Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of your most frequently asked questions and our response:

Q: “How often will you come to my home?”
A: Frequency of service* is dependent on your needs (twice per week, once per week, or on call). *Some areas only have one day per week service. Please inquire to our Customer Service Department as to these areas.

rack-with-clothes2Q: “Will you give me a laundry bag to put my clothes in?”
A: We give you two complimentary laundry bags when you start using McCormick Brothers. We will provide you with as many complimentary bags as you need.

Q: “How can I feel comfortable that my clothing won’t be mixed up with someone else’s?”
A: Each laundry bag is barcoded with your personal information. The bar codes are scanned and each bag is invoiced one at a time to ensure we have the correct customer. We also have cameras recording the invoicing process. The camera zooms closely on the customer’s name and garments. If there is ever a question concerning a customer’s clothing, we can view the tape from any day and watch what took place. We have a highly organized system with detailed records of everything in our computer database.

Q: “Can you pick up and deliver my clothing even if nobody is home?”
A: We will customize our service to fit your lifestyle, even when you are not at home. We ask that you select a location at your home for pick up and delivery that is out of the elements (in case we are picking up or delivering in bad weather). A garage code works best for most of our customers. If you have a door that has protection from the weather, we can hang your clothing on the door. We will provide you with a complimentary hook that hangs on your door (like a wreath hanger). This keeps your clean clothes from dragging on the ground or getting wrinkled. If you don’t have a garage code or a covered door, don’t worry. We will help you figure out a system that works for you. Some customers have even given us a key so we can hang the clothes in a garage or in a closet.

Q: “How do I get started?”
A: Simply click the link to request delivery service.

IMG_2503Q: “I have expensive clothing. Every dry cleaner says they can provide quality work. How do I know I can trust you to take care of my clothing properly?”
A: We deal with high end clothing every day. Don’t take our word for it though. We have been featured in 5 newspapers or periodicals with articles about our business. We were featured as a “Philly Classic” on a CBS-3 television special about great services in Philadelphia. Our customers have voted us “Best Dry Cleaner” 16 times. We were awarded the prestigious “Best of Philly” title from Philadelphia Magazine. Hopefully that is enough to give you a sense of peace that your clothing is in good hands. Try us once and we think you will feel comfortable using us again and again.

Q: “If I need an item definitely returned on my next delivery day, how do I do this?”
A: 99% of your cleaning is going to come back to you on the next delivery day. However, there are exceptions (see “Garment Turn-Around Time”). If you must have a garment by a certain date, pin a note on the piece or call the office and let us know. Do remember, however, that if a piece is stained, by requesting a rush on the piece, you may not be giving us the amount of time needed to successfully remove the stain.

Q: “What if I have a clothing emergency? Sometimes I forget where my clothes are and realize at the last minute that I need something and it’s at the cleaners.”
A: Please know that we are here to help you in emergencies such as this and we will do our best to get you the piece(s) of clothing you need in time for that important event or function.

Q: “How do I inform you about a stain or a special request?”
A: All garments brought into our facility are inspected for stains under bright lights prior to cleaning. If the stain is so slight that you worry it may be missed or if you know what the stain is on a garment, it would be helpful to leave a note in the bag, tell your driver, call, or email us to make us aware. The more information we have, the better the chance we can remove a stain. Call or email us 24/7! (You won’t always get a live person, but we will get the message and take care of whatever you need).

Q: “What if I’m not satisfied with a garment after you return it to me?”
A: We stand behind our work. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction. If you are ever not satisfied with the cleaning results, please let us know. We will always resolve any issues with our loyal customers.

Q: “Do you accept credit cards?”
A: We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. We do accept personal checks, but still must have a valid credit card on file to be charged if balance on account is not paid within 30 days.

