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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Premium Rug Cleaning Process

Let’s be honest here – who really gets excited about having to have their rug cleaned?  At A Cleaner World, we love to clean rugs.  Seriously.  We also love going out of our way to make the rug cleaning process as easy, convenient, and painless as possible by offering choices.  First, with our 33 locations, you can drop off and pick up at the location that’s most convenient for you.  If perhaps your rug is too large for your vehicle and you live in the Triad area, we will gladly come pick it up from your home.  Simply call our office at 336-992-0700 or Greg’s mobile number at 336-804-0045.

Not only will you get convenience, you’ll also get a qualified and certified technician cleaning your rug in a state-of-the-art facility.  In fact, here’s a blow-by-blow of just how well we’ll go about professionally cleaning your rug:
  1. Before cleaning, we will thoroughly inspect your rug, including the fringe and back, for tears, holes, missing stitching, damage to the fringe, damage from pets or insects, and any dye bleeding.  In addition, we dye test the rug to ensure there will be no issues during the cleaning process.  If we discover any issues, we will call you immediately before moving forward with the cleaning process.
  2. We remove any dry soil with a special and unique piece of equipment called the Rug Badger, which gently vibrates the rug from the back, allowing fiber damaging particles to fall out of the rug and then be removed with vacuuming.
  3. Next we will use special detergents to gently hand wash your rug.
  4. After washing, we use a specially designed indoor river system and cold water to rinse your rug thoroughly, continuing the process until the water runs clear.
  5. Once the rinsing process is complete, we use a specially designed water extraction procedure to extract as much water as possible from your rug.  This is an important step as we all know that wet rugs that sit around for too long will eventually mildew and possibly dye bleed.
  6. If your rug has fringe, we will clean, detail, and refresh the fringe using specially designed detergent and non-chlorine bleach after the initial drying process.
  7. Finally, after your rug has sat on our drying racks for 4-6 hours, we perform a final inspection where we make sure all soil was removed, no spots were missed, all odors were removed, and there’s no dye bleeding.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Transitioning to Your Fall Wardrobe

I’m always sad to see summer come to a close; I’m definitely a warm weather person.  There are a number of reasons for my love of summer – the slower paced days, the fact that I’m cold natured, but the biggest reason of all is that I like summer clothes far better than winter clothes.  Transitioning your closet to a new season is never a fun job, but if you follow our recommendations, your favorite fun wears will be ready for you again next spring.  But before you start packing your things away, consider this – not every piece should be stored away until warm weather returns.  As you pack things up, take a look at your tanks, t-shirts, and dresses to see if you have some pieces that will still work during fall.  For instance, tanks might look nice layered under a sweater and dresses could be matched with a cardigan or jacket. 

For those items you definitely want to store away, here’s what we recommend:
  1. Make sure your summer clothes are properly cleaned before placing them in storage.  Even if you only wore something for a few hours and it looks clean, make sure you launder or dry clean it before storing it away.  If you’re not sure if you wore something or not, be sure to launder or dry clean it before storage.  The bottom line is that unless you are certain it is clean, launder or dry clean it.  A garment can look clean but have invisible stains like a clear beverage spill or sweat, both of which will turn yellow over time.  Plus these, along with dead skin cells, will attract moths and other insects that will want to feed on the dirt on your clothes while they are in storage.
  2. Break your clothes into two categories – fold and hang.  Fold things like sweaters, shirts, and some pants and dresses to reduce the chances of stretching and distortion.  Hang things like blazers, suit jackets, and some dresses, avoiding flimsy wire hangers and instead opting for wooden suit hangers or strut hangers with shoulder guards so that items will not become misshapen.
  3. When placing your garments into the appropriate container, use clear plastic bins with air-tight lids for your folded items; they seem to work best for keeping both pests and moisture out.  For items that will hang, never use our plastic poly bags as they will suffocate your clothes and possibly cause staining or mildewing; instead, opt for garment bags.
  4. Choose the storage location carefully.  Never place your clothes in a damp basement or a non-climate controlled attic; try to find a dark and dry place with a consistent temperature.  Extreme temperature variations could eventually damage your clothes, and too much sunlight can also cause color fading or yellowing in whites.
  5. Finally, use cedar chips or lavender and rosemary sachets to help keep your clothes smelling fresh and as additional help in warding off pests.
If all of this seems like too much work, then A Cleaner World will be glad to handle it for you.  To learn more about storing out-of-season garments at A Cleaner World, simply click here or stop by one of our locations and speak to a manager.  We’ll be glad to help make this semi-annual task much easier for you.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Top 5 Reasons to Use Professional Dry Cleaning

I tend to get emotionally involved with my clothes.  I know it’s crazy, but I somehow remember important events and happenings based on what I am wearing.  For instance, a few months ago I pulled out a dress similar to this one because, well.......I really paid too much for it and hadn’t worn it in quite a while.  We were going out for Italian food, and I said to Matt, “The last time I wore this dress, we went to that awful 1980’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.”  We then spent the next few minutes laughing and talking about how the food was not so great, the murder mystery part was goofy, and yet we had lots of fun that evening.

