Caring for Winter Items

The colder months are rolling in. As the temperature begins to drop here are a few tips and considerations to help you roll with the seasons.

Cleaning Out the Closet
After a long slumber, your winter clothes will need to be awakened and taken out of storage. Hopefully you didn't have any unwanted visitors over the summer months but it's a good idea to check your garments for signs of insect damage.

Insects such as crickets, ants, moths, beetles, and cockroaches can feed on clothes that were not cleaned properly before storing. Look for small holes, worn areas, and discolored lines on the portions of the garment that had spills or stains that were never removed.

Moth ball odor can be difficult to remove. Try airing the garments by hanging them outside in the shade. If this does not completely remove the odor, cleaning the garments may help.

Winter Cleaning Tips
When it comes to cleaning, the first and easiest way to ensure the best cleaning is to follow the manufacturer's care label instructions. Many of your garments may be hand or machine washable. Minimize agitation to prevent matting and pilling of napped fabrics. We have pressing equipment that can reshape knits back to their original size if something gets out of shape. Follow recommended drying temperatures. Other materials such as wool, fur, and leather require professional care due to special cleaning and pressing procedures. Make sure to point out any known stains when you send them our way.

Festive Outfits
Many stains caused by cosmetics, oily foods, and beverages will get best results when pre-treated. Many festive dishes, unfortunately, contain ingredients that are not easily removed using household stain removal techniques and may require solvent-based treatments. Let us know if you are not sure what the best procedure would be.

Thank you for the opportunity to care for your wardrobe.
 

Back To School

Getting ready for another year of school almost always calls for at least one shopping trip.

Whether you're a teacher, parent, or college student you've got some looking good to do
this year. The most important thing for students is to be comfortable in what they're wearing. That allows the mind to focus on learning rather than self-awareness.

Taking care of new school clothes helps them stay fresh all year long. Today's fashions still include jeans and T-shirts, but academics have always been more into the business casual category, for the most part. Khaki pants and sweaters go well in the fall and winter.

The kids in the pool might not be ready to think about the coming of school and fall, but it's not a bad idea to get ready early. The best way to start is by preparing summer clothes for proper storage and getting your fall wardrobe out of storage and ready to wear.

Summer Storage
Getting your summer wardrobe ready for storage takes care and a little bit of time. The items need to be thoroughly cleaned before they go into storage since invisible stains can yellow over time, and soils in the fabric can attract insects to your home. A good thorough cleaning will ensure that these soils are not present and that no stains will come from inside the fabric during storage.

Silks and linens are the most critical, since these items are very prone to invisible stains. The key is making sure they're cleaned and not worn before they are packed away for cold storage. Summer silks are very delicate and can develop a number of problems in storage, so it is best to have them dry cleaned before packing them away. It is very important to store your garments in proper containers.

Plastic bags used for dry cleaning are not suitable for longterm storage, since they often contain lubricants and can trap air in with the garments. Other types of plastic are not suitable for storage if the garments have even a hint of wetness-this can cause mildew to develop on the garments while they are in storage, or create water stains.

Storage Tips
Store your cleaned clothing in cardboard boxes in a dark, dry place that has a regular temperature, such as under your bed or in a closet. Make sure there is no direct sunlight contacting the clothing, or even artificial light, since overexposure to light has been known to cause color fading or yellowing in whites.

Be sure there are no fumes contact your stored wardrobe. Garage or furnace emissions often cause a discoloration in dyes.

Do not store your articles in a damp area. Doing so could cause difficult to remove mildew odors.

Fall Freshen-Up
Sweaters and coats can gather musty smells in storage. Fine haired sweaters can get pressed flat in the heat of the attic or under some other storage items in a closet. After getting the items out of storage, check for fading or small holes (the result of insect bites). If your garments look good then your clothes survived the storage, but they'll need a little bit of "freshening" to get you back in fall style.

Professional cleaning rejuvenates and imbues clothes with a "like new" appearance. Many insoluble soils collect in the fibers of clothing. Over time they wear away at the delicate threads until a hole eventually develops. Drycleaning removes the soils that home washers can't.

