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A Century of Dry Cleaning

blog drycleaningOne thing’s for sure—clean clothes will never go out of style. Maybe that’s why Classic Vapor Cleaners, located at 285 Water St. in Santa Cruz, has been serving the public’s dry cleaning needs since 1911. To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to truly see the changes in dry cleaning technologies since then, but Classic Vapor says it has kept up with the latest and highest level of technologies and customer service.

“Our business model and commandment is really to educate ourselves, our staff, as well as our community,” says the fifth, and current, owner of Classic Cleaners, Pamela Whittington.

It is Santa Cruz’s longest continuously operating cleaners, and is celebrating its 100-year anniversary today, Wednesday, Oct. 24, by welcoming the people of Santa Cruz to enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne, hor d’oeuvres, and networking opportunities at their store.

This seasoned dry cleaning business encourages visitors to tour their facilities and learn about their adoption of more environmentally minded practices over the years, such as their EPA Certified Green Cleaning Processes.

Whittington proudly mentions that Classic Vapor Cleaners recently was “granted exclusive rights for use of botanical sustainable detergents for use in our wet cleaning processes, and while these advances and regulations have limited cleaning factors, our staff has overcome these factors and continue to be on the frontier in our industry.”

By inviting people to tour the plant, Classic Vapor Cleaners hopes to show off how their environmentally savvy cleaning advances have aided their continuous existence as Santa Cruz’s longest-running dry cleaners.

“Dry cleaning is an ancient art, basically a sweatshop," says Whittington, adding that "the public needs to understand that Classic Cleaners is truly on the forefront of its industry and is extremely proud of its profession.” Whittington also tells GT that Classic Cleaners “prides itself in our continued education in our staff, and has made it a priority to advance with the technology in our equipment."

She goes on, “Our education and commitment to the advances in the industry [are crucial] and our best education is communication with customers and our flexibility to adapt to these changes and economy while remaining competitive."

Classic Vapor Cleaners and the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce will host the celebration of Vapor Cleaners’ 100th anniversary on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 5 -­ 7 p.m. at 285 Water St. Event parking across the street at the courthouse. For more information, please contact Pamela Whittington at 423-4646.

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