We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, the world of dry cleaning is shrouded in mystery and this leads to all kinds of misinformation on what goes into the process and what things need to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning is an absolute must for certain fabrics and highly recommended for others, but if you’re the type that enjoys doing your own laundry, then what can you handle at home?

Woman looking through clothes on a rat

These Fabrics & Garments Don’t Need Dry Cleaning

Cotton Shirts

Your average, day-to-day cotton t-shirts don’t need the specialized dry cleaning process. However, depending on how careful you are when wearing them, they might benefit from a professional stain removal if you encounter accidents.

Synthetic Clothes

Garments made from materials like polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, and acetate aren’t in danger from a domestic washer, though the dryer might cause problems if it’s too hot. Giving these clothes a long, low dry is the way to go if you can’t hang dry them. 

Painted Fabrics 

Whether it’s a hand crafted piece you bought from an artisan or that college intramural shirt you just can’t part with, caring for painted fabrics can be confusing. Because their designs are delicate, many think these garments must be dry cleaned. Similar to our advice on synthetic clothes, beware heat and hang dry whenever possible to preserve the painted designs.

Knit Fabrics

In addition to linens, knit fabrics common in sweaters are another fabrication that folks highly recommend taking the cleaners. Depending on the quality of the garment, though, your cozy sweater may be able to stay at home. They aren’t without their own special care and can’t be treated the same as your jeans or pajamas. Due to this extra care, many find it worth it to bring their sweaters to their local cleaners anyway.

You Should Dry Clean These Fabrics & Garments

Delicate or Speciality Fabric

These materials include things like silk, velvet, wool, and leather. Upscale fabrics— such as chiffon, velvet, and merino wool – should also be brought to a professional cleaning service to preserve their natural luster and form. These are perhaps the fabrics that make most people go, “uhhh…” so it’s just common sense to bring them to your local dry cleaner.

Anything you want to keep its form and color quality

Lastly, anything you want help in making it last should be brought to the cleaners. Expensive professional attire is just one example, but maybe you have a favorite casual shirt that you wear on repeat that we could help with.
While everything we listed in that first section doesn’t need to be dry cleaned, it doesn’t mean it can’t be dry cleaned or that other laundry services at your local cleaners would be helpful to you. If you want the best possible care for your garment to increase its longevity, bring it in. Or, if the care instructions on the tag have you feeling overwhelmed, we’d be happy to handle the laundry.

Image of Winter Coats on a Dry Cleaning Rack.
Share the Warmth with Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, with other holidays following soon after. Although the holidays might look a bit different than usual this year, one thing will remain constant: Along with these festive times comes colder temperatures in our area. As we all relish in the joy that spending time with loved ones brings, why not share the warmth with some of our neighbors who need it most? Thanks to a collaboration between Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners and NBC4, Burke & Herbert Bank, and the Salvation Army, giving back to your community never been easier! Our Share the Warmth Coat Drive is the perfect safe and socially-distant opportunity to help others this winter. 

What is the Share the Warmth Coat Drive?

Between now and December 18, 2020, we are asking our community members to consider donating new or gently used coats to go to DC-area community members in need. As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on a lot of people, particularly the over 5,000 homeless folks living in our region. Some of our neighbors might need some extra assistance to stay warm this winter, and donating a coat is a great way to give back to the community without putting yourself or others in any danger as the pandemic continues. One coat could go a long way in bringing a smile to someone’s face during these difficult times!

How can I donate?

At Crest, the safety of our customers and community members is our primary concern. We are committed to collecting donations in the safest way possible. Because of this, we are offering multiple options for those who wish to donate. You can drop off donations at any of our Crest locations throughout the region, notifying the representative that the coat is a donation for the Share the Warmth drive. We also offer a free no-contact pickup service, available to Crest customers as well as other community members! If you are a Crest customer, simply leave the coat in a non-Crest bag labelled “STW” on your normal pickup day. If you are not a Crest customer, take a few moments to sign up for a free account using the promo code “STWCOAT” and we will contact you shortly with instructions for pickup. 

If you have any more information about the Share the Warmth Coat Drive or other services offered by Crest, contact us today!

The world behind the dry cleaner’s counter is a mystery to most. This leads to not-entirely-accurate information being spread about dry cleaning. The dangerous part is many of these misconceptions can actually damage your clothes. To help protect your wardrobe, don’t fall victim to believing these misconceptions. 

Series of blue button-down shirts hang on wooden hangers.

1. Dry Cleaners Don’t Use Liquids

As we’ve said before, it’s called ‘dry cleaning’ because there is an absence of water. However, the cleaning solvent is still liquid. This solvent is often a petroleum-based liquid, perchloroethylene, which dry cleaners refer to as ‘Perc.’ It is a popular option, but we at Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners don’t use that human carcinogen, and instead use our EcoTech System to maintain your clothes.