Impending inclement weather means scarves, rainwear, boots, velvet dresses, and leather jackets. These items can be professionally cleaned and brought back to fashion. The fall months are often exciting times. The change of seasons can bring tidings of fresh beginnings. 

The Long and the Short of Shirts

Dress shirts are the most essential part of any man's wardrobe and are probably the most underappreciated articles of clothing. Shirts are taken for granted because we expect them to look great all the time.

Although they are relatively easy for a professional cleaner to clean and press, a shirt can suffer problems, including ring around the collar, color loss, and fabric abrasion  leading to tears, punctures, and holes.

Industry experience shows the average shirt has a two-year wearable life expectancy. A better measurement is the number of launderings. The average shirt has a wear life of 35 to 50 cycles.

That's not to say your shirt will shred to pieces during its 51st time through the spin cycle. Wear life fluctuates with abrasion and strain placed on the shirt during wear, fiber content, and laundering procedures.

These common problems may affect the components of a shirt, the collar and cuffs, sleeves, and body. Some of them can be foreseen or prevented while others cannot.

Ring Around the Color
One detergent company marketed its whole product around removing this. Remember those old Wisk commercials with spokespeople proclaiming, "No more ring around the collar!" after using their detergent?

Ring around the collar is a very common shirt malady. As a shirt is worn, the neckband, collar fold, and cuffs are exposed to ground-in soils from perspiration, body oils, colognes, hair tonics, medicines, sunblock, and other types of skin preparations. To prevent excess buildup in the collar and cuff area, shirts should be laundered after each wearing.

Fade Out
Bleeding or overall fading will occur if the dyes in a multi-colored shirt are not colorfast to washing.

Dyes sometimes migrate in washing. In most cases, there is no safe restoration; however, repeated washing will sometimes remove the transferred dye and return the shirt to a wearable condition.

That Shrinking Feeling
Hot under the collar? Either your neck has gotten too thick, your tie is too tight or your shirt is shrinking. Manufacturers often allow for 2% shrinkage, which usually is not enough to cause a complaint.

Shrinkage beyond this is usually due to poorly stabilized materials. Over several washings even better quality shirts experience shrinkage leaving your neck feeling overly snug. 

To determine if your shirt has shrunk, measure the collar from the end of the buttonhole to the center of the button.

Measure the sleeve length in a straight line from the center of the back of the collar to the end of the cuff. If these measurements correspond to the shirt size, it has not shrunk.

Pressing Perspiration
A sweatsoaked shirt could eventually turn into a stained shirt if the perspiration is allowed to stay in the shirt. It will also weaken the fabric, causing damage during washing. Aluminum chlorides found in antiperspirants also weaken underarm fibers Occasionally, localized holes or tears develop near the underarm area of shirts made with natural fibers or blends, such as 100% cotton shirts or cotton/ polyester blends.

Two tips: When applying antiperspirants or deodorants allow them to dry before dressing. Secondly, wash your shirts soon after you wear them in order to minimize this type of damage.

Pinholes in Oxford Shirts
Tiny holes can appear at random areas throughout an oxford shirt due to the weaving process. Oxford cloth is made with two thin yarns in one direction and one thick yarn in the other direction. 

This unbalanced construction puts strain on the thin yarns, causing them to break and leave tiny holes (see picture at bottom).

Manufacturers may be able to slow down the development of holes by using a polyester/cotton blend, a heavier yarn or a higher twist in the yarn, but eventually any oxford weave can develop tiny pinholes due to circumstances of wear and cleaning.

Puckers or Wrinkles in Collars and Cuffs
If the interfacing fabric used in collars, cuffs, and placket fronts is not fused correctly or is not properly preshrunk, after laundering the outer fabric in the collar will then be larger than the interfacing, causing puckers or wrinkles when pressed. This excess material makes obtaining a smooth finish difficult.

If it is objectionable, the shirt should be returned to the retailer or manufacturer. 

Warning: Watch Out for Melted Labels
Some shirts contain heat-sensitive labels, such as ones that have been glued instead of stitched on, that may actually soften under high heat and permanently stain the shirt. This type of staining is usually permanent. A heat-sensitive label could melt  during tumble drying or in ironing. The shirt should be returned to the retailer or manufacturer if this occurs.

