Picnic stains.

Beer stains should be blotted as dry as possible. As soon as possible, rinse the stain with cold water from the back of the stain. Mix liquid laundry detergent (or dish soap) with cold water and soak the stain at least ten minutes. Rinse thoroughly and launder in warm water. Yellow mustard can be tough to remove, so bring your garment to us ASAP. We’ll work that yellow spot out – we never charge extra for routine stain removal. Getting your clothes clean should be fast, easy and affordable so you can enjoy what matters, like a hotdog with the works. Enjoy the rest of the summer—we’ll be outside BBQing with family and friends.

Fresh workout.

When your favorite fitness gear loses its fresh smell, a few tips from Valetmight help.  First, turn everything inside out before washing to expose what’s the dirtiest. Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to your washer to kill odor-causing bacteria. Special detergents like Win or HEX are formulated to deep clean performance fabrics. And never use a fabric softener—it can leave a coating that interferes with wicking. Or just bring everything to us. Our wet-care experts have special techniques and products that can clean the funkiest gym and workout items.

Swimwear care.

After each use, rinse swimwear in cool tap water to remove sunscreen, sand, sweat and chlorine. To wash after a few wearings, turn the swimsuit inside out and hand wash in the sink, using a few drops liquid detergent in warm water. Gently squeeze the suds through the garment, don’t wring or twist. Rinse well and lay flat to dry. At the end of the season, put your swimwear in a mesh lingerie bag and run through a gentle wash machine cycle with a mild detergent before storing for next year.

Blacker blacks.

Every cycle through the laundry removes more black dye and roughs up the surface, creating a fuzzy fade effect. Consumer Reports says, when you absolutely must wash, turn black garments inside out to protect the surface, sort items by color and weight, and wash in cold water in the shortest cycle possible. Avoid detergent with bleach and measure carefully to avoid streaking. Hang inside to dry, laying sweaters flat on a lint-free towel. Dry cleaning your favorite black items will keep the just-bought look a lot longer than laundering.

White whites.

According to the experts at Consumer Reports, greying white clothes are picking up soil from other garments in a crowded washer without enough detergent. Wash white separately, don’t pack the washer and measure the detergent. If more whitening is needed, try a detergent with bleaching components, an oxidizer like OxiClean or hang clothing in the sun for natural whitening. Of course, we’re experts at keeping whites white — removing stubborn stains and brightening vintage wedding gowns are just two specialities you’ll find behind our doors.

Hanging out.

If you’re lucky enough to enjoy an outdoor clothesline, there are a few tricks to drying laundry outdoors. Shake damp laundry to smooth out wrinkles before hanging. Dry shirts on hangers for crease-free results, ready for touchup ironing. Hang pants by the bottom hem. That’s the way to hang t-shirts and polos, too. Hang “departments” of like items to make sorting and folding go faster. Splurge on good wooden clothespins and don’t forget to wipe down the clothesline when it gets grimy.

Slipcover strategies.

To refresh linen, cotton or synthetic fabric that’s been preshrunk and colorfast, you can machine-wash slipcovers.  Launder separate from other articles on gentle in color water with an all-purpose detergent. Air dry or tumble on low, then reposition on the furniture while slightly damp to minimize wrinkles and help with fit if there’s any shrinkage. Drycleaning is almost always a preferred way to clean slipcovers and cushion covers – we can spot stubborn stains and make sure there’s no shrinkage.

A little softener goes a long way.

Soap-like fabric softeners coat laundry with a waxy lubricant that lets the fibers slide past each other, reducing wrinkling and smoothing scratchiness. They also make napped fibers stand on end for fluffiness and reduce static cling caused by tumbling in the dryer.  Over time, the waxy coating can create a dingy look and reduce absorbency in towels and sports fabrics designed to wick moisture. For whiter whites and brighter colors, use a high-performance laundry detergent (like we use every day) and skip the softener.

Laundry myths.

Add more detergent for cleaner clothes?  Wrong, when there’s too much to rinse out you get dingy results and may damage your machine. Hotter water is better?  In fact, today’s laundry products are formulate to work as well with cold water. Hot water can actually set stains, and always costs more.

Pet laundry?

You can safely home launder pet bed covers, collars and leashes using the gentle cycle, cold water and an all-purpose laundry detergent. Throw in grimy washable toys. Use small loads with large-load settings to flush out hair and dirt. Tumble dry on lowest setting or air dry.