use. While pilling cannot be eliminated it can be minimized by proper handling during washing of the fabric/garment. Before laundering, turn the garment inside and out. Use a slower agitation and a shorter wash cycle. And, remove the garment from the dryer as soon as it is dry. To remove any pills on fabric, pull the fabric taut over a curved surface and carefully cut off the pill with scissors or shave the fabric surface with a safety razor. There are also battery operated pill removers, which shave the pills much like an electric razor. However, it’s important to understand that once you remove the pills, they can come back. So you may find that you’ll have to remove pills from time to time to keep your garment looking fresh and new. If you don’t feel you are able to perform this process at home, bring the sweater us.


Blending of fibers is done to enhance the performance and improve the aesthetic qualities of fabric. Fibers are selected and blended in certain proportions so the fabric will retain the best characteristics of each fiber. Blending can be done with natural and man-made fibers, but is usually done with various combinations of man-made fibers or man-made and natural fibers. For example, when polyester is blended with wool, the fabric retains the beautiful drape and feel of 100% wool, and the polyester adds durability. In some blends the polyester even makes the fabric machine washable.

Enzymes are a type of protein found in living matter. Used in laundry products, they have the ability to breakdown protein type stains, such as blood, meat juice, dairy products, baby formula, and vegetable proteins. Enzymes contain amylase (for starch), protease (for protein), and lipase (for fats). Be sure to check detergent ingredients, because some do contain enzymes.

Some labels state “Spot Clean Only.” Spot cleaning a garment is basically what the title implies. A garment is hand cleaned only in the areas where spots are noticeable. Spot cleaning is performed when portions of the garment are not capable of withstanding normal cleaning methods. Some of today’s fashions include various trims that are unserviceable whether drycleaned or wetcleaned. We are capable of performing Spot Only if necessary.

If it were only that simple! That depends on what the word “clean” means! When you launder your clothes at home, you immerse them in water containing agents to aid in soil removal and retention of whiteness and brightness. You choose hot or cold water, normal or delicate cycle, and also select the length of agitation time, and decide whether to rinse once or twice. When your garments are professionally drycleaned they also are totally immersed not in water but in solvents with the addition of detergent, brighteners and sizing. The drycleaning cycle is computer controlled to ensure that each type of fiber, fabric, garment or household item receives the proper amount cleaning time, “rinsing” extraction, and just the right amount of drying time at the right temperature. Dryel offers you spotting solutions and a bag to put your garments in and then instructs you to put it in the dryer for a specific amount of time. Your garments are not totally immersed in a solution containing cleaning agents, they are not rinsed. We have found that the spotting solution can be effective on many water soluble stains. It is not effective on solvent soluble stains or combination stains. Dryel will give your garments a “fresh” odor after they have been tumbled. If that’s what you’re looking for, I would suggest to you that a fabric softener sheet would have the same effect!

Hallak Cleaners is here for you

Because your wardrobe and home deserve the very best