2. Use Club Soda Instead – It’s Cheaper!

Club soda may be touted as a miracle hack for treating serious clothing stains at home, but it is in no way a substitute for your local dry cleaners. In many cases, it can often make a stain worse. If you encounter a stain, gently dab the excess away and bring the item in to the cleaner as soon as possible. Let them know what happened and they will be able to help.

3. Store Your Clothes in the Bag from the Cleaners

This isn’t necessary. The bag is just to protect your clothes on the trip back to your closet, whether you’re picking them up or having them delivered. Your clothes will come back clean and dry, but the bag may trap residual heat, making the air humid and hostile towards certain garments. Our bags are not meant for long-term storage.

4. Only Clothes Labeled “Dry Clean Only” Should Go to The Cleaners

While your local cleaner may have specialized processes for those clothes that should not go in a domestic drying machine, many offer services for your other clothes. Any garment that you want to last and maintain its quality should be taken to your cleaners. 

5. Wait as Long as Possible Before Taking Your Clothes to The Dry Cleaners

This misconception stems from the idea that dry cleaning actually harms your clothes and that it should not be done as frequently as you do your own washing at home. This assumption is false and prolonging the time in between visits can be a costly mistake. Waiting to take your clothes in means wearing them multiple times. This can compound stains and smells that latch onto your clothes, making them more difficult to get out, even at the hands of an expert cleaner. Don’t wait to take your clothes to the cleaners. 

There are many bits of common knowledge about dry cleaners that stem from misplaced assumptions. Don’t fall into believing them or your clothes could suffer. Trust your local dry cleaner to help your clothes last and keep you looking smart.

You’re not the first to ask this question, and you won’t be the last. With unfamiliar machinery and a process that shrouded behind other people’s laundry, it’s hard to guess at how dry cleaning works. While it might be mysterious, the process is actually very simple. 

1. Your clothes get tagged.

When you first drop your clothes off (or have them picked up), the dry cleaners tag and inspect them. The tags help ensure your clothes stay and are washed together. It also helps in retrieving your clothes once they’re ready for pick up/drop off. 

Tagging allows the dry cleaning staff to clear your pockets of anything you wouldn’t want washed (Hello, missing airpods!) and note any pre-existing damage such as missing buttons. We take it a step further at Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners to note specific details about the garment, such as the clothing brand and color, which is packed into a barcode unique to that item.

2. Your clothes are pretreated.

If, during the inspection, the cleaner notices any stains, this is when they will be pretreated. It’s best if you alert your cleaner to the stain and, if possible, let them know the cause so they know how best to treat it.

3. Your clothes are washed.

This is where we tell you the “dry” part of “dry cleaning” isn’t entirely true. Clothes do become wet at the dry cleaners, but it is due to a cleaning solvent, not water. This solvent can differ from place to place, like how Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners use GreenEarth, a solvent free of “perc” or perchloroethylene, a human carcinogen. 

To clean your clothes, dry cleaners load your garments into their washing machine and rinse it through with their solvent. This gentle cleaner will remove surface stains as well as prevent any stretching or shrinking like a domestic washing machine might cause.

4. Your clothes are checked.

While the washing process is gentler than the machine found in most homes, there is still a chance of a button getting lost or a thread being snagged. After they come out of the machine, clothes are inspected for such damage, but also any remaining stains. 

5. Your clothes are pressed.

Once they pass quality control, your clothes are pressed to remove wrinkles. Sometimes this is simple ironing, but other times, special forms are used to help important garments keep their shape. 

These general steps aren’t specific to Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners. Most dry cleaners will stick with this process to best care for your clothes. However, if you have special care instructions for your garments, it’s worth investigating what makes your local dry cleaner unique.

We all know summer can be messy, whether it’s ice cream with the kids or happy hour with friends. Discovering a stain on some of your favorite pieces of clothing can be upsetting, particularly if you don’t think you’ll be able to get it out on your own. Luckily, many dry cleaners have the advanced technology necessary to tackle stains for you, allowing you to keep having fun without worrying about your garments. Here are our best tips on removing stains at the dry cleaner.

Summertime Stains to Bring to Crest

Can I bring stained clothing to the dry cleaner?

Most dry cleaners, especially ones that use the most modern, advanced technologies, have the expertise necessary to combat even the toughest stains. In order to help ensure that the dry cleaner will be able to treat the stain, it’s important that you point out where stains are and what happened when you drop off your garments. This allows dry cleaners to give stain-specific treatment to those areas. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to get your stained items to the cleaner as soon as possible to improve the possibility of effective stain removal. If you don’t have time to get to the dry cleaner yourself, don’t worry! Services like Crest Concierge Home Delivery allow you to have your clothes picked up, cleaned, and delivered stain-free without leaving your home. 

