Bomb Shelter to Royal Warrant - Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue

Bomb Shelter to Royal Warrant

Kleen Cleaners

If you should ever need to find a bomb shelter while you’re visiting us, you’ll be pleased to know that Kleen Cleaners, just a couple of doors up, has one in their basement!

Indeed their bomb shelter was used by many during the Second World War whilst air raids dragged on overhead. Thank goodness there were no direct hits and we can still enjoy the wonderful architecture with its turrets and crenellated roof tops from the 1860’s.

The oldest, independent dry cleaner in Edinburgh, and one of the oldest shops in the street, Kleen Cleaners was first opened by a Mrs Watson in 1947. In those days dry cleaning was wrapped in brown paper and tied up with white string before being handed back to its owners.

St Mary's Street - Canmore

St Mary’s Street, 1984

Current owner, Yasmina Ely, says she still has some of the older generation coming in the shop who remember being sent in to collect those packages for their parents and grandparents – do you know anyone who remembers that?

The shop became well known in Edinburgh for stain treatment of specialist materials like Highland wear, leather and suede, silk and cashmere. They also very quickly became the dry cleaner of choice for Holyrood Palace, taking on the responsibility for all their household items and staff uniforms.

A Royal Warrant was finally awarded some ten years ago, recognising the quality of cleaning that had been delivered to the Palace for decades. They are also the dry cleaner of choice for the National Museums of Scotland, for textile conservation companies and Scottish Rugby!

Amazingly, although Kleen Cleaners is regarded as being old-school in their use of traditional techniques for stain treatment, they have also embraced modern technology in the drive to become more environmentally friendly.

They are the only dry cleaning firm in Edinburgh to possess a “wet cleaning” machine for dry cleaning! It turns out that all dry cleaning is actually wet cleaned, using either water or solvents, and either way, water is a by-product of the process. This new “wet cleaning” machine recycles that water and reduces the need for solvents, some of which are being studied to determine their environmental safety.

Scottish Rugby

So which process will be used for your dry cleaning? Yasmina says it depends entirely on the fabric and the nature of the stain. They will always discuss options and risks with clients so that you understand the process, and can make a decision with all the facts at your fingertips. Just keep an eye out for those rugby boys!

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