Q: Is McCormick Brothers an environmentally safe dry cleaner?”
A: Yes, we are. We were “green” before it was so popular. We clean with two methods. We decide which method to use based on the fabric content and what each individual garment needs to properly clean it and remove any stains:

  • Professional, state-of-the-art wet cleaning (using non-toxic, biodegradable detergents and softeners)
  • Environmentally friendly hydrocarbon dry cleaning technology (the most proven alternative to “perc”)

We have never used perc at our facility. With our combination of wet cleaning and hydrocarbon dry cleaning, we return garments with a softer feel and without any dry cleaning odor. McCormick Brothers was the first cleaner in the Delaware Valley to use these alternative technologies, which were designed for high quality garments. It’s safe for the environment AND for you! We also recycle hangers and encourage our customers to do the same. We’ve recently started using 100% degradable poly film bags to cover the clean clothing in transit. This is part of our continuing effort to be a “green” cleaner.

Q: I’ve seen signs at some dry cleaners saying they are “Organic”. Are you an Organic dry cleaner? What exactly is an Organic dry cleaner?”
A: McCormick Brothers has always had a commitment to protecting the environment. Since day one, we have used a more environmentally friendly approach to cleaning. (See above question about how we clean clothes at our facility).

For starters, the term, “organic dry cleaning” is very misleading. Consumers hear the word organic and think “all natural”. They liken it to something like shopping at Whole Foods for organically grown food. As a country, we are beginning to really take environmental stewardship seriously. Unfortunately, there really is no such thing as truly organic dry cleaning. It’s a marketing ploy (a ploy that we will not use and will not try to capitalize on).

Something can be classified technically as organic (scientifically speaking) if it is carbon based. Using that definition, an awful lot of things are organic, but not necessarily “all natural” as consumers are being led to think.

Promoting “organic” dry cleaning is a poor choice of words in our opinion. We have always marketed our company as “environmentally friendly” because we most definitely are and always have been. WE HAVE NEVER USED PERC (Perchloroethylene – the most common solvent used in dry cleaning for the last 50 years). Our mixture of wet cleaning and Hydrocarbon dry cleaning technology is a gentle cleaning alternative to Perc.

We did research on every available alternative before we chose Hydrocarbon. We believe we made the best choice. McCormick Brothers is a family business. We work here everyday with these solvents. We want the safest and most proven cleaning technology available.

Q: “Should I leave the degradable poly bag on my clothes?”
A: No. While the 100% degradable poly film bags covering your clothing provide protection in transit from our plant to your home, leaving the poly on too long can actually harm your clothing. Clothes need to breathe, and poly traps moisture inside the clothing. This suffocates the clothing, which can cause mildew.

Always remove poly garment bags from your orders prior to hanging them in your closet. To keep your garments free from dust, simply leave the white dust covers on them after you remove the poly. If you are storing the clothing long term, you can cover the clothes with a cotton sheet. The clothes must be able to breathe.

Q: “I’ve heard that frequent dry cleaning can shorten the lifetime of your clothing. Is that true?”
A: There is a common misconception that frequent dry cleaning can damage or shorten the life of your clothing. Studies have shown that dry cleaning actually prolongs the life of clothes because it removes the soils and stains that, if not removed, will weaken and stain the fabric.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina State University did a study, “The Effects of Commercial Dry Cleaning on Physical Properties”. This study concluded that dry cleaning has no negative effects on wool, which is a sensitive fiber. Here are a few more points to consider:

  • A stain, which may not be easily seen, sets with age. Ground in dirt and soil act as an abrasive, like sandpaper, causing rapid wear of fibers.
  • Microscopic insects are attracted to soiled clothes and will cause damage.
  • Professional cleaning, stain removal, and finishing prolong the life of a garment.
  • If you press a garment without cleaning it first, in an attempt to avoid dry cleaning it because you think it will shorten it’s life, it is likely that stains, dirt, and body oils will be set permanently. The best thing you can do for a garment after it has been worn is to dry clean it prior to having it pressed.

