If a problem occurs during the dry cleaning process who is at fault?

Dry cleaners who hold special credentials such as Certified Professional Dry Cleaner, have solid working knowledge of fabrics, chemical usage and the dry cleaning process. They are also aware of manufacturers who repeatedly issue textiles to the market which are failure prone in wearing and or cleaning. The premier association for Launders and Dry Cleaners The IFI, International Fabricare Institute, maintains an extensive data base accessible by Low Country Laundry & Dry Cleaners of items sent to them. Computer access of this information and related articles is available online. Low Country Laundry may decline cleaning an item based on their knowledge of pre-existing problems. Low Country Laundry has direct access to most manufacturers and importers and can contact them for clarity on the cleaning process. Publications are periodically issued to members of IFI regarding these items.

Customers often believe that if an item fails in the cleaning process: “it was fine when I bought it, it was fine when I wore it, and was fine before I brought it to the cleaners, so the problem must have been caused by the cleaner”.

Garments sent for analysis of failure problems are classified into three categories of fault. 1) the Manufacturer, 2) the Customer, 3) the Cleaner. In 1999 garments seen for analysis of problems attributed cause of those problems: 68 % to manufacturer, 23 % to the consumer and 9 % to the cleaner. When it is determined that the cause of the problem rests with the manufacturer the customer should return the item to the retailer for exchange or refund. When the cause is determined to be with the Cleaners, generally the cleaners will use Industry Standards, established by IFI in settling a claim. Type of garment, age, and life expectancy of use are several factors used in determining fair settlement.