Autumn favorite, corduroy needs special cleaning care to preserve the rich velvety pile and prevent shrinking. If your corduroy garment is washable, check the label before throwing it in the wash. Never wash with lint producers like fleece, felt or terry. Use the right water temperature, wash like colors together and turn the garment inside out. Then air dry until barely damp, tumble dry for ten minutes at lowest temperature to fluff the nap. Pull from dryer and shake out, turn back right side out and brush nap to remove any lint or surface wrinkles. Or skip all that and let us clean your corduroy for like-new results.
Pet hair can clog a washing machine, preventing proper drainage, clumping in drains or sticking to the side of the machine. They recommend removing the hair from clothes with a lint roller or masking tape. For bedding, put on a rubber glove, dampen it with water, and run your hand over the sheet or blanket. The hair will cling to the glove, so you’ll need to wash it off from time to time. Then run everything through a ten-minute no-heat dryer cycle – most of the hair will be in the lint trap. Throw into the washer, adding 1/2-cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Clean the washer by running an empty cycle, then wipe down the tub with a damp cloth.
When you buy new raw denim jeans, aficionados recommend wearing for six months before washing. Why? Wear will break down the super-stiff denim, the fabric actually conforms to your shape. When you’re ready to wash, turn inside out, use cold water in a gentle cycle, hot water if you want fading. Lay flat or hang upside down to air dry. Lay flat, fold in half from left to right. Grab the stacked legs and fold up in half with bottoms up to the waistband. Fold in half again and store in an uncrowded drawer or shelf.
Before you blame stay-at-home snacking, check your dryer settings and remember the last 15% of drying time is when shrinkage occurs, and it can be permanent. Dry your clothes on delicate to avoid shrinkage and set the timer for a shorter period. You can always add time to dry, but can’t reverse it if you have dried too long. Another hint – don’t mix lightweight silks and rayons with heavier cottons and polyesters – they will dry out faster and are the most prone to heat damage, while the cottons stay wet and keep your dryer spinning.
Cotton is not just for weekend anymore – we’re seeing it used in designer wear for summer – but be careful when attempting to clean extra special pieces yourself, even when the label tells you home cleaning is OK. Natural fibers are prone to losing color over time, and special designs and styles require professional cleaning to make that piece last more than a few wears. Also, cotton is more susceptible to damage from harsher home cleaning detergents – even those detergents that claim to be eco-friendly have a higher pH than those used by professional cleaners.
To avoid spreading lint throughout your entire load of laundry, always separate the into three groups: high, medium and low lint production. Towels and terry robes are high, corduroy, fleece, socks and sweaters are medium, and jeans, T-shirts, workout gear. Turn garments inside out, avoid crowding, over-agitation and high heat. After every load, clean the lint filter and wipe with a damp cloth to remove any residual lint.
Scared of shrinking your fancy new jeans? Remember, it’s the last 15% of the hot dry cycle that causes shrinkage. Clothing has a base moisture level when “dry,” but overdrying causes the fabric to shrink, fade and lose softness. Instead of using a hot dryer, hang dry or “air only” dry those items you are worried about. A trick to maintain the right shape: when taking out of the wash, tug at the legs and the waist to tension them out to size before hanging to dry. This removes wrinkles and restores the original shape. When in doubt, bring them in for professional laundering or dry cleaning.
Are smelly stains making you wrinkle your nose every time you lay down on your pillowcase or wipe your mouth with your napkin? Did you forget a load of laundry in the washing machine and now it smells like mildew? Or did the dog lay on your favorite blanket and all you smell is wet dog even after its been washed? Well, take a trick out of grandma’s playbook and break out the vinegar – Mix ½ cup of white vinegar with the detergent and water then add the items into the machine. Vinegar helps erase the smell and can prevent color bleeding at the same time.
White canvas shoes are perfect for summer – until they start looking beige. Here’s how to remove stains, thanks to How to Clean Stuff. Scrub away dirt stains with shampoo on a nail brush, wipe residue away with a damp sponge. Use dish soap on grass stains, and nail polish remover on grease or tar. After you’ve removed as much as possible, apply oxygen bleach with a nailbrush or toothbrush to any remaining off-white areas. If you don’t mind losing the new look, canvas shoes can usually be machine washed on a gentle cycle with warm water. Hang to air dry.
Most things can be washed at home, but specialty table linens and decorations, like flags and bunting, should be professionally cleaned to ensure they last year after year. Bring them to us now and you’ll be ready to entertain with your favorite decorations bright and bountiful. Once the party is over, get them back right away – grease stains and mustard spills set faster than other foods, and can become permanent in as little as a week.