Now I have another story for that lovey dress; I wore it again, and this time I spilled spaghetti and meatballs all down the front of it.  On occasion I do listen to my own advice, so I simply scraped off the excess and left it alone.  It was late when we got home, so I just laid it across the dryer to deal with later.  Looking at it the next morning, I knew I had a big job ahead of me – the combination of tomato sauce along with the grease and oil in the meatballs and cheese would mean multiple attempts.  Or I could simply take it to A Cleaner World, which is what I did, and here’s why:
  1. Grocery store pre-treaters typically cannot break down oil-based stains but dry cleaning can break them down easily.  One of the biggest advantages of dry cleaning over laundering is its knack for dissolving grease and oil stains.
  2. Because dry cleaning uses fluids instead of water, natural fibers won’t swell so there is less of a risk for shrinkage, distortion, dulling of colors, and change in feel.
  3. Dry cleaning is much gentler than cleaning your clothes in a traditional washing machine, especially on delicate garments.  Clothes experience less wear and tear when being dry cleaned, keeping them looking newer, longer.
  4. There’s less risk than if you try to remove a stain yourself.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve ruined a garment thinking I could remove the stain only to pull the color from the fabric.   
  5. It’s easier.  Ironing is one of my least favorite tasks, and it seems I’m not alone.  I checked a number of sites and found relatively close numbers on all, stating that 70-76% of the population claims to hate ironing.  When I take my clothes to A Cleaner World, I drop them off dirty and then pick them up in impeccable condition – no more ironing!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Color Loss Thanks to Bleach

Back in 2011, I shared a story about how my uncle thought imparting this important tip was too obvious to put out on social media: "Chlorine; pool water; cleaners with bleach, ammonia, or peroxide; and even some toothpaste have bleach that can remove color from your clothing." His answer was something like this, "Well isn't that information sort of obvious?"  Apparently it wasn’t too obvious because shortly thereafter, I managed to ruin a pair of yoga pants by splashing toilet cleaner on them.

Recently I managed to ruin another garment again, thanks to carelessness.  Unfortunately this time it was one of Matt’s shirts.

Have you ever had this happen?  You notice a few splotches of discoloration on a garment and think, “How in the world did I do that?”  If it is color loss in a confined small area, then it is likely that it was exposed to an oxidizing agent.  Oxidizing agents are found in all kinds of every day products like hair care, acne solutions, medicine for skin issues, cleaning agents, and bleach.  Many times you won’t notice the color loss until after the item is washed and then exposed to heat in the drying process.  Unfortunately, this color loss is permanent.  It may be possible to cover the area by using a dye pad or pencil or by re-dyeing the garment, but an easier solution is to simply use caution when using these products.  Here are a few things I do to try to guard against this discoloration happening to my favorite things:
  • Brush my teeth and use bleach on my teeth while still in my bathrobe
  • Wear old clothes when getting my hair highlighted
  • Wear old clothes when cleaning, especially when cleaning the bathroom
  • Put on an old apron when dealing with bleach for laundry
How do you avoid messing up your clothes?  Share some of your tips below or on Facebook, Twitter, and G+.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Caring for Your Outdoor Rug

