Cropped image of Brian and Malcolm MacGregor.

Ask the Experts

Mack MacGregor and his son Brian both have decades of experience in the cleaning business. They’ve seen it all… twice!

The MacGregor family bought Browns Cleaners in 1976, and they were involved in the cleaning business even before that. They have fixed, upgraded and improved equipment, dealt with every type of fabric, tackled all stains imaginable, and helped countless local businesses and households with textile cleaning issues.

In fact, they often get calls for help from other cleaners across Canada the US, Australia and even South America. Perhaps their answers below can help you.

Is dry cleaning bad for the environment?

In many cases yes. Dry cleaners used to rely on a chemical called Perchloroethylene (PERC). A very effective cleaner, but quite hazardous to the environment. Please ensure that your cleaner is not using perc or other harmful toxicants.

Browns Cleaners has been completely perc-free for many, many years and uses the best cleaning processes that are as environmentally friendly as possible. We use GreenEarth; it is the only commercial clothes cleaning solvent approved by Environment Canada. Browns is proud to be a leader in the industry, and that includes caring for the environment and your health, as well as your clothes.

With our attention to providing quality cleaning processes that treat you, your clothes and the environment with the best care possible, Browns Cleaners is the most environmentally cleaner in Eastern Ontario.

Is everything that I bring to Browns dry cleaned; and what is “dry cleaning”?

Only 20% of clothing is “dry cleaned” at Browns Cleaners. Most items are cleaned using wet cleaning and laundry processes. Whichever process we use, rest assured that it is best for your clothing (protecting the fabric integrity and colour, and keeping it looking new longer), best for you (no odours or harmful chemicals that might irritate your skin) and best for the environment (with Environment Canada approved GreenEarth cleaning solutions).

Dry cleaning is a waterless process of cleaning garments, which can be gentler and is required for some delicate fabrics (such as silk) and some high-end fashions. It is not as effective at stain removal.

Wet cleaning has progressed dramatically over the years. We use a sensitive,
controlled process using minimum amounts of water. GreenEarth produces wet
cleaning processes that provide a deeper and sanitizing clean, and are very gentle on fabrics.

Laundry, which incorporates your linens and casual wear, has also seen much
development over the years with better cleaning solutions that care for fabric, your health and the environment.

Why is treating stains at home not always a good idea?

While treating stains yourself may seem like the most cost-efficient alternative, care needs to be taken. Improperly treated, many stains will only set deeper into the fabric, making their removal near-impossible. The characteristics of the stain-causing substance and the fabric involved need to be considered so that you can judge which treatments will help and which ones will hinder your stain-removal effort. For your reference, here are some things to remember:

        • Always blot the stain at once, and don’t rub it. Rubbing can make the substance penetrate deeper into the fibers and/or may damage the fabric’s surface.
        • Some cleaners/chemicals may set the stain or damage the fabric or dye.
        • Using water can loosen the staining substance and displace it, enlarging the stain and making it look even worse.
        • Certain materials, such as silk, must be treated extra carefully because rubbing the affected area will break fibers, permanently causing the fabric to appear lighter in that area.
        • Don’t ignore a stain. Spots and stains can set with age and food spills will attract insects, which can do permanent damage to the fabric.

It may sound a little self-serving, but the best thing to do when you stain any cherished textile is to take it promptly to professional cleaners (like Browns!).

Do you clean Canada Goose coats?

Yes, in fact we are down coat specialists, many retailers recommend Browns Cleaners as the preferred cleaner for their coats and clothing. We have a special process and take great care in carefully cleaning quality coats, such as Canada Goose and Moose Knuckles. Many customers have been thrilled to receive their coat looking brand new again, and are just as happy knowing that it was cleaned using an environmentally friendly process.

Are you able to clean down duvets?

Yes, Browns is a specialist in properly cleaning many specialty items, such as down duvets (of any size). Our expertise and GreenEarth environmentally friendly cleaning process for duvets and comforters provides a deep and sanitizing clean that you can really snuggle into!

Do you clean uniforms?

Yes, Browns is equipped to handle bulk and large quantity orders with high quality and cost-efficient service. In fact, our prompt service and free pick-up and delivery supply many local companies with professionally cleaned and pressed uniforms.

Do you service hotels and institutional clients?

Yes, Browns has been a reliable cleaner to the hospitality industry for decades. Due to our larger capacity and experience in properly cleaning many different items, we can aptly handle the diverse needs of hotels (large and small), their guests, uniforms, duvets, etc.

Can you clean smoke or water damaged clothing?

Yes, Browns is a textile restoration specialist with many years experience in treating clothing that has been damaged due to fire or flood. We work with many restoration contractors and insurance adjusters; ask them to call Browns Cleaners, it’s your choice to choose the professionals to clean your items.

Can you clean older wedding gowns, like my great grandmother’s?

Yes, Browns is a licensed wedding gown restoration specialist. We can remove
the tarnished brown stains and restore the original colour of the dress. Our
seamstresses can also repair any damage and alter the dress to fit you beautifully.

What is wedding dress preservation?

Professional preservation fully cleans the dress, fixes any damage and then properly stores it in a sealed acid-free box. All textiles age, especially the fine silks and satins used in wedding gowns. Typically stains not noticed on the dress (some can appear invisible for a while) darken and set over time. Food and drink stains can also attract insects, like moths.

Browns is a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, and offers a lifetime warranty on our preservation service.

What if my gown needs alterations or care before my wedding?

The experts at Browns can help you, and the entire bridal party. Our seamstresses can make any alterations or adjustments required (take in, let out, lengthen, shorten, fix hems, etc.). We can clean and/or press any items to make sure your entire party is looking great for your wedding.

Browns Cleaners Ltd.
571 Bronson Avenue
Ottawa, ON
K1R 6K2

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