What kinds of stains can be brought to the dry cleaner?

Dry cleaners can tackle all sorts of stains, including the most common summertime stains. Explaining what has stained your garment to the dry cleaner is essential, as different types of stains require different treatment. Water- and protein-based stains, including beverages like wine or beer and dairy products like ice cream, can require special attention based on the ingredients of the contaminant. Fat, grease, and oil stains that could come from a barbecue can be tricky to remove at home, but dry cleaners like Crest have the solution. Even if you’ve stained your clothing while tye-dyeing t-shirts, a dry cleaner may be able to help you remove the dye!

Bringing stained clothing to a dry cleaner is always a good idea, especially because many at-home solutions can often actually set the stain in your garment. Summertime can be messy, but Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners is here to help protect your clothes while you focus on having fun. Contact us today!

Image of man picking up dry cleaning.

We often have customers ask, “What do you do with my clothes back there?”

It’s a common question and we really like the way HowItWorks.com explains it. Learn it all here and trust Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners to take care of your garments whether they are marked “Dry Clean Only” or you want expert care of your clothes.

Guest contributor: Nathan L., Alexandria, VA

Image of Man Skiing Down Mountain

On the slopes in my dry cleaned ski apparel. Thanks Crest!

Every year I head up to Vermont for a ski trip with my college buddies – and every year I come back with a pile of soggy ski wear. I’m no Bode Miller, but I like to think I tackle the slopes pretty well and handle the powder like a pro. That is, until I get back to normal life and am faced with stacks of dirty ski gear and apparel. A number of people tell me they never wash their ski wear or, if they do, they wash it very infrequently. Dry cleaning? Never, they said.

While it’s true you don’t need to wash your ski wear after every adventure down the mountain, I just couldn’t get behind the idea that it never needed to be washed. The best ski apparel is breathable, and these fibers can easily become clogged with sweat and grime – not exactly something I want against my skin after festering for a year. That left me with one question: if I wanted to wash my ski wear, how should I do it?

Ski clothes are big and bulky. The coin-operated washers and driers in my apartment building basement just aren’t up for the challenge. What’s more, a lot of powder detergents, fabric softeners, conditioners, stain removers, and bleach, combined with the heat and motion of the wash cycle, can degrade both the clothing material and the special polymers used for waterproofing. That means the investment made in good-quality gear (and believe me, ski apparel isn’t cheap) wouldn’t last more than a couple seasons. I needed a better solution.

Enter: Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners. I’d been taking my suits and dress shirts to Crest for years (I know they deliver, but it’s no trouble to drop off my stuff on the way to work). So, after last year’s trip with the boys, I asked them what they thought about dry cleaning ski wear. Most dry cleaners shouldn’t attempt it, they said (most cleaners use harsh chemicals that strip the waterproof coating from your apparel). But most cleaners aren’t Crest. Their advanced dry cleaning method – using a non-abrasive, odorless silicone solvent – carefully restores clothes to their cleanest without any damage. And it’s environmentally friendly, too!

Needless to say, I now leave all my ski apparel with Crest after my annual venture north. Clean ski gear that lasts from season to season? Yes, thank you.

Additional helpful tips:

  • Make sure you thoroughly go through your pockets before dry cleaning your ski wear. There are a bunch of hidden zippers and compartments where you can forget lip balm, tissues, cash, hotel room keys…you get the idea.
  • Remove (cut off or untie) any lift tickets or passes.
  • Store your ski wear after dry cleaning in a cool, dry place, so it’s ready when you next hit the slopes.


There’s nothing like pulling your favorite shirt from the dryer only to discover that it’s a few sizes smaller than when it went in. Not only is this frustrating, but it can end up costing you money because it won’t be long before you replace all of these shrunken pieces of clothes. Whether your spouse is notorious for shrinking garments, or you try to prevent this common laundry faux pas from happening with no luck, there is an easier solution. Here we explore a few ways that dry cleaning can prevent your clothes from shrinking (once and for all!).

Dry cleaners are skilled at cleaning a variety of fabrics

While there are a few different factors that can result in clothing to shrink after the cleaning process, one essential aspect is how you handle the different fabrics. Even when you’re diligent about reading labels and following the directions to the letter, when the fabric is mishandled, it can lead to shrinkage. A dry cleaner is skilled at treating the many unique fibers and weaves of clothing material with care to ensure the integrity stays intact throughout the washing and drying process.

Your clothes are handled with the utmost care

There’s a good chance your favorite clothes react to the at-home temperatures they’re cleaned at. One misstep or wrong cycle setting can cause the fabric to shrink. Dry cleaners use the latest techniques to ensure that each piece of your laundry is washed with attention to detail.

