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TITLE Preventive Maintenance for Spotting Equipment


"This spot was not on my garment when I brought it in to be cleaned." How many times has the owner or employee of a drycleaning business heard this? As a Professional Drycleaner this situation can put you, your employees, and most importantly, your customers in an awkward position. Maybe, just maybe, this spot came from the spotting board. Now may be a great time to refresh our spotting board checklists. The spotting board is the one piece of equipment that truly makes you a "Professional Drycleaner." Preventative maintenance will not only extend the life of the spotting board, but the board itself will be safer and cleaner, which can help prevent claims and costly "redo's."

A daily checklist should include the following:

The spotting board should be free of excess dirt, lint and spotting chemicals.

All pedals (steam, air and vacuum) should be working properly. Adjust the needle valves if necessary to deliver the volume and velocity of steam, air and vacuum that is safe to use based on the garments' construction.

The steam gun itself should be in good shape, clean, and not leaking at the nozzle. The flexible steam line attached to the gun should be insulated to reduce condensation in the line and prevent burns.

Check the vacuum to make sure it is not weak or restricted.

Teflon screens should be disassembled and wiped free of residual chemicals, especially after working on ink or dye stains.

Check to make sure the drain holes located in the nose portion of the board and under the screens are not plugged or blocked, so spotting chemicals and residue can drain into the drain receptacle bin. (Not to be mistaken for a trash can).

The weekly checklist should include the following:

Be sure the spotting bottles are properly labeled and legible. Any spotting bottle showing signs of wear and tear should be replaced with a new one. Furthermore, it is essential that the spotting bottles be properly labeled for the chemical it contains.

Check the operation of the steam trap as "wet" steam may cause excessive moisture and create additional spotting problems. Look for any visible steam leaks where the steam valve is located; the gasket may need to be replaced.

Remember, "spot-free garments come from spot-free boards!"

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