Go Pro For Best Results
To get the most mileage out of a dress shirt you should clean it as soon as possible after each wearing to remove stains and body oils. For best results, shirts should be commercially laundered by a professional cleaner.

Professional shirt laundering is different from home laundering in that it uses specialized wash formulas and different pressing procedures. This process enables us to offer consistently high-quality shirts at reasonable prices. Collars come out cleaner and professional pressing produces a crisper finish.

Finishing may be the most important difference between professional and home care. Ironing at home requires considerably more time and effort than it takes us to press a shirt, and ultimately it won't look as nice.

The better you take care of your shirts, the longer they will last and the better you will look.
 

Common Causes of Color Loss

LIGHT FADING
Many consumers are not aware that dyes can fade if exposed to light, either sunlight or artificial light. With this type of color loss, fading is generally apparent on only one side of the fabric. The reverse side is usually unaffected. Certain dyes, such as blues, violets, or greens, are more prone to this type of fading than others.

FUME FADING
Fume fading (gas fading) develops when air comes into contact with heated surfaces and forms nitrogen oxide gases. These gases then react with certain dyes, usually those found on acetate and nylon, and cause them to change color (usually blue to red). Fume fading usually occurs on both sides of the fabric.

WATER SENSITIVITY
Some dyes, such as pink, lavender, and red, can undergo color reactions (usually red to blue) from contact with water or any water-bearing substance, including perspiration. If this color reaction is noted soon after it happens, it can often be reversed by your drycleaner. However, in many cases, these dyes are so sensitive that restoration is not possible.

ACID/ALKALINE SENSITIVITY
Some dyes will exhibit a color change when exposed to an acidic or alkaline substance. Contact with fruit juice, beverages, foodstuffs, and other acidic substances can cause blue dyes to turn red; contact with perspiration, household chemicals, toiletries, and other alkaline solutions can turn blue or green dyes yellow. Alkalies can also decompose fluorescent brighteners on white fabrics, causing them to discolor. If treated immediately, most acid/alkaline color reactions can be neutralized and corrected by your professional cleaner.

ALCOHOL
Contact with alcohol can dissolve certain dyes, resulting in permanent color loss. This is especially common on dyes used on acetate and silk. The alcohol content of most colognes and perfumes is capable of causing this reaction.

BLEACH
Consumers are often not aware of the harmful effects home cleansers, hair products, floor scouring products, disinfectants, and other agents can have on their clothes. Some dyes are extremely sensitive to bleach, and even mildly concentrated bleaches such as chlorine can cause immediate, permanent color loss.

Prevent and Treat Common Summertime Stains
Your picture of paradise may include cheeseburgers, soda, ice cream, pizza, and other summertime favorites, but that picture undoubtedly doesn't include spots on your shorts and shirts.  These tips will help you confront the stains of summer. For a care-free stainless summer, bring stained items to us.

French Fries
Treat as a grease stain, like meats.  Wash in hottest water possible.

Pizza
This stain has a little bit of everything, including tannin and fats.  Blot off excess stains and use a mild detergent.

Ice Cream & Popsicles
Use mild detergent.  Chocolate can be especially hard to remove.  Pre-treat it.

Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol may damage silk or acetate and can disturb dyes.  Blot with water and wash.

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, & Steaks
Blot the excess of these grease stains and dab with water.  Use a pre-treatment such as "Shout." Launder. Bring drycleanable garments to us.

Lemonade
The acidic lemon juice may cause some dyes to change color.  

Candy Apples
Blot, don't rub.  Should wash out, unless it contains a lot of red dye.

Inside Our Stain Removal Arsenal

Stain removal is something we proudly do very well. There are a number of reasons why we stand a better chance of safely and effectively getting out a difficult stain than most folks can do themselves at home. Here's an inside look at our stain removal arsenal. 

Stain removal is half science and half art, but all timing. The sooner we get a stained garment, the more likely we can remove the stain. Chemistry, knowledge of fibers and fabrics, and following the path of least resistance guide our approach to removing stains. The fewer treatments a stain removal specialist needs to do on a garment the better. That goes for the specialist and the garment! The most powerful tool a stain removal specialist has is a firm understanding of the characteristics and attributes of stains, aided by a set of specialized tools.
 

