Best-practice laundry tips.

First, zip up. Open zipper teeth will snag and tear more delicate items in the washer and dryer. Check the pockets for tissues, pens (and money), unbutton shirts and hook bras or use a lingerie bag. Securely tie draw strings to prevent them from slipping inside the garment.  Separate colors from whites and wash new items separately to avoid sharing colors with the whole load. We do these steps for every item – it’s easier to prevent a problem than try to fix it later.

Make your bed.

After summer’s hot and sweaty nights, it’s time to freshen your nighttime environment. Begin by stripping the bed down to the mattress. If you use a mattress pad, launder (or bring to us) and dry thoroughly, hanging on the line, if you have one. Flip and rotate the mattress. Is it time to replace your pillows? Unless they are very high quality down, it’s usually less expensive to buy new than clean old. Sniff test the winter comforter, blankets or quilts. We can clean them to like-new freshness – even king size is no problem for our machines. Be ready to snuggle up when winter chills arrive.

New jeans blues?

Unwashed new jeans can lead to blue dye on your hands and shirt. When dye is transferred by friction, it’s called crocking, and the indigo dye in blue jeans is a notorious crocker. Before you leave blue everywhere, your washing machine is the first stop. Do a first wash with cold water, before the rinse cycle starts, stop the machine and add two cups white vinegar and let soak for a couple of hours. Then turn the machine back to finish. Hang and air dry your jeans, then press with the hottest iron setting.

Fresh, fluffy towels.

After a shower or bath, there’s nothing as refreshing as a big, clean terrycloth towel. Home laundry fabric softener can prevent a towel from soaking up water, incompletely rinsed detergent can harden the fibers. If towels aren’t smelling so fresh, add a cup of baking soda to the wash. White vinegar freshens mildewy staleness. Nothing smells better than a towel that’s dried on a clothesline in the sunshine.

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.