Difficulties

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: Dry Cleaning

We wanted to apologize for the lack of blogging that has gone on the past few weeks. We have been experiencing some technical difficulties that kept us from being able to post very much.

However, we are back on line now and VERY happy about it!  We hope to be able to make up some space and time these next few days and post a lot.

In the mean time, enjoy a comic about dry cleaning. Just a little something from us to you in hopes that you can smile at least once today.

 


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 Day 2

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: Utah , Green , Fabric Care , Environment , Dry Cleaning

In continuation with our previous blog, this week we are blogging every day about things we love to honor the Valentines Day Holiday. Yesterday we expressed our love for children. Today we will express love for:

The earth.


Maybe this resonates with me a lot because I am from Oregon. Don't worry- I am actually much more conservative than most of my fellow greenies, but it still threw me for quite a loop when I first moved to Utah and realized there was no place to recycle my aluminum cans. (How do Utah kids pay for candy without the returning pop can fund, really?)
However, being green is no longer something left to the hippies that life in the North West. Being green and organic, and taking care of the earth is becoming much more of a global phenomenon. And the dry cleaning business is not ABOUT to be left out of the preservation race.
I get asked probably once a week about whether Dry Cleaning and Beyond uses Organic cleansers, and whether we are a "green" company. I am proud to say that "yes, we are" and for your private blog viewing information, most dry cleaners are. We recycle not only the cleaning products we use, but the supplies we use to clean such as our bags and our hangers. (Have extra hangers you don't want? Bring them into any of our stores and we will re-use them!)

Also, thanks to modern technology, we are able to be MUCH more green than dry cleaners in the past were able too because now our systems are all digital, instead of having to rely on paper and pen. It is not only better for the environment, but much more safe and convenient for you AND your clothes!
There was a great blog post listed before I started blogging called Clean and Green that details most of this information and much more, and details it much better than I would be able too :) So if you are still interested, please, follow the link and read up on how dry cleaners are helping keep our communities green and organic!
For our second day of Love posts- we want to express our appreciation to our earth, and to the times that we live in today that give us the methods, and the understanding about just how important the world we live in is.

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 :)


Quilt-tastic!

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

I love to quilt. Really. That doesn't necessarily mean that I am any good, but it is still a stress reliever for me. When I come home from "just one of those days", nothing makes me feel better than to sit in front of my sewing machine and methodically sew blocks together. It's therapeutic.

What has been really nice, is to realize that I am not the only one like this. I think since I have worked for Dry Cleaning and Beyond, I have seen more beautiful home made quilts than I have ever seen before. (Except for maybe inside my grandmothers home.)

I am sure everyone has had the horrible experience of something happening to a quilt, throw, or bed spread and you think, "Now what am I going to do with it? It wont fit in MY dryer." The great thing is, taking your quilt to the cleaners can do a lot more for it than... well... make it fit. (Although I am sure if your dryer fits your toddler... it might fit your quilt :) Not that we condone this method of testing or anything.)

It preserves color, and feel. Dry cleaning your blankets won't melt or bunch feathers and any other synthetic materials that may be used for the stuffing inside. Dry cleaning your quilts actually ensures that your quilts GET dry, and for those knitted afghans you have, it will ensure that the fibers don't shrink, stretch, or come unraveled. And the best- for all of you hand quilters out there-  dry cleaning your quilt keeps all of your time consuming, precious, and delicate work- in one piece!!

And though I try not to too often, I AM going to put in a plug for my own company right now :)  actually has a quilting specialist that works out of our Springville location. Need help piecing, sewing, and doing anything that has to do with the making and cleaning of your quilt? Call our Springville location and ask for Sheri. Not only can she helps, but she WANTS too.

We just wanted to throw out a kudos to all of our quilters out there and tell them how amazing we think their work is! We are so impressed with their talents.

And just to show it off a little bit, the beauty below is thanks to one of our Provo store customers, Linda Lambert. We were so excited to see something so nice, she graciously let us snap a picture of her handiwork and post it here! Thank you Linda!


