Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where Do You Dry Clean?

This morning I managed to take myself on a grand tour of the Columbia Heights / 14th Street area dry cleaners. I had two skirts, two suits, a shirt and a pair of pants to get done. I also had several pairs of shoes in need of re-heeling.

My observations:

OXXO Cleaners: This was my first stop. Some rather rude man saw me with my stuff and raced in ahead of me. This was by far the largest, cleanest cleaner I saw. They do not, however, handle shoes. And they told the rude man in front of me that the plethora of shirts he brought in would take a week. A week! I didn't even bother waiting my turn. They do have that fancy thing that lets to drop-off and pick-up at any time. Anyhow, I can't wait a week, so my next stop was...

Georgetown Valet: This is my usual choice. They aren't as big into the "organic" business, but they say they are environmentally friendly. What I like best is how speedy they are. The line is fast, the clothes are done in about two days, and they are usually willing to bump it up if I ask nicely. I've always thought my stuff looked good when it came back, so I just keep using them. They do not, however, do shoes. I left them my clothes and continued my trek to...

Kenyon Square: The new little green machine on 14th just opened. The window listed shoe repair among their services and I was happy to find somewhere so close! They send their clothes off-site, so I wouldn't leave them with my duds. When I tried to turn over my shoes I learned that they ship these off-site, too (not unusual for shoe repair at a dry cleaner), but they told me the shoes would take a week! What's with this week business again?! Apparently they are shipping them to Arlington at this juncture. I don't go NoVa. My shoes don't go to NoVa. Alas, it was a bust and my shoes are now across town, but I'll get them back tomorrow.

So where do you dry clean? Any preferences or horror stories? Take our poll!

8 comments:

Lane said...

I always use Oxxo Cleaners. They do a very good job, and anything I give them has always been returned in 48 hours. They've never told me a week, even for complicated fabrics. Are you sure the rude man ahead of you wasn't having some sewing done? Also, Oxxo is expensive, but the coupons on the back of nearly every receipt from Giant make their prices competitive.

Matthew said...

This is a touchy subject for me. I live in Columbia Heights, but I lug my dry cleaning to the place next to my office in Rosslyn. This makes me unhappy... OXXO is expensive, takes forever, and in my opinion does sub-par cleaning. Georgetown Valet is pretty much the same, sans the fancy night pickup machine.

I've been waiting with baited breath for Kenyon to open, but I guess I missed it. I'm going to try it, but after living downtown I can't justify dropping off a shirt for launder and press if it costs more than $1.60 or takes more than 24 hours.

Tmoney said...

I have also always got everything back from OXXO in two days. Not sure what the deal was with the man you saw.

I would love it if you made a follow up post reviewing the prices, turnaround time, dropoff/pickup hours, and quality of care and cleaning for each of these establishments. Or at least a review of Georgetown Valet which you normally use.

Keep up the good work on the blog!

Spud Lite said...

Well I get my stuff back tomorrow, so I will report back then. I'm willing to try OXXO next time to compare.

I also got my shoes back. I ended up taking them to a place near my office - a real old school repair place. I could have had them back same day if I'd been able to go pick them up on time, and it was only $10 per heel. Excellent work - so the shoes worked out... but not in the neighborhood.

13andMonroe said...

FYI, I use OXXO all the time, and it only takes 1-2 days. Not sure why your rude friend was told a week, but as I said, I've waited a maximum 2 days for my stuff. I used Georgetown Valet when I first moved to CH almost 2 years ago, but then, I noticed my buttons started cracking off. Also, my shirts began to lose their original quality (fabric was thinning out and looking worn), so I started using OXXO because they hand-iron everything (instead of machine pressing your clothes, which is why your buttons will eventually crack off, and the fabric gets ruined long-term), and I love the convenience factor of being able to pick up your stuff at all hours of the day. This is especially useful, as I sometimes get home from work past 7pm, when the cleaners are closed, and I don't feel like waking up earlier in the morning just to walk over and pick up my stuff before work (picking up on Sunday is also nice). I have some tailor-made dress shirts and pants that are too expensive to trust with the harsh cleaners and machine pressing at Georgetown Valet. You pay a premium for OXXO, but it's well worth it.

Beth said...

My experience with Oxxo...Never Go Back.

They lost 3 pieces and dragged out the process for getting some kind of compensation for two months. Then told me they can't be held accountable for LOST OR DAMAGED CLOTHING! Now, that may give you peace of mind in a dry cleaners...but not me. Especially now that they offered a minuscule amount of store credit...as if I can buy new shirts with that.

be said...

well, you know cleaners hardly do a good job, nor do Oxxo.
the main difference is that Oxxo charges more, much more.
they have the 24/7 pickup system, but, honestly, do not rely on that. A lot of problems there.
They are less harsh on environment, but the chemicals they use does not clean all that much too. So, basically you pay more to get less cleaning. Pretty good deal... for them. I also perceived that employees are usually somewhat sub-trained. They don't know the job, nor do the owner. The store is pretty. It ends there. Don't get me wrong. They are not the worst. But I'm not comming back...

Anonymous said...

these guys use less toxic chemicals, but the cleaning is awful... the prices are high, the 24/7 machine presents a lot of problems... i dont understand why anyone would go there... the store looks very expensive, looks like a franchise but i'm not sure... too bad for the owner, i guess