Tags >> Stains

Be In Your Bonnet

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: Stains , spots , FAQ's , Fabric Care , Environment , Dry Cleaning

I was sitting on my couch last night, enjoying the visages of my chocolate Easter bunny and jelly beans, thinking about all sorts of Easter memories. My mother is a HUGE person for holidays, even the small ones like St. Patricks day, so she always goes all out for food and decorations and...

dress up's. For me, when I was younger, Easter meant a new wonderfully colored dress to wear to church and ....yes; the quintessential Easter hat. White and be-ribboned, colored and be-flowered...you name. I probably wore. And was proud to wear at that.

I think Easter past is what has given me my great love in life now, for hats in general. I have LOTS of them. Huge black ones like Audrey Hepburn used to wear, golfing hats, baseball hats, brimmed beanies, old fashioned reporter caps... you name it. 

Now that hats are coming back in fashion a little more (which I love by the way), and spring and summer are heralding the season for them, there is one question I hear a lot. From friends and from customers.

"How in the WORLD do you wash a hat?"

With straw, and ribbons, and buttons, and flowers, decals and stickers, cardboard inserts and stiff fabrics, hats are NOT something you can throw in with your delicate cycle. But hats can be dry cleaned. If your dry cleaners has the right facility to do so.

There are a few reasons why you should have your hats dry cleaned instead of just tossing them into the washer at home. The first is fit. Even those wool beanies you wear while you are snowboarding... people are really picky about the fit. You want the hat to cover your ears right? To stay the same shape? Washers and dryer can shrink, smoosh, and over all make a mess of a hat.  A dry cleaners doesn't use water so you don't have to worry about shrinkage. And we wont through your hat into a rotating machine, so no smashing.

The second reason goes along with the first. A dry cleaners doesn't use water. So those cardboard inserts that keep that baseball brim so stiff? They won't get ruined. The color won't run, the fabric won't shrink or loose shape. A lot of hats are made from other fabrics other than just your basic cotton. Exposing them to water can be a very bad thing. By dry cleaning your hat you can guarantee that its going to come back looking the same as it went in. Just cleaner.

The third, is that many people don't notice that even on the most basic hat, there is a grain. So even if you pick up a do it at home cleaning kit, if you don't have good lighting and don't pay enough attention, your going to just rub at the seams of your hat and realize when your done that something looks incredibly weird. It's the grain. You have to clean along it, just like you paint a house, with the grain to make it turn out right.

A dry cleaners is going to spot clean your hat. Usually the most dirty area is just the brim where the hat stays right by your head. Just like we can spot clean a shirt or pair of pants, a dry cleaners can do the same with your hats, making sure the areas that needs a really deep clean are going to get it.

Another thing a dry cleaners can do that is hard to do at home, is blocking. Most people only get their cowboy hats or Indiana Jones hats blocked, but you can do it with baseball caps too. Blocking is like those wooden inserts you put in Italian leather shoes to make sure they keep the same shape. When we do the cleaning we put the hat on a block to make sure it keep sit shape, and to even give it shape again. Your hat got trampled on during a rodeo? No worries. Not only can we get out the mud, we can put the wonderful crease back into the middle of it, and make it stiff.

If you are not following the new hair covering rage because you think what happens when it gets dirty? Don't worry about it! Dirt should never stop you from getting something that has the potential to make you look fantastic! My friends- go put a little something something on your head, hide those fly away frills, and feel amazing in a decorated, and clean, bonnet of your very own.


Mistakes

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

 

One of my favorite movies is Music and Lyrics. I love Hugh Grant, and though he is no Michael Jackson, I actually enjoy listening to him sing. One of my favorite songs comes at the very end of the movie (don't worry- no spoilers) where he is asking the heroine to forgive him by singing a song in concert. One of the lines in the song I love especially. It goes:

"Please don't write me off just yet."

To me it is such an epic plea for forgiveness, you know?

What made me think of this, was a customer that came into one of our companies stores the other day and said that they had been to a local dry cleaners recently, and the company had ruined the customers shirt in some way. When the customer went back to ask that the misfortune be corrected somehow,  the dry cleaners had sent the customer out the door without another word, and without making amends for the mistake.