Why Loose the Magic?

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

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

My husband, as a general rule, does NOT like jeans. We differ greatly in that way. He just can't ever find a pair that fits, or feels, as good as a pair of khakis.

He owns- one pair of jeans. Yes, one.  In high school he took a trip with some friends and in a boutique he found a pair of jeans. For those of you have not seen, heard or felt a pair of these jeans I can sum them up for you in one single word:

Magical.

So my husband paid an INORDINATE amount for his one and only pair of perfect jeans. (Really though- who wouldn't?) When we first started dating we would often do our laundry together and I remember in my naive state being appalled that he took these coveted jeans to the dry cleaners.

At that point in my life I don't think I had ever dry cleaned anything. I avoided the "dry clean only" tag like the plague. As I know many people do. But my husband was adamant. His PDCs would NEVER meet with a washing machine and store bought detergent. I asked the same question that many, many people have asked me since they heard about this blog:

 "Why do I need to dry clean my clothes?"

Great question. And what's lucky for you is that while I was confused back in the day, I now hold the coveted answer.

Why dry clean? Because not all fabrics are created equal.

That means, though you can toss your cotton shirt into the washing machine and have no issues, you MAY not want to try that with say... silk. Or linen. Or satin. Or a pair of PDCs.

Believe it or not, but water can actually damage a lot of fabrics out there. Those clothes that you buy that say dry clean only on them? That is why they say it. The fabric that that garment is made out of is not meant for water or modern detergents.

It's not just a conspiracy between the textile industries and the dry cleaners I promise.

The great thing about dry cleaning, is that while it not only takes care of those products that can be ruined by water, it can also prevent water damage on clothes that should be able to withstand the washing machine.

Water, as I am sure everyone has experienced, can fade, shrink, and even change the feeling of a fabric. By dry cleaning an item you retain all of what you would have lost in your washing machine.

Have an item that has already been ruined by your washer? No problem. Bring it to the dry cleaners. It is not guaranteed, but often your cleaners will be able to even return some of the original feel, and shape of the garment.

Are there more reasons to dry clean your clothes? Certainly.

Do you have any items that say hand wash only? Those are suppose to be done that way because the make, and sometimes the fabric of the garment, cannot withstand the tumble and high pressure wash that a washing machine, or a dryer, would give it.

The great thing is that dry cleaning can treat that item with the same delicacy your hands can. Don't worry- I know the tag says hand wash only. You just have to read between the lines. When something says hand wash only it really means, "Hand wash only OR if that is too laborious for you, take it to the dry cleaners. Just please don't throw this in your dirty clothes bin with your gym socks."

Dry cleaning is also a GREAT means of clothing preservation. Ever had beads on your shirt that all got undone in the wash? Sequins that melted in the dryer? A sweater that pilled? Embroidery that came loose? Though these items can technically all be done in your machine, a lot can go wrong when you mix them in with your non expensive jeans and well... your gym socks.

If there is anything you are unsure about, whether it be the magical quality of your clothes, or the embellishments on your sweater, be safe. Take it to the dry cleaners. We are always here! Willing to take the work load from your hands, and save your clothing paranoia.


Q and A: The Skinny on Starch

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

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

In my experience, the most popular item that people come in to have dry cleaned are suit shirts. The most popular question I ask when people bring their suit shirts in to be cleaned is: "And would you like any starch on these?"

My most popular answer? A blank look and the question, "I'm not sure what you mean. Starch?"

Yes starch. Everything that you may have ever wanted to know about starch, and what in the world it has to do with dry cleaning will be answered below. So read on!

 

Starch is something green plants produce to use as an energy store. It is also the most important carbohydrate that a human can consume and exists in foods like potatoes.

However, starch had a wide variety of uses outside of the human diet. Starch is actually derived from the Middle English word Sterchen. Which means to stiffen.

Starch is a white, tasteless, ordorless powder, and though it is insoluable in cold water and alcohol, when it is mixed with warm water, it creates a thick paste that even as far back as the Egyptians, has been used as a thickening, stiffening, or gluing agent.

