Disclaimer: I had a few items cleaned for free at Tide Dry Cleaners as part of my tour through their facility. The thoughts and opinions below are my own.
I get weird emails as a blogger. I’m sure we all get weird emails (who knew there were so many people just waiting to give us money from international accounts) but I get non-spam weird emails. Things like “how would you like to borrow this couch for a week” or “can we pay you in hot dogs” or “please come to a party to celebrate our new flavor of flax cereal”.
Recently, I got invited to tour the new Tide Dry Cleaners opening in South Jordan. I have to admit that I almost skipped right over it since I haven’t been going to very many local blogger events lately, but then I realized that I had absolutely no idea how dry cleaning works. What is dry cleaning?
I had too much curiosity to turn this one down (for all I knew this would rival that time Mr. Rogers went to the crayon factory) so I took an armful of dirty shirts and my mother and we went to the dry cleaners. Taking my mom was key because my mom is someone who actually has things dry cleaned. I only have things dry cleaned if something has happened and a recovery needs to take place (my wedding, someone else’s wedding) or if something fabric-not-clothes needs to be thoroughly cleaned (that time Eva threw up on Curious George). Honestly, dry cleaning is too intimidating to use all the time. I prefer to ruin Kyle’s work shirts and then blame him for shopping anywhere other than Old Navy. True Story.
I’m not totally sure I got my “authentic” dry cleaner tour because this dry cleaner doesn’t look like any other dry cleaner. It’s totally open so when you walk in you can see everything that’s going on. There’s no weird back room where they’re taking your clothes. It was also really bright and clean inside and it smells like Tide laundry detergent so that’s a little confusing. Therefore, I can’t promise you that this is how all dry cleaners work because this is probably not how your dry cleaner works but this is how your dry cleaner SHOULD work because it’s awesome.
1 /// You check your clothes in and they get barcoded. When you set up an account as a Tide Dry Cleaners customer, you get a number that matches your profile. They then put this little heat tag barcode somewhere discreet on an inside seam or something (vs using a pin to actually put a hole in your clothes) and that tag stays on the whole time so your clothes never get lost. They also save special instructions to the little heat tag so the people who work there can scan it and immediately see that you want them to double check the buttons or use light starch or go with a scent-free soap. That scent-free thing can also be a permanent option in your profile for everything you ever bring in – huge for allergy/asthma families or people who suffer from migraines.
Side note – one of the cool things that Tide does is they use that barcode system to update your account through an app you can put on your phone so you can actually check the progress of each item of clothing as it goes through. I really can’t imagine that you’d need to know exactly when your shirt is getting ironed but it’s kind of cool to have the option, right?
2 /// Your clothes are checked for stains, rips, etc. Before they wash anything, they check everything over for stains and they were pretty confident that they could get any kind of stain out at their stain station. It’s funny because they’re really just using the same Tide-brand stuff you can get at the grocery store and some elbow grease, so it isn’t dry cleaner magic so much as people who know what they’re doing with your clothes.
3 /// Your clothes are washed. Turns out that dry cleaning looks a lot like regular clothes cleaning except everything is washed in a special solution. There are different solutions and processes depending on what color the clothes are and the type and some clothes go through in little bags (like delicates or beaded things) but really the process just looked a lot like washing.
4 /// They’re steam pressed until dry. This part was my favorite. They have this fancy pants machine for shirts that presses them while they’re on a dummy so they’re pressed to look like how you would want them to look when you’re actually wearing them. After they’re taken off, they’re looked over and hand pressed a little bit to make sure that everything looks right.
Things that aren’t shirts had a different pressing area and less fancy equipment but the process in general was still pretty much the same. It was nice to see how organized it was. They talked about how they never lose anything and it made sense, because everything was so in-it’s-place I don’t see how you could.
5 /// They fix your buttons. If they notice that a button is missing, they replace it if they can. This is true even if you didn’t mention the button or if the button wasn’t there when you dropped it off. It’s a free part of the service. Of course, if it’s a really weird button they might not be able to do it, but then they’ll make a note of it for you.
6 /// It does the Dance of the Clean Shirts. I don’t know what this machine is really called, but after your clothes are ready they get bagged and scanned in and the machine moves so that all of your clothes can be hung up relatively close together so you don’t have to wait long to pick them up.
It’s worth noting that Tide Dry Cleaners work a little differently than regular dry cleaners because they offer free curbside valet OR you can actually use this giant clean clothing ATM thing they have to pick up your dry cleaning at any time just by punching in your info. Naturally, they also have an outside dry cleaning drop off where you can put your clothes (and any new ones) as long as they’re in your special dry cleaning bag with your barcode on it. So, theoretically you could go in once and then drop off and pick up from the dry cleaners forever without ever actually having to get out of your car. Score one for errands you can run in your pajama bottoms.
Other than that, there were some nice services that had to do with some of the products that Tide makes, but the prices are still low (lower than the one by my house in fact) and the people who are running it are all very friendly and down to earth.
The grand opening for this Tide Dry Cleaners is this Saturday and they doing two free garments for everyone who comes by, along with some other giveaways. The address is 11514 S 4000 W in South Jordan, Utah, and they’re open from 8-5.
They’re starting to pop up all over, though, so if you aren’t in the area you should see if there’s a Tide Dry Cleaners by you. Apparently one opened south of me last year and I didn’t even know about it, so I’m happy to spread the word about these guys!