Author Archives: ian

Check Out Rick’s BP MS150 Jerseys!

Rick's BP MS150 Jersey

  We're riding in this year's MS150 to raise awareness for those living with Multiple Sclerosis. The event raises funds for the National MS Society to promote their research and efforts. Please click here to consider donating anything you're comfortable with – $5,$10, whatever! Thanks in advance for your support.

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BP MS150 & Team Rick’s Cleaners

BP MS150 Rick's CleanersRick's Cleaners recently created a small team to ride and help fundraise for this year's BP MS150 in efforts to raise awareness in our fight against Multiple Sclerosis! To help fight MS please take the time to visit our Team Rick's Cleaners page! Any donations or social sharing are greatly appreciated! The ride takes place April 29-30.

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2614 S Lamar NOW OPEN! Thanks @austinchronicle for the exposure!

How much do you pay for dry cleaning? Print this and save even more!

2614 S Lamar Blvd Now Open

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New South Lamar Location Opening 1/2/2017!

2614slamaropening

Our 16th location opens in a few weeks. Find us across the street from Matt's El Rancho! We're proud to be a local (and non-franchised!) family owned business!

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3 Tips to Clean Your Fall Clothes the Right Way

You’ve Got the Style, But How Do You Clean It?

 

Fall fashion is here, and your winter wardrobe is near. We’re all guilty of wearing our favorite garments a couple extra times before cleaning it, but is that OK to do? Absolutely, but there are risks involved. There are obvious signs of “Clean Me Now!” such as noticeable stains or odors that we simply cannot cover. At this point you should get your items cleaned by either washing them or taking them to the cleaners. It’s the not so obvious factors that can harm the fibers of your favorite go-to item or most prized outfit, and once discovered these are the ones that hurt.

 

Lucky for you there are articles, resources, and your mother’s wisdom to help you protect your favorite fall clothes for the long haul. Here are 3 tips to protect your clothes by cleaning the right way.

 

Sweaters

Own a wool, cashmere, or angora sweater? Read this. Sweaters should be dry cleaned. If you wash them at home the garment could lose its softness, acquire a fuzzy or old look, or worst of all shrink. If you store them in your closet without cleaning them after each use you run the risk of falling victim to moth damage the next time you clean your sweater.

Clothing moths can cause considerable damage to materials containing wool, fur, or other animal derived products. Their larvae like to feed in dark protected areas making closets a nice landing spot. They are attracted to stains or perspiration in the fabric. Damage from moth larvae occurs from feeding on the fibers and weakening the material. Unfortunately, the real damage is typically seen after dry cleaning a garment because the agitation of the cleaning process causes the weakened area to give out.  This results in small single hole (or often in clusters).

Note: This info also applies to wool suits and scarfs

 

Here are a few tips to reduce or avoid moth problems:

-Thoroughly clean storage areas
-Store clothing in tightly sealed containers
-Deterrents such as cedar, mothballs, or sprays can be helpful, but won't guarantee protection.

MOTH DAMAGE EXAMPLES

 

Raincoats or Outerwear

Raincoats and outerwear don’t need to be cleaned that often, but when you’re ready make sure to check the clothing care label! Often the best way to clean them is by hand wash or a delicate wash cycle. Do not use fabric softeners when washing. Hang them to dry, and they are ready for another wear. Many care labels state “Dry Clean Only,” but be cautious of a material called Polyurethane. Often abbreviated as P.U., this material is extremely dangerous to dry clean because it contains a coating to keep it soft that can easily dissolve in dry clean solution.  If the manufacturer’s coating isn’t stable, the material can stiffen up, blister, or flake off.

Polyurethane Warning

Leather / Suede

A fall favorite, leather and suede garments are a great low maintenance choice. Make sure with both materials to avoid water at all costs. Exposure to rain can be dangerous, as can trying to wash these items like your normal clothing. Washing with water or standard dry cleaning won’t cut it. Your quick fix is to blot with a white rag to remove surface stains, but try to avoid excess moisture. Do not rub these garments, as it can cause discoloration or color loss. The best solution to clean them is to have a professional leather and suede cleaning service do the job. Most reputable dry cleaning companies will over this specialty service or can recommend someone if they can accept the item at their store. This service comes at a cost, but it is worth it!  Curious how it’s done?

 

  1. Stains are worked on first
  2. The item is cleaned in a machine with peanut or olive oil to keep material soft
  3. Fatty soaps are then used on the item (Same concept as using lotion for your skin)
  4. The item is cured and dries naturally with air
  5. Pressed warm without steam
  6. Bagged and sent back to customer.

 

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What Happens After I Drop Off My Clothes?

There is a lot that happens beyond your initial drop off. Take a look.


Tagging and Stains
In reality, after check-in, we tag your items so the cleaning team can keep track of them through the upcoming process. Then we check for stains. If we find any tough stains, we’ll remove them based on their chemistry. Stain removal is part art and part science. Some stains are tougher than others but our team can handle 99.9% of them.

Cleaning
Next, we place your garments into the cleaning machine. It’s like a large home washer since the clothes are placed in a metal cylinder. During cleaning, your items bathe in an EPA-approved fluid to dissolve grease and oily stains. Centrifugal force removes most of the fluid and soils just like in a home washer, the rest comes out in drying. Your clothes come out ready to be pressed.

Examples of Finishing
We press pants one leg at a time blast wrinkles with 300-degree steam while a hot flat coated iron flattens and creases each leg (or not depending on your preference). We get wrinkles out of the waist and seat with “puff irons” or a specialized “pants topper” device. If they pass our quality inspection, they're ready for you.