The Egyptians used starch to stiffen cloth that they were trying to waeve, to make the process easier. They also used it in their paper making, as did the Romans. Starch is still used today in the making of paper, and is a properity in most adhesives. Its most widely known use however, would be in laundry.

In laundry, vegetable starch is mixed with water and used mostly as a stiffening substance. As far back as the 16th and 17th centruies, nobels used starch while they laundered their clothes, to stiffen collars and ruffs that were made from fine linen.

In the 19th and 20th centuries starch was applied to clothes during the ironing process to stiffen mens cuffs and collars, and womens petticoats. They discovered then that starch was also helpful because when used, dirt and sweat would bind itself to the starch instead of to the fibers of the garment being worn, making it easier to wash.

A dry cleaners uses starch in the same way: to stiffen a customers clothes. Its most popular use is in mens shirts, but if you like your pants or blouses to feel a little stiff, do not be afraid to ask your cleaners if they can put some starch in those items as well!

What you do need to know, is that there are different levels of starch, from light to heavy. When using light starch, you have to have a fine feel to tell the difference from no starch. It is usually most easily seen in the cuffs or collars of a shirt.

 Heavy starch is what people like Frankenstein here like: your shirt will be able to stand on its own :)

Also, starch DOES build up in clothes over time. It takes four or five washes with no starch, to get one dose of heavy starch out of your clothes. So if you notice your items growing more stiff than you like, the next few times you bring them into the cleaners, ask for no starch, or very light starch.

Also, every fabric will take to starch differently. Some won't take to it all. If you are curious, feel free to ask. And if your dry cleaners doesn't know either, take the chance and see :)


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.


Santas Dry Cleaning

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

The best part about working for a dry cleaners, I think, is getting to see everyones clothes. It's different than working in a retail store, which I have also done, where you just see the same clothes over and over. At a dry cleaners you see everyones different styles, the things they are picky about, even how they wear their clothes.

My favorite time to be working for the dry cleaning buisness is during the holiday season, starting with October. Before and after Halloween everyone brings in their costumes, and as it heads into November the Santa Claus, elf, and Mrs. Claus outfits start flowing in. I have seen some very fancy velvet suits, and even a "fat padding" vest.

We had a man once who had dropped off such a suit, and one afternoon he called to see if it was done being cleaned. I told him yes, and since he said he was going to be coming right in to get it, I hung it behind the desk to have it ready.

Before he came into the store however, a woman with her young son came in to pick up some buisness suits. While we were taking payment, the little boy was looking around the store: the clothes, the pictures, the candy on the counter. That's when he spied the santa suit hanging just behind me.

His eyes popped open wide, as well as his mouth. He tapped his mother on the arm. "Mom, look! Santa Claus gets his dry cleaning done here!"

I was happy to be able to show him that we did Super Womans dry cleaning as well. He was very excited to be able to see her suit for himself.


Entering the Blogsphere

Posted by: Sarah Moeck

Tagged in: History , Environment

Since our companies birth, Dry Cleaning and Beyond has been fairly successful in entering the modern technological world. We have a new and beautifully desgined web site. We also have a page on Facebook so anyone can become a fan of our company.

We have tried, a little less successfully, to enter the Blogsphere. With our blog we hoped to answer questions not only about our company, but any general information about the services we have become experts in while being in buisness: drycleaning, laundry, wedding dresses and preservation, alterations etc. As well as hoping that we can entertain you as a reader!

We realized that to be able to do this we were going to need someone to update our blog more regularly that had been done in the past. Preferably someone who likes the dry cleaning buisness, and who also really enjoys to write.

So we found Sarah! We would love to encourage you to post comments on the blog or to email her directly and ask any questions or leave any comments, stories, and experiences you would like to see on our blog. You can contact Sarah at sarah@drycleaningandbeyond.com

Stay tuned for future posts and we hope you enjoy reading from us!


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