The Wonderful World of Sweaters

As the styles of sweaters change, so do the fibers of this wardrobe staple. Sweaters are made from a variety of fibers, ranging from cotton and wool to silk, rayon, acrylic and more. Natural fibers, such as angora, mohair, cashmere, and Shetland are especially popular. To add to the variety many sweaters contain special decorative trims. Trims such as suede, leather, snakeskin, fur, sequins, and beads add to a sweater's special look. Caring for these delicate knits requires special attention.

Purchasing Tips
• Before purchasing a sweater, check to see if it will withstand your lifestyle. If you're an active person or plan on wearing it to dance parties, go for a harder, tighter yarn. Soft, loose yarns tend to stretch easily and are meant for less active wear.

• Check the seams of knitted sweaters for unraveling and fraying, which may occur if the edges not bound properly.

• If the sweater you wish to buy has trim on it, ask the retailer about their return policy.

• Many times the fabric will hold up to the rigors of life in general, but the trim is most often the weakest part.

Preservation Tips
• Follow your sweater's care label instructions closely to prevent shrinkage and stretching. Many sweaters are hand-wash only. In these cases, it is most often best to lay them flat to dry, unless the label says it's safe to tumble-dry the sweater at low heat. Some sweaters are gentle-cycle washable and others may require drycleaning. Avoid using alkaline-based detergents on woolens and other animal fibers.

• If you have any doubts about care procedures, discuss it with your professional cleaner.

• Tumble dry at low temperatures, if recommended on the care label. Otherwise, lay flat to dry.

• Keep sweaters clean. Treat stains right away. When spills are blotted immediately and professionally removed, stains won't develop later.

•Make a pattern of knit sweaters before washing by tracing their outline on a piece of brown or kraft paper. This will allow the sweater to be blocked back to its original size.

• Brush sweaters after each wearing. This revives the nap, if there is one, and frees the garment of surface soil.

• If wool sweaters get wet, let them dry at room temperature away from heat, then brush with the nap.

• Check knitted sweaters for unraveling and fraying, and secure any loose yarns so the sweater can withstand normal use and care procedures without further unraveling.

• Place folded sweaters over padded hangers in a well-ventilated closet or place in drawers. Do not hang sweaters from the shoulders; the weight of the sweater can cause it to stretch. Be sure to empty pockets, remove belts, and close zippers.

• Remember that delicate items require special handling.

Cleaning Problems
Different fabrics can present different challenges to cleaning sweaters. Professional cleaners are well versed in all the various styles and fibers. In most cases your cleaner will get the job done with a minimum amount of fuss on your part.

However, sweaters and knit garments, depending on their fiber type, are susceptible to various problems, including stretching, shrinkage, pulls, and pilling, both from use and cleaning.

Some stretching on knit items should be expected as a normal circumstance of wear and care. Generally, the softer the knit, the more likely it is to show some change in texture or feel with normal wear, and this may be aggravated with washing or cleaning procedures.

If you have any questions about caring for your sweaters consult your professional cleaner.
 

A Guide to Home Stain Removal

When it comes to stains, there are some instances where it is better to let your drycleaner do the work. This applies especially if the stains are numerous or cover a large area, if the stains require a chemical procedure for which you are not equipped, if the fabric is fragile or highly sized, or if you are not sure what the stain is or have doubts about the fabric.

However, you can often remove small stains satisfactorily at home. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

• Read the care label carefully on all garments before attempting stain removal.

• Do not attempt home stain removal with either water or cleaning fluid without testing first for colorfastness.

• Apply a small amount of the product to an unexposed seam or area of the garment. Let stand for about five minutes, then rinse. If the color is affected, don't use the product.

• Never rub a stain, especially when attempting to remove a stain from silk. Always blot the stained area to help remove the staining substance without spreading it. This will also avoid damaging the fabric.

• Never store a garment with spills or stains on it. The warmth of a closet and atmospheric exposure can contribute to setting a stain.

• Bring in a stained garment as soon as possible, preferably within a few days, to prevent the stain from setting.

