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Spring Cleaning Household Items – Have You Done It?
Open those windows and let the sun shine in! But be careful where those rays go because they could fade some of the more integral parts of your home environment.
Sometimes we forget about some of the household items that blend into our homes so well that they become a part of the scenery. These items collect dust and dirt and become damaged, faded or discolored in their relative inactivity. Since we see them everyday, gradual changes happen without our noticing. Then, one day, the realization sets in and our perception of the item’s value sinks.
Guest room items are often overlooked, as many comforters on guest room beds become sun faded from being in direct sunlight. Draperies, upholstery, rugs, and pillows all fade into the background. While these items brighten our homes, they are collecting dust, grime, food crumbs, and stains.
We’re a professionally-trained fabric care business with the knowledge and equipment to help you care for your household items so you can enjoy them even longer. Here are some tips you can use to get the most out of home items that are such an important part of our daily lives.
Comforters rarely become soiled as they rest atop the other blankets and coverings on a bed, but sooner or later they will acquire some kind of staining or collect enough dust to warrant a cleaning. Comforters left in direct sunlight can become discolored or faded due to the direct light on the dye. It is best to keep comforters and heirloom quilts out of direct light to prevent
We can process your comforters and quilts and get the dust and grime out of them safely. Many comforters will not fit into a home washer and dryer, and therefore won’t be cleaned properly.
Handmade quilts are especially susceptible to dye bleeding since the fabric components of the quilt may vary. We test each part of the quilt to ensure no bleeding will ruin it.
Blankets are available in many fibers and construction types. These include wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester, and polyurethane. A blanket’s construction plays a direct role in its thermal qualities and should be cleaned in a way that will protect its ability to contain heat. We are skilled in the methods of cleaning blankets to preserve their heat retaining qualities and appearance.
Upholstery fabrics used for furniture are usually used to cover decorative pillows. Occasionally, pillows are also made to match draperies or other home furnishings. Most of these items are not supposed to be cleaned unless the manufacturer recommends a procedure. This is a task best left to us as we can help you get them clean without destroying them. Ask us for help when you find your items may require cleaning.
The fabric covering for stuffed furniture and cushions is known as upholstery. Upholstery cannot readily be removed for cleaning, as the fabric is usually nailed onto the frame of the furniture. Furniture covers on cushions usually contain a zipper, but the zipper is there for the convenience of the manufacturer, not for cleaning purposes. Most manufacturers never expect the cover to be removed from the cushion during use of cleaning.
Upholstery is made from numerous fibers or fiber blends, and many include latex or similar coating on the reverse side. This coating gives the fabric extra body, stabilizes the weave, and prevents shallow seams from unraveling during use. Do not remove the stuffing from cushions for cleaning.
Draperies are often left hanging for years before they are taken in for cleaning. Often, exposure to sunlight and changing temperatures lead to fabric damage in the drapes. In time, soil and dust in the room, as well as outside atmospheric dirt and gasses from industry, automobile, and construction, may soil the drapes. Many of these soils can be removed through careful cleaning practices.
Water stains are caused when moisture from condensation on the window, humidity or spilled liquids causes the soils to disperse, leaving a stained area.
Moisture may also be responsible for displacing drapery sizing. After the moisture evaporates, a ring or streak may be noticeable because any solvent-soluble soils will be removed. You may notice discoloration due to light combining with oxygen, which tears down certain chemicals in fibers.
Professional cleaners like us can get water stains out of drapes, but only if the drapes can withstand the process. Ask us about your drapes before you decide to have them cleaned.
Probably the main complaint we hear is that the drapes have yellowed in general or possibly yellowed more noticeably in certain areas of drapes. Most fibers have a natural tendency toward slow oxidation and yellowing both from aging and from atmospheric exposure. Any drapery material used to cover a window is exposed to both direct and indirect lighting. Some fabrics are treated with sizing or finishes to impart body. Some of these sizings oxidize and yellow with age. In some cases this yellowing is more pronounced on the leading edge or fold of the drape. This indicates a greater exposure to atmospheric gases, smoke fumes, and cooking oils.
Together, we can get the most out of your household items just by remembering they’re there. The best way to prevent excessive damage or fading is to rotate a few different sets of drapes, blankets or comforters periodically, or with the seasons. Keep furniture out of direct light to minimize fading. This will not only brighten the look of your home, but it will ensure that you get the most mileage out of your household items.
We appreciate the opportunity to make your clothes (and you!) look and feel their very best. We look forward to working with you to keep your wardrobe at its finest.
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.
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.
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.
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?
- Stains are worked on first
- The item is cleaned in a machine with peanut or olive oil to keep material soft
- Fatty soaps are then used on the item (Same concept as using lotion for your skin)
- The item is cured and dries naturally with air
- Pressed warm without steam
- Bagged and sent back to customer.