Specific items need to avoid going into machines altogether because water is a primary culprit in causing fabrics to shrink. Rather than water, dry cleaners use particular solvents to clean and remove stains from the garment. The experts are diligent at separating clothing by material and colors to ensure each piece gets the attention it deserves.

Don’t take any more chances!

If you want to prevent your favorite wardrobe pieces from shrinking (and to extend their life), enlist a reputable dry cleaning service. At Crest Advanced Dry Cleaners, our specialists use eco-friendly cleaning solutions that keep clothes from shrinking and leaves the colors vibrant. Contact us for more information!

Making a great first impression is no easy task. Usually, one of the first things a person will notice about you is the appearance of your clothing. In order to make the right first impression, your clothing will need to be spotless and appealing. If you are like most people, you lack the time needed to adequately clean your clothing. Rather than stressing about you will find time to clean your clothes, you can let the team at Crest Advanced Dry Cleaning handle it for you. The following are some of the signs you will notice when using a quality dry cleaner.

They Offer a High Level of Convenience

If you are like most people, then convenience is one of the main reasons why you use a dry cleaning service. A quality dry cleaner will make it easy on your to drop off your dirty clothing. The team at Crest Cleaners makes the clothes pickup process a breeze with the Wardrobe section on their new client portal. Being able to schedule a pickup with just a few clicks is very convenient.

Letting You Customize the Dry Cleaning Process

The last thing anyone wants is to feel like they are just another number on a company’s list. Most people want to be able to customize their dry cleaning experience to fit their needs. A quality dry cleaner will allow you to pick and choose things like how much starch you want used on your items, whether or not you want your clothing folded and even how you want them to handle clothing repairs. With this type of customized service, you will be able to have your expectations met by a company time and time again.

Using Technology to Help Customers

For most customers, finding a dry cleaner who utilizes the power of technology is important. Knowing where your clothes are and what is being done to them can put your mind at ease during the dry cleaning. A quality dry cleaner will offer things like a tracking system that allows you to find out what is being done to your clothing and to get an idea of when they will be done. When using Crest Cleaners, you will be able to take advantage of the clothes tracking system they have in their client portal.

Being Rewarded for Loyalty

Sticking with a dry cleaning company through thick and thin should earn a customer some rewards along the way. A quality dry cleaning company will offer their customers various rewards to thank them for using their services on a consistent. The client portal used by Crest Cleaners has a Rewards section that will allow you to track the rewards you are eligible for.

Crest Cleaners values each and every one of their customers. The new client portal they have developed is designed to make life a bit easier on people who choose to use Crest Cleaners for their dry cleaning needs.

Meeting with clients on a regular basis is essential for most business owners. By meeting with a customer, you will be able to find out what needs they have you may not be filling. While having a meeting in your office is convenient, getting out and exploring other meeting venues in the area can be fun. For many years, coffee shops have been one of the most popular meeting places for business professionals. If you are looking for a great coffee shop in your area, check out the suggestions below.

Killer ESP in Alexandria, VA

If you are looking for a roomy coffee shop with plenty of drink and food options, Killer ESP in Alexandria, VA is a great option. This establishment has everything from top-notch Stumptown to delicious gelato. When trying to meet with a large group of people, this coffee shop is ideal. They have both indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate you and your party.

The Clifton Café in Clifton, VA

For a European inspired coffee experience, the Clifton Café in Clifton, NJ is your best bet. This coffee shop has been supplying residents of Clifton and surrounding areas with some of the best coffee, tea and espresso for years. Luckily for business professionals, the Clifton Café is able to accommodate large private parties and offers free WIFI to all of their customers. By calling ahead, you will be able to reserve a space for your meeting with ease.

Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar in Reston, VA

When looking for a great cup of coffee and a beautiful atmosphere to host your meetings in, the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar is a great option. The baristas at Lake Anne’s have a lot of experience when it comes to whipping up a delectable cup of coffee. This coffee shop is housed in a large building, which means there is plenty of room for you to set up shop and do business.

The Barking Mad Café in Gaithersburg, MD

The Barking Mad Café brings a more bohemian approach to the traditional coffee shop. They have a large variety of premium coffees, organic vegetables and other farm-fresh ingredients to offer. Not only will you and your clients be able to get a great cup of coffee at this café, you can also partake in some of the great food they have to offer.

Phoebe’s Coffee and Dessert

Once you visit Phoebe’s Coffee and Dessert, you will see why it is such a staple in the Rockville, MD community. This coffee shop has everything you could want; great atmosphere, delicious coffee and some of the most delectable desserts in the area. The building where this coffee shop is housed is very large, which makes it great for meetings with clients.

The team at Crest Cleaners is passionate about shopping local. Using one of these coffee shops is not only great when trying to host a meeting, it is also great for the local economy.