• Be particularly aware of stains from oily substances, food, and beverages. Although these stains may be invisible upon drying, they can turn yellow or brown with time or after a cleaning process - making them some of the most difficult stains to remove.

• Do not iron stained or soiled clothes; this will set stains and drive the soil deeper into the fabric. Always have stains removed and soiled clothes cleaned or washed before ironing.

• Do not attempt stain removal on leather, suede, furs, vinyl, fabrics that are heavily sized like taffeta and organdy, nets, satins, and fabrics with fugitive colors.

• Let us know the location of specific stains and any procedures you have used to remove them, even if the stains are no longer visible.

When it comes to stains, there are some instances where it is better to let your dry cleaner do the work. This applies especially if the stains are numerous or cover a large area, if the stains require a chemical procedure for which you are not equipped, if the fabric is fragile or highly sized, or if you are not sure what the stain is or have doubts about the fabric.

However, you can often remove small stains satisfactorily at home. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

• Read the care label carefully on all garments before attempting stain removal.

• Do not attempt home stain removal with either water or cleaning fluid without testing first for colorfastness.

• Apply a small amount of the product to an unexposed seam or area of the garment. Let stand for about five minutes, then rinse. If the color is affected, don't use the product.

• Never rub a stain, especially when attempting to remove a stain from silk. Always blot the stained area to help remove the staining substance without spreading it. This will also avoid damaging the fabric.

• Never store a garment with spills or stains on it. The warmth of a closet and atmospheric exposure can contribute to setting a stain.

• Bring in a stained garment as soon as possible, preferably within a few days, to prevent the stain from setting.

• Be particularly aware of stains from oily substances, food, and beverages. Although these stains may be invisible upon drying, they can turn yellow or brown with time or after a cleaning process - making them some of the most difficult stains to remove.

• Do not iron stained or soiled clothes; this will set stains and drive the soil deeper into the fabric. Always have stains removed and soiled clothes cleaned or washed before ironing.

• Do not attempt stain removal on leather, suede, furs, vinyl, fabrics that are heavily sized like taffeta and organdy, nets, satins, and fabrics with fugitive colors.

• Let us know the location of specific stains and any procedures you have used to remove them, even if the stains are no longer visible.

Life Expectancy of Household Textiles

The American National Standards Institute, Inc. approved the Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products. This standard provides the guidelines for determining liability for claims adjustment purposes for textile products. It also includes the following life expectancy chart for household textile items: 

How long the items last also depends on selection. Consider the following before purchasing a household product:

  • Will the material be durable?
  • Will the fabric resist stains and soil?
  • Are there any protective coatings of finishes available that will prolong the useful life of the textile?
  • Is the fabric preshrunk?
  • Is the fabric resistant to light, fading or pollution?
  • Do any care instructions come with the purchase? Read all instructions or information before buying the item.

Proper care will always help prolong the beauty of the household textile. Here are some basic rules to protect and prolong the beauty of household textiles:

  • Protect all furnishings from sunlight, fumes, and pets.
  • Damage, like tears, should be repaired immediately.
  • Vacuum and/or brush to remove dust regularly.
  • Follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations.
  • Do not allow the item to become extremely soiled, and have any stains removed immediately.
  • Clean household textiles before storing.
     

Holiday Cleaning Emergencies

Great holiday food and drinks are often accompanied by a few spills. Not to worry though, this handy stain removal guide will walk you through some of the most common dinner stains you may have encountered this holiday season.

  • Candle Wax: Gently lift off the larger pieces. Treat with a solvent-based stain 
  • removal product. Wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
  • Wine & Coffee Stains: Lightly touch with an absorbent towel to draw up the liquid or put paper towels under the spill. Blotting can spread the stain. After dinner: rinse in cool water; treat with a mild detergent and white vinegar.
  • Salad Oil: This is the worst because it can yellow with age if not removed. Cover a big spill at the table with absorbent powder. Shake off after supper. Apply a mild detergent mixed with household ammonia, ASAP. Wait 5-10 minutes and wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
  • Cranberry: Rinse with cool water and treat with a mild detergent and white vinegar before washing.

It is always best to wash stained items or take them to us as soon as possible. If your table linens are colored or have colored embroidery check for colorfastness before using the various stain removal products. Anytime a stain is not washed out before drying it can become more difficult to remove.