I am sure that MOST dry cleaners have heard a story like this from a customer. Though we are here to fix and to clean your clothes, unfortunately, we cannot, as much as we would like to be able to, claim perfection. Sometimes- things happen, as I am sure all of you have experienced in your own line of work. Mistakes cannot be eradicated indefinitely.

However, we have discovered that the real mistake doesn't come in staining or ruining a garment. The real mistake that our customers previous dry cleaners made, was in not making up for their error.

Since Dry Cleaning and Beyond had been in business we have, yes, we will admit, made some mistakes. What we have and what we will continue to promise to do however, is to make up for the mistake IF you, as the customer, give us the chance to do so. We can replace missing buttons, re-sew loose hems and threads, get out stains from bleeding fabrics etc. If it comes down to it- we will even replace something if needed. And we will do it without charge.

So I guess though I have no voice or piano talent, I would like to make the same plea as Hugh Grant. Don't write us off with the first error. Bring the garment in and give us, or whatever dry cleaner you go to, the chance to show you how much we appreciate you as a customer by making up for what we did wrong.

Because we will make it up to you if you give us the chance. And that is something that we CAN promise.


For the Love of Spring and Stains

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: Stains , spots , just for fun , Green , Dry Cleaning

I love spring. I think most people share this sentiment because after months of hibernation we all feel like the sun and the scent of fresh air helps us to awake. People seem to take more time in life in the spring to think, to clean, to empty out their lives in preparation for filling them during the summer months.

I love working and having the sun STREAM in through my front store windows all day long. I love seeing the prints people come in wearing- with all their bright colors and flower coverings. 

I was thinking about all of this while I was working this morning, and with a smile I realized that even if the sun had NOT been streaming in through the store windows, I would not have been at a loss for what season it was. I could tell just by people's clothes; what they were bringing in and the stains on their clothes. Something about the orders I have had this morning just screams to me... warmer days are ahead...

1. Tiny bright dots all down the front of a light colared shirt

2. Thick heavy coats to be cleaned and folded. (Packing them away until next fall... and we think good riddance!)

3. Mud all over the hems of a pair of pants

4. Conspicuous bleach dots all over a pair of jeans. (Spring cleaning anyone?)

5. A wet light orange smudge on the front of someones pants

6. Car grease and black asphalt smudges. (Who else is taking advantage of the warm weather to do their own oil change instead of taking the car in?)

7. Sticky bright red finger marks on a shirt sleeve

8. Green smears and the wonderful scent of warm grass. (It's amazing how good you feel when your lawn looks good, and FEELS good under your bare feet.)

9. Prom dresses and tuxes

10. And of course... what would spring be without the Easter bunny? :)


Feeling the Love Day 3

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: Stains , spots , FAQ's , Fabric Care , Dry Cleaning

To celebrate Valentines day, our blog is writing a post every day this week, detailing something that we love. On our first day we expressed our love for children. On our second day we expressed our love for the earth. Today, our third day, we will be expressing our love for:

Food.

I am doing a similar "Feeling the Love" blog post on my personal blog, and what I wrote there today, inspired me for today's shout out for THIS blog. This morning on my personal blog, I felt the need to write about my undying passion for peanut butter. (Yes- I am addicted.) Which led me to think about how I, the company of Dry Cleaning and Beyond, the dry cleaning community in general, and I am sure every human out there, is VERY much in love with food.
Not only is eating necessary to life, but I am pretty sure that most individuals do it for fun as well. There is eating because something tastes good (I am thinking of... peanut butter?), eating for social situations (Valentines day is the perfect social eating situation I feel), and eating because it makes you feel good (nothing like pasta before a run, and a nice grilled chicken sandwich after). However, with this particular eating love also can come trouble- as with most any loves. The first and most obvious of which would be an overindulgence which takes away the feel good aspect. But also because I am sure we have all had the experience of what food, and good food, can do to our clothes.
You don't just have to have kids, or have been a kid, to have experienced this. I think I spill something in my home everyday, much to the chagrin of my very neat and careful husband. And unfortunately, many of those things that we really love leave horrid stains. I am thinking of mustard, chocolate, wine, fruit punch and any other dark fruit juices, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, oil, sticky residue from gum and candy, and many, many others.
I'm not sure there is anything worse than getting all ready for the day and then spilling your morning cuppa all down your newly cleaned shirt. Thankfully, we can help. The owners to our company wrote a great blog last year about how to help keep stains such as coffee from setting into your clothes. For those stain removing tips from their own genius minds, I am including the link to the post "Removing Stubborn Stains and Spots." And I am going to add a few points of my own more rudimentary wisdom:
1.
DO NOT DO THIS. Rubbing is probably the WORST thing you can do for a stain. When you rub at something, it is actually DIGGING that food stain deeper into the fibers of the fabric making the stain harder to remove, though it may appear to be lightening.  

