Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Cactus Dry Cleaners and Laundry Services owner celebrate their ribbon cutting Friday. Pictured are, from left, Wayne Nelson, Kendal cash, Yvonne Judd, and Bart Judd.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Need to freshen up a wedding gown? Want to get those bluejeans cowboy starched? Or perhaps that large, warm bed comforter that’s starting to get more use now that the weather has turned needs cleaning but you’re not so sure your washing machine is up to the task?
Have no fear, for Cactus Dry Cleaners and Laundry Services is here for all your laundry needs with its all-in-one business. Gone are the days of having to ship out dry cleaning, as Cactus Dry Cleaners has the machines and the expertise to handle whatever cleaning needs you have, and it also offers same-day service. So, a working professional can drop off their dry-cleaning in the morning and take it home that afternoon or night, after being alerted by a text message that the work is done.
Cactus Dry Cleaners is located at 304 W. Fifth St. in the building formerly occupied by Gila Valley Polaris. After getting the business up and running for the past six months, Cactus Dry Cleaners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday with the Graham County Chamber of Commerce, which brought out local business owners and politicians, including Safford City Council Member Michael Andazola Sr. and Danny Smith with the Graham County Board of Supervisors.
The business is owned by three families, Kendal and Laura Cash, Bart and Yvonne Judd, and Wayne and Melissa Nelson.
“It took us a year to build it because we did it on the side of what we also do during the day,” Kendal said. “So, we’ve been here working on it for a year, getting it put together, making sure that it’s functional, and now we’re ready to present it to the community as a business ready to do work to take care of the people and make it look nice.”
On Friday, Kendal Cash, who also owns and operates two other dry cleaners and a laundromat in New Mexico, showed the operation to the Gila Herald. He said the business is a win-win for both investors and the community as it offers a needed service for the growing community. He said the business specializes in cleaning items people simply can’t do at home or, in the case of an expensive leather jacket, are afraid to attempt.
“A lot of people hear dry cleaners and they just think suits,” Kendal said. “But a lot of our specialty really isn’t so much the cleaning process as it is how we make it look at the end with the pressing and the finishing and really get it in that fine look at the end that is hard to achieve at home by hand with a hand iron.”
After receiving an item to be dry cleaned, the item is ticketed and then sent to the heart of the business, an all-inclusive dry cleaning machine that washes, extracts, and drys all on its own. The machine, which costs more than a brand new truck, utilizes hydrocarbons and boils the old chemical to recycle 99 percent of it. From the machine, clothing goes straight to pressing.
If you don’t need dry cleaning but have an oversized comforter or just need to get some stains out of those bluejeans or shirts, the cleaners also has large washers and dryers, including two natural gas dryers and one that utilizes steam for delicate materials, like a big, feather comforter or a jacket with fur around the collar.
“We use the steam dryer because it uses air versus flame to heat and so you never fringe or burn anything because you can control the temperature so much more consistently,” Kendal said.
The cleaners also specialize in starching those whites their whitest and has a variety of machines to press and blow out shirts, collars, suit jackets, and pants to give them that cowboy press.
The final step is to be placed into a plastic bag and then on the rotating rack to be picked up by the customer.
“Don’t be afraid to bring us something you don’t know how to clean,” Kendal said. “We’re professionals in the cleaning business. You probably couldn’t bring us something that either we haven’t cleaned before or don’t know how to clean. We have washers that can hold up to 60 pounds of clothes, so if you have a big king-sized comforter that just won’t fit in your washer and you don’t want to spend the time at the laundromat bring it down to us. We’d love to have it done for you and it will look nice when it’s finished.”
Cactus Dry Cleaners and Laundry Services is open Monday – Friday, from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. They can be reached at (928) 965-8524 or check them out on Facebook here.