And if those stains have you stumped, we're happy to take care of them for you so you won't have to deal with them. We remove stains like these every day.

Winter Garment Storage

It’s that time of year again — Fall. It is a time of change in both the seasons as well as a change of habits. With each new season we find ourselves with the desire to do things just a little bit better. We set goals, like, “I am going to do laundry three times per week,” or, “this fall I will be sure to put my summer cloths away cleaner so they last longer.”

Every penny counts these days, so making your favorite cloths last longer is a priceless commodity. Caring for those favorite clothes professionally can keep them looking their best for years.  Dry cleaning not only cleans your clothes, it restores them so they look new and fresh, even after being in a closet over the winter months.

 

Follow these seven steps via About Home for winter garment storage tips.

 

Clean all outfits thoroughly before packing.

Now is the best time to remove stains.  Any stains left on clothing will only darken and become worse during storage. Cleaning the clothes also means that insects will be less likely to take up residence in your sweaters. Most clothing just needs to be washed normally or dry cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Taking a little time to thoroughly wash laundry before you pack it will keep your clothes safe during storage.

 

Use the right storage.

Plastic storage containers can be used for storing clothes, although if any bug larvae are in the clothing, they will have a feast. Cardboard boxes can be used for temporary storage. Make sure you use new clean boxes to avoid staining and insects. Even then be aware that cardboard boxes can attract bugs. One of the best storage containers is an unused suitcase that has been thoroughly cleaned.

 

Line containers with acid free tissue. It may be possible to pack the clothes in plastic storage containers although trapped moisture can be an issue depending on the storage conditions.

 

Be careful with the use of mothballs.

Many children and pets are naturally attracted to them with deadly results. Another option would be cedar blocks or cedar lined storage. Mothballs and cedar can be effective against insects, but keep in mind that neither is a complete guarantee. Just like with other cleaning products, storage chemicals should be used with care and according to directions.

 

Don’t hang everything.

Although it may be tempting, do not hang sweaters or other knit items that can become misshapen by long term hanging. Many a good sweater has been stretched beyond repair. Instead carefully fold the items and place into the storage container. Stack your folded items from the lightest items on top to the heaviest items on bottom. Stacking items loosely will allow air to keep circulating, even during a long storage.

 

If you hang items, use caution.

If you do choose to hang items, utilize all of the extra hanging loops to keep the clothing from becoming misshapen. Wrap the clothing in something breathable (i.e. fabric). Make sure the clothing has enough room to have air circulate. This will keep down the risk of mildew and mold. It will also keep the clothing from wrinkling and creasing during storage. I do not recommend storing clothes in plastic bags. The bags do not allow the clothes to breathe enough.

 

Remember Clean, Cool, Dark, and Dry.

Your storage area must be all 4 of these in order to protect your clothing. Clean any area thoroughly before storing. Choose a place that is not likely to be exposed to heat. Avoid areas near heating sources. A dark place will prevent fading and keep the area and clothing cool. Make sure the storage area is dry because wetness will attract mildew and insects.

 

Check on your storage.

Don’t abandon your stored clothing into oblivion. Regularly check on items to make sure that there are no issues. When you are ready to pull clothing out of storage, clean all items before wearing them. Inspect your storage containers to make sure that they are free from cracks, stains, or damage as well. Before you store items again, some storage containers may need to be replaced. Be sure to buy storage containers that will work well with your storage.

Sweater Care

The care label on a sweater indicates it is hand washable. Can I wash it in a machine on a delicate cycle?

There is some risk involved in using any care process not recommended by the manufacturer. Hand washing involves manual removal of soils with water, detergent, and a gentle squeezing action. A care label that calls for machine washing, in a delicate or gentle cycle, indicates the soil can be removed with water, detergent or soap, slow agitation, and reduced time in a washing machine.

 

Hand washing is a restrictive care process that minimizes the amount of abrasion a garment receives in cleaning. If hand-washable garments are machine washed in a gentle cycle, agitation may be further minimized by putting the item in a net bag. Even this procedure is in violation of the care label instruction, however, and places responsibility for damages on the launderer rather than the manufacturer.