2.
You may want to consider doing this, though you don't necessarily have to be WEARING the clothes to soak them :) Soaking something that is tolerant in water, (so maybe NOT your silk dress,) can be very helpful because the water can keep the stain from setting in every further.
3. The best thing you can do is get the spotted garment over to the cleaners as fast as you can, where they have the chemicals, technology, and know how to remove those food bombs that taste oh so good. The longer you wait to do so- the more set the stain gets, and the harder it becomes to get it out.
So, this Valentines day we celebrate the popular fast food refrain "if it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face." Love your food, and let us take care of the... all over the place part :)

Feeling the Love

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: Stains , spots , Fabric Care , Environment , Dry Cleaning

A lot of people find Valentines day a very cheezy holiday. But I disagree. I not only love it because my favorite colors of red and pink are swathed all over the place, but because I think Valentines day is a good time to remember all the people, and things, that we love, and to be reminded from lots of people and things that WE are loved.

I decided for this week that everyday I am going to post something about love, just because it is part of the season. (And because I am the blog author and I want too :) So for the first shout out today:

We love kids.

I had a friend once ask me if I ever realized that by working for a dry cleaners, I am really handling dirty clothes all day long. I had never realized that, mostly because the items that people have that are dry clean only, they treat with a lot of delicacy. Also, much of the "dirt" and the "stains" I deal with day to day are ones that...well... I am pretty familiar with. :)

 1.drool

2. food stains in the wonderful shape of child hand prints

 

3. white streaks on a a suit or sweater that come for a person carrying that wonderful- new baby smell

4. mud smears from somthing most small, soft, and chubby

5. throw-up

6. sticky gummy bear and fruit snack residue

7. Pen, marker, paint, crayon spots

We understand that sometimes, your wonderful kids may seem a little more like... green, slimy monsters. But we also know from seeing you with them when you come into our stores with them, that you love them. I have been touched over an over from soft words, smiles, hugs and kisses as parents hold, cuddle and teach their children right in front of me.

So this Valentines day we want to thank you for sharing your love of your family with us, and for allowing us to clean up a little bit of that love from your clothes that may be a little less than child proof :)


The Positive Pick Pocket

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: Stains , spots , FAQ's , Fabric Care , Dry Cleaning

I was talking to a friend the other day about work and they asked me, knowing that I work at the front desk of a dry cleaners, what's the most important thing I could do in my job.

 I thought about it for a moment and then I replied, "Checking pockets."

It's ironic when you think about it. I spent the first half of my life being taught by my mother to keep my hands OUT of peoples pockets. And then in college, when I spent a summer in the UK, I spent months trying to keep other peoples hands out of my purse and backpack pockets.

However, working for a dry cleaners, I have had to complete re-work the way I think when it comes to this. Because when people bring in anything for dry cleaning, checking their pockets has to be my first, automtic, reaction. And here are a few reasons why:

1. Left behind items 

Can I tell you, since I have worked here, how many frantic phone calls from customers I have had? "I left a very important business card/ my credit card/ my phone/ my favorite pen/ a pair of gloves/ a LOT of cash/ a pack of gum in my pants pocket! Do you happen to find it?"

Its a wonderful thing to be able to tell them, "Why yes, I did! I have it here in a little white paper bag with your name on it and you can come and get it whenever you want."

2. Items in pockets can not only ruin your clothes, but other peoples.

Ever had a ball point pen explode in your hand? Imagine that on hundreds of delicates that have been entrusted to a dry cleaners care. We know a customer would get upset if they had pen on their clothes when we brought it back, especially if they knew they weren't the ones with a pen in their pocket.

