16 CFR Part 423 - Trade Regulation Rule on Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods (the “Care Labeling Rule”), Project No. R511915 #00031 

Submission Number:
00031 
Commenter:
Sally Veach
Organization:
FRESH Dry Cleaners & Laundry
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 423 - Trade Regulation Rule on Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods (the “Care Labeling Rule”), Project No. R511915

As an owner and operator of a small dry cleaning business, I advocate the addition of the term "Professionally Wet Clean" to garment care label terminology. At my business, which serves a small community, I am most concerned with serving my customers needs in the best possible way. But I have seen garments where the best method was not any of the terms used on the care label. As an example of this dilemma, many wedding gowns can not be dry cleaned because of the sequins and beads that have been attached. The soil that is on a wedding gown is most often water soluble. The cleaning method that is in the customer's best interest is often none of the methods that are on the care label, indeed, the label may state the dress can only be "spot cleaned". But I know I best serve my customer by professional wet cleaning, which will remove the soils while preserving the fabric and construction, and not dissolve beads, alter sequins, or dissolve glue that is used to attach ornamentation. As another example, often the type of the soil that is on many other garments is water soluble--food, perspiration, and bodily discharges. Dry cleaning solvents remove oil based stains best, but in the past, since it does not destroy the properties of certain fabrics that are sensitive to water, this was the only safe method for cleaning those garments. With today's wet cleaning technology, in many cases dry cleaning is not the best way I can serve my customers who have water soluble stain on their garments. I have professional wet cleaning, a better technology for certain soils which protects the water sensitive and fragile properties of their garments. I would like to be able to use it without fear of repercussions from going against the label requirements. In yet another example, customers who have had flooding in their homes often need us to help them by cleaning and removing the water, mud, and mold and mildew stains from their garments. Again, in many cases, professional wetcleaning is the best way to restore these garments. The care labels need to "catch up with the times" by allowing its use and educating the public about it. If manufactures cannot include "Professionally Wet Clean" on the care label, they cannot best serve their customers, and neither can we as their dry cleaners. We need assistance in properly educating the public, and taking the best possible care of their garments without fear of repercussions caused by outdated care labeling. As a final note, I feel it would be best to include the word "Professional" in the term in order to avoid confusion of the consumer, who may think wet cleaning means they can clean the garment at home with inappropriate detergents and home equipment. To not include the term "Professional" would be a great disservice to the consumer, leading to the ruin of many delicate garments, which incidentally would fall back on the manufacture. Dry cleaners have wet cleaning technology at our disposal, and it must be allowed in care label requirements, and the public educated as to it's existence, for the benefit and best interests of the public. Thank you for your consideration. Sally Veach FRESH Dry Cleaners & Laundry Woodstock, VA