 

Deodorant Residue

How do you remove deodorant and antiperspirant residue?

Many people do not realize that prolonged contact with deodorants and antiperspirants may cause permanent damage. Combined with the effects of perspiration, the damage can be extensive. The most frequent damage is caused by overuse of these products, or infrequent cleanings. This leads to the buildup of a stiff, caked-up residue or to fabric damage.

 

To prevent chemical damage, do not overuse the product and allow it to dry before dressing. Wear dress shield with silk garments.

 

To remove the residue on washable garments, wash as soon as possible after wear in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Soaking in a detergent containing enzymes or an enzyme presoak may be necessary. If the stain remains, try using three percent hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach, according to fiber type or care label instructions. Before using, test for colorfastness.

 

 

Ink Stains

Should I use hairspray to remove a ballpoint ink stain?

Hairspray and water can remove ballpoint ink, but you may be trading one problem for another. That’s because hairspray could contain alcohol and oils such as resins and lanolin. The alcohol in the hairspray can cause color damage especially on silk; likewise, oils and other ingredients could lead to additional stains.

Rayon Care

How should I clean my rayon garments?

Rayon is a manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose derived from wood pulp or cotton linters. It is absorbent and comfortable to wear. There are different forms of the fiber know as rayon, viscose, cuprammonium, high-wet modulus and lyocel sold as Tencel™.

 

With the exception of lyocel, rayon is very sensitive to water. Many dyes applied to rayon are not colorfast and will bleed or migrate upon contact with moisture. In addition, manufacturers often add sizing to rayon in order to achieve a desired body or drape. Some sizings are water-soluble, and washing will distort the shape of the garment. drycleaning is recommended for most rayon garments. Although substantially similar in chemical composition to rayon, lyocel can be either drycleaned or washed. However, when caring for garments made of lyocel it is important to follow the care instructions carefully. If a garment made of lyocel is washed when should have been drycleaned, it may result in excessive shrinkage and a wrinkled appearance.

 

Drycleaning and Garment Lifespan

Does frequent drycleaning shorten the life of a garment?

On the contrary, frequent cleaning prolongs the life of a garment. Not only do stains set with age, making the garment unwearable, but ground-in dirt and soil act as an abrasive, like sandpaper, causing rapid wear of fibers. Also, insects are attracted to soiled clothes and will cause further damage.

Salt Stain Care

Salt is an abrasive substance. It is important to promptly care for salt-stained garments.  Left untreated, salt stains can damage clothing by fading, leaving rings and leaving permanent stains.  Here are a few tips for dealing with salt stains:

 

Wool or other fabrics

Wet the stained area with a small amount of warm water to break up the stains.  Blot, but don’t rub the area to dry it.  Bring it to your local All Seasons Cleaners location as soon as possible and be sure to point out the stain to us.  Don’t leave the garment near a heater or put it in the dryer.  Heat will set the stain.

 

Leather

Wipe off all salt with a damp, clean cloth as soon as possible, then blot dry. Stubborn stains should be brought to your local All Seasons Cleaners location.  Be sure to point out any stains to our customer service staff when you bring the clothes in.

Road salt makes driving and walking in winter much easier, but the damage it can do to clothes is devastating.  Bring your salt-stained clothes to us and we’ll give them the gentle care they deserve.

Down Pillows and Comforters

Pillows and comforters are delicate fabrics and essential items to keep you warm and comfortable.  With proper care, your down comforter and pillow will give you years of comfort. Here are some helpful tips for keeping those special fabrics longer:

 

Comforter Cleaning
Hand wash or machine wash your down comforter separately, in a large tumble washer. Use warm water and mild detergent on delicate. Never bleach your comforter. Make sure it’s thoroughly rinsed before drying. It may be worth running your comforter though the rinse cycle twice to make sure all detergent is removed. Once its ready for drying, place it in the dryer on a low setting. We also recommend using a dryer ball to help break up the clumps and fluff the comforter as it dries. A sock covered tennis ball also works well as a dryer ball. You may need to gently steam the fabric shell of your comforter to remove stubborn wrinkles but never iron.

NOTE: Not all washers, dryers, or comforters are the same.  Make sure to read the label carefully and consult the professionals at your neighborhood All Seasons Cleaners before washing yourself.