Gum and Crayons can make the very same mess, only gum becomes more of a sticky issue and it gets into everything! Crayons make a more colorful waxy mess:) Gum, pens, crayons can all gum up not only a customers clothes, but the dry cleaning machines as well.

 3. Collar stays.

They are just as important to check for as checking pockets, which is why I added it here. A lot of shirts today are coming with collar stays that are sewn into shirts. These are great because they have been developed to work with the heat of a cleanersmachines.

Removable stays however, were meant to be removed. Because of the heat of the shirt and pressing machines at a cleaners, plastic stays can actually melt to the fabric of the shirt. Sometimes this works out without a problem, but many times when the melted stays get old they crack breaking the fabric of the shirt at the same time. They can also melt funny and cause puckered fabric and discoloration.

Newer metal stays, though they don't melt, can get stuck in dry cleaning machines and cause problems with how they work. Or, they just fall on the floor and cause messes for later.

 So next time you drop off your clothes at the cleaners, and you notice the counter employee digging into your pockets and pulling out stays before they have even rung you up, don't be alarmed. This is for your benefit :) And anything we find comes right back to you we promise.


Stubborn Stains and Spots

Posted by: Administrator

Tagged in: Stains , spots , FAQ's , Dry Cleaning

Removing Stubborn Stains and Spots

removing_stains_from_clothesYour clothes will last longer and look better when they’re cleaned regularly.

Dry cleaners have special equipment and stain removers to remove many of the toughest stains.

Don’t delay, bring in your clothes as soon as possible so that we will have the best chance of removing stains.

Often, in an emergency you can remove small, fresh stains from your washable items by home methods. We offer this guide to help you do so.

Remember:

  • Always check first for colorfastness. Apply the recommended stain remover to a hidden part of the fabric. Rinse out and let dry. If there is no damage, then proceed.
  • Read and follow all manufacturer's instructions.
  • If you’re unsure, check with your dry cleaner before proceeding.
  1. Ball-point ink: Using cleaning fluid, place stain face down on clean white paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to back of stain. Replace paper towels under the stain frequently. Dry thoroughly. Heavy concentrations of this stain should be brought to your dry cleaner.
  2. Blood: Blot with cold water. Apply an enzyme detergent. Rinse with water. If the stain is still present, apply household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  3. Gum: Harden with an ice cube. Gently lift off any large pieces. Do not scrape with sharp objects that may damage the fabric. Wet with cleaning fluid over a clean white towel to remove final traces.
  4. Mildew: Fabrics, which are badly mildewed, may be damaged beyond repair. If it is safe for the fabric, use chlorine bleach. Rinse thoroughly. Rinse with a small amount of white cider vinegar and another rinse and launder.
  5. Nail Polish: Use colorless nail polish remover. Place face down on clean white paper towels. Apply nail polish remover. Replace power towels under stain frequently. Repeat until stain in removed. Never use on acetate or triacetate fibers.
  6. Coffee: Blot with cold water. If the stains not removed, apply liquid synthetic detergent (from your kitchen sink). Rinse with water. If stain persist, apply white vinegar. Rinse with water.
  7. Rust: Use a fabric safe rust remover following manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Rinse rust remover completely out. Best to take to a professional dry cleaner for removal.
  8. Lipstick: Using cleaning fluid, place stain face down on clean white paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to back of stain. Replace paper towels frequently. Dry thoroughly. If stain is still visible, use a synthetic detergent and water.
  9. Chocolate: Blot with cold water. Apply an enzyme detergent. Rinse with water. If the stain persists, apply a household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly.
  10. Perspiration Stain: Use method shown for chocolate.
  11. Scorch: Rinse out light scorch with cold water. For heavier scorch, treat with 3% hydrogen peroxide after testing first for color loss.
  12. Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages: When fresh, blot these stains with cold water, even white wine and colorless drinks. Heat can cause colorless stains to yellow even weeks later. Spot with synthetic detergent and water. Rinse with water. If the stain persists, spot with white vinegar. Rinse with water. Finally, try a chlorine bleach or an organic bleach, if safe for fabric (test first for color fastness).