Shirts are a little more involved. We press sleeves on a machine called a “sleever,” or many times by hand. We do collars and cuffs together on another specialized machine. Full-body machines press the front and back perfectly flat. Then, we place the shirt on a form to give the collar it’s natural round shape.

Inspection & Assembly
Following the finishing process, we inspect each item before it is assembled with the rest of your order. We also give the items a detailed final quality exam upon bagging.

Items identified as less-than-100% Ready to Wear go back for correction. The real magic of professional cleaning is how you feel 100% confident because you know you look your best. You know because you trusted the experts, us. Our only job is making you look your best.

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How the Sun Can Damage Your Fabrics

sun damage fabric

Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause significant fading to your clothing, curtains, and upholstery. Signs of damage occur in similar fashion to the picture. (This is an actual photo of a couch that has been nearby a window for approximately 4 years).
 
Notice the difference in fabric? Also, we often see this type of damage on golf polos underneath the collar. The protected area remains the original color, but the area expose to sun lightens significantly. After this damage occurs, there is no way to reverse the effects.
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Big Brother Big Sister Discount at any Rick’s Cleaners

Show a Rick's staff member your Big Brother Big Sister ID card
when dropping off and get discounted dry cleaning!

bbbs mentor

To view more businesses in Austin who offer discounts to BBBS mentors please click here

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6 Tips To Make Your Curtains Last

1) To protect drapes against yellowing due to excess staining and soiling, clean the drape at least once a year.


2) It is best that you have your drapes cleaned by a cleaner who is experienced in the cleaning of drapes and is knowledgeable in drapery problems.


3) Protect drapes from prolonged dampness. Moisture from rain, leaky pipes, or condensation from window panes can result in water marks and mildew.


4) If possible, rotate draperies periodically to vary the amount of light exposure received.


5) Protect drapes from abrasion damage by avoiding constant rubbing on window sills or furnishings while in use. Abrasion damage can also be caused by a family pet snagging the fabric with sharp claws.


6) Keep draperies away from the kitchen, wood stoves, or fireplaces. Smoke from wood stoves, fireplaces, and cigarettes; cooking fumes; and other atmospheric contaminants can contribute greatly to drapery soiling

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Wedding Season Has Arrived – Care For Your Gown

Wedding Gown Preservation RicksBrides often want to preserve their gown as a keepsake, particularly if the gown is an heirloom. We recommend having your gown cleaned as soon after the wedding as possible.

The gown may have invisible stains from food, beverages, and body oils. If these stains are not properly cleaned, they may become permanent. It is important to point out any stains or spills before cleaning. Most wedding gowns include decorative trim. It is important to inspect these trims with your cleaner prior to cleaning since some may not withstand the cleaning process. Often these trim pieces can be removed and cleaned separately, then reattached.

Most of all…congratulations!

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What is Polyurethane and How Can It Be Cleaned?

What is Polyurethane:
 
Polyurethane, or "PU" is a synthetic leather ("pleather") material that is commonly found in women's fashion today. An entire garment can be made of PU, but the material is most commonly seen as a trim or decorative element around the neck, cuffs, lapels, and pocket trim.
 
Common Items That Contain Polyurethane:
 
Faux leather garments, raincoats / outwear, inner linings of jackets / vests, and especailly common on decorative trim. Many major brands sell products with it such as Bebe, Zara, H&M, Cache, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and many more.
 
How to clean it:

The safest way to clean it is washing it inside out in cold water either by hand or on a delicate cycle and letting the garment hang dry.
 
**PLEASE NOTE: THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE IF the rest of the material on the item can be safely cleaned in water. For example: you would not want to clean it in water if the rest of the garment is silk. Always check your care label first.
 
When bringing any garment that contains Polyurethane or any other synthetic leather to the cleaners please bring it to the attention of our staff while you are dropping it off so that we may take proper precautions to clean it.

The potential hazards of dry cleaning it:

Many PU items will say "Dry Clean Only" on the care label, but if the special coating on the material to make it soft isn't set properly by the manufacturer, the material can sometimes react poorly with standard dry cleaning solvent. A negative reaction will result in the material beginning to peel, flake, or crack. There is no way to test if there will be a possible reaction prior to cleaning the garment. Not all garments containing polyurethane become damaged from commercial dry cleaning, but if the damage occurs it is a manufacturer's defect. See the graphic below for an actual example.
 
Polyurethane Warning
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What Does Insect Damage Look Like?

"Bugs in my house!? No way. I even have pest control!"
 
We are right there with you on this one, and hate these little guys for the damage they can bring to our garments. Clothing moths can cause considerable damage to materials containing wool, fur, or other animal derived products. Their larvae like to feed in dark protected areas making closets a nice landing spot. Damage from moth larvae occurs from feeding on the fibers and weakening the material. Unfortunately, the real damage is typically seen after dry cleaning a garment because the agitation of the cleaning process is enough to cause the weakened area to give out and results in small single hole (or often in clusters).
 
Here are a few tips to reduce or avoid moth problems:
 
-Thoroughly clean storage areas
-Store clothing in tightly sealed containers
-Deterrents such as cedar, mothballs, or sprays can be helpful, but won't guarantee protection.
 
For more information on moths and protecting your clothing from the Texas AgriLife Extension click here.
 
MOTH DAMAGE EXAMPLES
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