Q: “I trust my retailer where I buy my clothes. They told me to wear my suits 4 or 5 times before cleaning them. They said this will prevent “shine”. Is this true?”
A: Retailers often advise against frequent dry cleaning for fear of improper pressing. They have seen shine on their customers’ clothing after it comes back from the dry cleaners and they want to protect their customers’ investments. They are looking out for their customers. It is better to have your suit cleaned immediately if there are any stains (see above question). But, it is VERY IMPORTANT to find a quality dry cleaner to protect your clothing investment. The “shine” comes from improper pressing, not from dry cleaning. If you use a poor cleaner, they may put a shine on your suit, regardless of how many times you’ve worn it first. A reputable dry cleaner will have properly maintained pressing equipment and a well-trained staff. Professionally trained pressers know how to press a garment without putting a shine on the fabric.

Q: “Sometimes stains seem to appear on my clothing after I send them to the dry cleaner. I don’t think the stains were on there when I sent them. How does this happen? I’ve seen this on shirt collars or on the front of a blouse.”
A: Many consumer beauty or health products (perfume, cologne, hairspray, acne lotions, etc.) contain alcohol or an alkaline chemical composition that can cause some dyes to change color. If you get dressed before these products have dried on your skin (or if you put them on while you are wearing the clothing already) they can get on the fabric. The staining or color change will not show up immediately. When the clothing is subjected to the necessary heat from the cleaning and pressing process, the staining or color change will be exposed.

Here are a couple of examples: The inside of a man’s shirt collar can have color change because the fabric has touched the neck before a shaving product or cologne has dried completely. The chemical reacts with the heat and can cause permanent color change. The front of a woman’s blouse could have little spots appear after pressing. This could result from the woman spraying perfume while she is already dressed. The spots where the perfume touched the fabric don’t appear immediately. But after steam hits the garment, the spots where the perfume touched the fabric are exposed.

We are often successful at removing these stains, but you can prevent this altogether by putting these products on and allowing them to dry before you get dressed.

Q: “Should I store my clothing on the wire hangers that my dry cleaner uses?”
A: Dry cleaners use these inexpensive hangers to keep costs (and prices) down. It is fine to keep your shirts on a wire hanger if you are going to wear them very soon and constantly send them to the cleaners. But, if you intend to keep the clothing on a hanger for a longer period of time, it is best to transfer the garments to a stronger wood or fabric hanger.

Q: “I recently received a Wet Cleaning Permission Form with my blouse. What does this mean?”
A: If a garment is labeled “Dry Clean Only”, and dry cleaning has not been successful in removing some stains, one option may be to wet clean the garment (no, we don’t mean throwing it in the washing machine). Professional wet cleaning utilizes the proper equipment, products, and training to get favorable results with garments that may have a care label that says “dry clean only”. There are risks involved. Some garments could have slight shrinkage and a change in the feel of the fabric. We only take these risks with your permission. In these cases, we will either send you a Wet Cleaning Permission Form or call you directly to discuss the piece.


Garment Turn-Around Time

You can be assured that the majority of your cleaning order will be delivered back to you on your next delivery day. However, there are exceptions:

Stains: If a garment is received with a stain, we will do all we can do to remove that stain and return it to you on your next delivery day. However, a deep stain can require several spottings and cleanings. Our goal is to return a garment to you in 100% wearable condition. Therefore, there are times when these garments will not come back to you until we have done all we can do to remove the stains.

Beads/Sequins/Fancy: Blouses, dresses, gowns, etc., that have fancy trim such as beading or sequins, will require special attention. These garments require more time to clean.

Leather/Suede: We use one of the finest leather/suede cleaners in the country. The attention to quality and detail is second to none. These pieces generally take at least 3 weeks to return to you.

Alterations: We utilize the skills of a highly experienced and talented team of seamstresses. Your alterations and repairs will come back to you in approximately 2 weeks (zippers require at least 3-4 weeks as they are not stocked due to vast variety, and need to be ordered individually).

Household: Comforters, table linens, blankets, etc., usually require one week’s time (more if stained) to be returned to you.