 

Pillow Cleaning
Dry clean only. Bring your down and feather pillows to your neighborhood All Seasons Cleaners. Do not machine wash or dry clean in a do-it-yourself cleaner.

 

Wool Care

Some of the coldest months of the year are upon us. We all have those essential garments we depend upon to keep us warm, cozy and happy, and often they are made off wool. Our favorite wool garments can often be expensive.  They are worth caring for so they stay fitting, smelling and looking like new.  When they look good, we feel our best when we wear them.

 

To Wash or Not to Wash

Washing wool garments in your home washer can be a little risky – the fibers of the wool can sometimes tighten and cause your favorite garment to look like something you wore to your first day of school. Hand washing on occasion is a great practice, and can take care of small spots and spills, but life can sometimes send more challenges our way. Spending time in the kitchen or playing with the kids outside can sometimes lead to lingering cooking or other undesirable odors and stains. Regular dry cleaning can take care of any of those undesirables that enjoying life may bring.

 

Really, one of the best things we can do is follow the care instructions on the the tag of the garment. When those favorite sweaters fit well and smell good we feel great – and with proper care they will last a lifetime.

 

The Fantastic Four in the Laundry Room

Baking Soda

Baking soda is harmless to the environment and has mild alkali qualities that help it dissolve grease and dirt. Baking soda can be especially helpful in areas served by hard water: Adding baking soda to a washing machine’s rinse cycle will result in clothes that are better rinsed, softer and more stain resistant.  Add 1/2 cup baking soda to top-loading machines or 1/4 cup for front-loading machines along with the usual amount of detergent to give the detergent a boost. Baking soda can help increase bleach’s whitening power so much that you’ll be able to use less bleach.

 

Vinegar

Like baking soda, vinegar can serve a lot of different purposes in the laundry room. When using vinegar in the laundry, use distilled white vinegar, which generally can be found in gallon jugs near the baking or laundry aisles in the grocery store.  A mixture of half water and half vinegar makes a good stain pretreatment.  Spray a little onto the stain a few minutes before washing and then wash as usual.

Vinegarcan also add a kick to regular laundry detergents. To soften a standard load of wash, add 1/2 cup vinegar during your machine’s last rinse cycle. In addition to softening, vinegar added at this time will help reduce lint buildup, and it tends to help pet owners with hair buildup on their fabrics.

 

Salt

Salt can also be a good stain remover, especially when the stain is still fresh. Salt can also help maintain and restore bright colors, reduce yellowing, and eliminate mildew in fabrics.

 

Lemon Juice

But among the Fantastic Four, lemon juice really takes the leading role for laundry tasks. Add 1/2 cup of it to a regular load of laundry during the wash cycle, and it will make the whole load smell fresher. Add it to a load of whites, and the whites become whiter. Combine lemon juice with cream of tartar and you have a very powerful stain remover.

 

 

Rust Removal

If you’re like many of us (especially many of us with children), perhaps you’ve found a few things that were left out in the rain and snow when they shouldn’t have been. Not to worry — you can clean off any lightly rusted items in an earth-friendly way by using some of the items in our Fantastic Four cleaning kit (baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and salt).

 

General cleaning

First, mix equal parts salt and cream of tartar, moistened with enough water to make a paste. Use this paste on metal outdoor furniture, for example, or rusted metal parts on an outdoor grill. Apply the paste with a soft cotton cloth and set the item in the sun to dry. Wipe off and repeat if necessary. Afterward, rinse clean. You can also try making this paste using lemon juice and salt, rather than cream of tartar. Be sure to keep the amount of lemon juice or water you use consistent with making a paste thick enough to not slide off any vertical surfaces.

DIY Air Freshener

The human sense of smell is a very sensitive thing, so much so that a clean-smelling home can play a large part in your emotional and physical health. Make your own earth-friendly freshener spray by mixing equal parts lemon juice and water and storing it in a spray bottle you’ve salvaged from some of your old cleaning products (make sure to rinse it out well first). Spray this around your home once or twice a week for odor control, or as needed when cooking or to get rid of smells that have seeped into the draperies, couch, and other fabrics.