Friday, January 1, 2010


I was all prepared to say that the secret is that it doesn’t work…but in good conscience, I just can’t do that.

I live in the boondocks. OK, not really the boondocks, but there are a total of 2600 people in my town and it takes more than 6 minutes to get to a dry cleaner’s so I thought that I would give the at-home product a whirl. I figured it may not work, but it couldn’t hurt, and if it did hurt, I was either doing something seriously wrong, or about to get a new outfit courtesy of Woolite®. Needless to say, given no extenuating circumstances involving banned chemicals or toxic fumes, I was safe.

I can safely state that Dry Cleaner’s Secret® contains no banned chemicals and gives off no toxic fumes. The oil based formula is contained on what they call a Cleaning Cloth which looks strangely like a dryer sheet. The Cleaning Cloth has a dual purpose. You can use it to remove stains on your clothes by applying it directly to the material and/or you can toss it into the dryer with your clothes to dry clean all of them. It is a rapid, 20 minute process to get your clothes clean and refreshed and although there is a warning against giving the Cleaning Cloths to children or pets, putting them in your eye or eating them, it is a non-toxic formula that at least claims environmental safety.

As cynical as I am, I did not expect this particular product to work. Part of my skepticism was that I have tried other at home dry leaning products in the past and have had little luck. My jackets still smelled like an arm pit-deodorant hybrid and my pants still smelled oddly like crotch. I wasn’t impressed. So when I removed my jackets and sweaters this time and they did not have the lingering smell of Gillette, you could have blown me over with a feather. Alas, a product that lives up to its claims. Imagine such a thing…

There are two downsides to Dry Cleaner’s Secret® as far as I can see. The first is that you can only clean four items at once, so if you are like me and wait until you have a bag full of clothes to clean before you get around to addressing the problem, you could be standing at the dryer all day in 20 minute increments getting the job done, The other is that it does not iron for you. When one gets clothes back form the dry cleaner, not only are they (dry) clean, but they are also pressed. I don’t iron, so this is a major bonus for me. I can iron, but I don’t do it because I’m really not very good at it, and ironing is one of those activities that if you don’t excel at it, you should just let someone else do it. The repercussions otherwise can be both humiliating and extremely uncomfortable. So, for me the fact that I still needed to iron the items that came out of the dryer was a little bit of a deterrent, but not enough of one to prevent me from using the product again.

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