A1 Dry Cleaners & Laundry offers FREE Pick Up & Delivery to your home or office


Frequently Asked Questions

A1 Dry Cleaners & Laundry is the foremost leader in the Rockford, Illinois area, offering a variety of cleaning methods, not just dry cleaning, to keep your clothing looking their best. Having these different methods available helps ensure the best possible outcome for you and your clothing. For those customers who request a specific cleaning method, we accommodate that request. If we feel that another cleaning method will get better results, we will either explain that to you when you drop off your items or you will receive a phone call from one of our professionals. We at A1 would prefer to educate our customers and keep them in the loop rather than just ‘process’ clothing. A1 Dry Cleaners works hard to ensure that our employees and customers feel confident that nothing in our cleaning processes will harm them or the environment. We far exceed environmental standards in the dry cleaning industry, and we continue to look for ways in which we can provide superior cleaning in a safe and eco-friendly manner.


How much is pickup and delivery service?



Cut-off times for same-day service:

9 a.m. if brought to the main plant at 1304 Brooke Rd., Rockford, IL 61109; call for further details at 815.398.9322. If special circumstances exist, call us and we will do our best to accommodate you.


Is hourly cleaning available?

A1 Dry Cleaners does not offer ‘hourly’ cleaning, however, most items can be processed within two hours. Most of our cleaning processes take in excess of 90 minutes. Be skeptical of any cleaners that say they can have your items ready in one hour or less.


Do you offer alterations?

Yes. If you require assistance with garments that need to be altered, we request an appointment to be made in advance.


How long do wedding dresses take?

Wedding dresses take one week turnaround time in most cases. Our in-house wedding gown specialists carefully clean and preserve your wedding gown to keep this treasured possession in perfect condition for your heirs. A1 Dry Cleaners uses acid-free tissue and packaging throughout the preservation process to protect your garment from aging. Our cleaning process is more delicate than that used by many other cleaners, and it helps maintain the luster and sheen of your cherished gown. Equally important to note, your dress stays in Rockford at our facility, we do NOT ship it off to a facility hundreds of miles away, as do many other local cleaners.


What is dry cleaning?

During dry cleaning, garments are immersed in a liquid solvent; the absence of water is why the process is called ‘dry’ cleaning. Garments are assessed prior to being dry cleaned and pre-treated using appropriate solvents and techniques to remove stains. After this, they are placed in a dry cleaning machine which removes the pre-treatment solvents and then, uses solvents and soaps within the dry cleaning process to dissolve stains, such as grease. Garments are inspected after cleaning to determine whether they require any further treatment. Once we are satisfied with the results, we press the garments by hand.


What is laundering?

Laundering garments involves the use of water to clean clothing and household textiles. Special detergents, additives, and finishes set commercial laundry apart from home laundering. Starch, if requested, is added during the wash cycle, so the entire garment receives the treatment. The garments are still damp when pressed. Shirts are put on a series of presses that dry the garment during the process, which gives a crisper finish.


Why does it cost less to launder a shirt than to dry clean it?

All dry cleaning is hand finished and involves much more labor than cleaning and pressing shirts. Laundered shirts are done almost exclusively by machine and in large volume. The volume and speed of the machines combined with the lower amount of labor required to do shirts account for the lower price than dry cleaning.


Is dry cleaning really “dry?”?

Dry cleaning isn’t “dry” at all. It is called “dry cleaning” because mostly solvents are used in place of water. Water is considered “wet.” However, it is even more confusing when you consider that most dry cleaners consider wet cleaning a form of dry cleaning. Wet cleaning uses water as a solvent and very special equipment that controls the chemicals and agitation. Many ‘dry clean only’ items can be cleaned in this manner. If you look through the front window of one of today’s dry cleaning machines, it looks like a large front loading washing machine, and the clothes appear to get very wet. They get “wet” by dry cleaning solvent. Dry cleaning solvents remove oily stains without shrinking most fabrics.


What solvents are used in the dry cleaning process?

A1 Dry Cleaners & Laundry is one of the only dry cleaners in the area who offer several different methods of cleaning. We utilize different machines, solvents, and detergents to accomplish this. Customers who choose to have their garments cleaned only by a specific method have that noted on their account and all associated tickets.

A1 Dry Cleaners works hard to ensure that our employees and customers feel confident that nothing in our dry cleaning process will harm them or the environment. For example, instead of commonly used perchloroethylene (perc), we use a more environmentally friendly, effective alternative, DF2000, a hydrocarbon. By employing this perc alternative, we are able to exceed environmental standards in the dry cleaning industry, and we continue to look for ways to provide superior cleaning in a safe and eco-friendly manner.


Is there a rule of thumb about when I should have my clothes cleaned?

There is an old cleaners’ saying, “Wear it twice, it will clean up nice.” This is a nice slogan, but you need to put more thought into your decision. For garments you wear next to your skin, like blouses, pants, shirts, etc. you should follow the same logic you would use if you were machine washing the garment. If you would wash it after one wearing, then you should dry clean it after one wearing. For suits, sport coats, overcoats, and sweaters worn over a shirt or blouse, you may get two or more wearings between cleanings. Dry cleaning is especially useful to remove food stains, dust, soils, makeup, cologne, and perspiration. Over 95% of bacteria will be removed with proper cleaning and steam finishing. It is this bacteria that will produce an offensive odor if the garment is worn too long. Always clean garments before storage for any length of time. This will help prevent the appearance of ‘unnoticed’ stains that appear over time. Also, some antiperspirants and deodorants can attack colors and fibers if not removed soon after wearing. Cleaning garments before storing them can also help prevent moth damage. In fact, dry cleaning has been shown to significantly extend the life of your clothing.


When a garment’s label says ‘washable’ does that mean it cannot be dry cleaned?

Not necessarily. The Care Label Rule states that only one suitable method of care must be on the label. A1 Dry Cleaners will follow the care instructions, unless otherwise requested. If you want your washable items dry cleaned, we will inform you of the risks and may ask you to sign a damage waiver.


Does dry cleaning shrink clothes?

No, not if the dry cleaning process has been carefully controlled. We have the latest in dry cleaning equipment in our operations. They are all computer controlled with specific programs for each different garment and fabric type. Our dry cleaning technicians have been fully trained and have years of experience in handling even the most problematic and difficult fabrics and garments. You can have confidence when you leave your clothes in our care.


Will my dry cleaned garments be odor-free and ready to wear?

We are professional dry cleaners and are skilled in keeping our dry-cleaning solvents clean and pure. We are also intent on using proper drying procedures, making your garments odor-free and ready to wear.


Does dry cleaning shorten the life of a garment?

Dry cleaning actually prolongs the life of your garments. Not only do stains set with age, making the garment unwearable, but ground-in dirt and soil act as abrasives, causing rapid wear of fibers. Also, insects are attracted to soiled clothes and can cause further damage.


Does dry cleaning clothing often result in it becoming un-wearable more quickly?

Frequent dry cleaning prolongs the life of your garments and textiles. Since some stains are invisible at first, or may simply go unnoticed, it’s important that you consult a dry cleaner about your garments on a regular basis to ensure that irreparable damage is not done over time. This damage includes the danger of stains setting in, insects eating the fabric, and ground-in dirt and soil acting as a sandpaper-like abrasive that will rapidly wear down fibers.


Should I store my clothes in the bags my cleaned clothes are returned in?

No. The bags cleaners provide are intended to protect your garments only until you get them home. Fabric needs to breathe. It is best to store clothing uncovered or in fabric garment bags.


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