Using an outdoor rug on a patio, deck, or porch or in a sunroom is a great way to compliment an outdoor seating area, and it allows you to extend your entertaining and family space far beyond the walls of your home.  Most outdoor rugs are made of synthetic fibers like nylon, polyester, and polypropylene and are designed to withstand the elements, but they still need regular attention and care.  Below are some cleaning tips to help you keep your outdoor rug looking like new.
  1. Just as with your indoor rugs, the number one thing you can do to keep your outdoor rug looking nice and have it last longer is to vacuum it regularly.  This will keep the dirt and grit from becoming embedded in the fibers, resulting in fiber abrasion and color loss.
  2. Occasionally pick the rug up and clean underneath to prevent damage or abrasion from the bottom.
  3. Clean all spills as quickly as possible so that they don’t become permanent stains.  Because it is an outdoor rug, it is likely water-resistant, but be sure to check the care label before using this method to remove a spill.  Start by blotting up as much of the spill as possible using a clean, white cloth or paper towel.  Next, mix up a gentle soapy solution using cold water and a mild detergent like Woolite.  Gently blot the soapy water onto the area using a clean, white cloth.  Be sure not to scrub or rub too firmly.  Finally, rinse the area thoroughly with plain water and blot dry with a clean, dry, white towel.
  4. If you plan on storing your rug away during colder months, be sure to clean it before putting it away.  Again, be sure to check the tag for water-resistance.  To clean your rug, place it on a clean hard surface, and mix up a gentle soapy solution using cold water and a mild detergent like Woolite.  Use a soft, white cloth to gently clean spots, stains, or dirt, and then hose off the rug.  Hang it over a clothes line or railing to allow it to dry.  Make certain it is completely dry before placing it back on the floor or before rolling it up for storage to prevent mildewing.
Of course, if cleaning an entire rug seems like a daunting task, A Cleaner World Carpet and Rug Cleaning will be happy to take care of it for you and run it through our 6-step rug cleaning process.  Simply contact Greg at 336-804-0045, and he will gladly come pick up your rug and return it to you once it has been cleaned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Dying Art of the Persian Rug

I worry that in our fast-paced, mass-produced society, we’ve lost interest in and sight of quality.  Let’s take furniture for example.  Every time we look for a new piece of furniture, it seems like so much of it is lightweight, not durable, and made of inexpensive wood veneer.  I am thankful that my husband is quite the craftsman because on a number of occasions when I’ve seen something I like but discover it is poorly made, Matt builds it for me.  How about appliances?  Recently, we had to purchase a new refrigerator.  Matt, being the curious guy that he is, started asking the delivery man lots of questions about home appliances.  I mostly tuned out the conversation because, well, I’m a woman, and I’m really not interested in how an appliance works – I just want it to work.  But I do remember him saying that they don’t build things like they used to.  He told Matt some story about a 1950’s refrigerator and ended by saying that refrigerators these days last about 8 years.

Now it seems that same mentality is impacting the handmade premium rug industry.  According to an article Greg Henderson, General Manager of A Cleaner World Rug & Carpet Cleaning, sent me, this holds true at least for the Persian rug market.  Below are a couple of excerpts from The New York Times article entitled, “The Persian Rug May Not Be Long for This World.”

‘But now, Mr. Sedghamiz said, the end is near. Ultimately he said, it is modernity — that all-devouring force that is changing societies at breakneck speed — that is killing the Persian carpet, Iran’s pride and joy. “People simply are no longer interested in quality.”  Or in paying for it, he might have added.’

‘“These days, everyone is seeking quick satisfaction and simplicity, but our carpets are the complete opposite of that,” Mr. Sedghamiz said.’

Just like the countless hours Matt has spent and the numerous tools and materials he has purchased to build my end tables, buffet table, and entertainment unit, an authentic Persian rug also requires a significant investment in labor and materials.  Rugs.tenthousandvillages.com stated that the amount of time invested completely depends on the type of rug, but they gave an example of a 9’ x 12’ Persian rug that has 500 knots per square inch, saying it would take 4-5 artisans working 6 hours a day 6 days a week roughly 14 months to complete.

The coolest piece of furniture Matt has ever built was an entertainment unit for the family farm house.  But this unit isn’t your ordinary piece of furniture; it is a hand-crafted work of art, made of wood salvaged from an old cabin on Matt’s uncle’s farm.  Priceless.  It is a piece that will stay in the family for generations.  He will be proud to pass it on to Gray, along with its story.  A hand-crafted Persian rug is also a timeless piece, each one with its own story, and it can add color and excitement and enhance a room’s décor like nothing else.  More importantly, it will be a cherished item that you will be excited to hand down to your children.  If you are in the market for an Oriental or a Persian rug, before you head to Rugs R Us and purchase a mass-produced rug, think about these reasons for buying an authentic Persian rug:
  1. Because they are really well constructed, they will last for years.
  2. If it is properly cared for, it will increase in value over time.
  3. It will enhance your home’s décor and will never go out of style.
  4. It is something you will always be proud of.
  5. Not only will you have a beautiful rug, you will also have a story and a piece of history to go along with it.
  6. Someday you can hand it down to your children, and they will be excited to receive it.
If you’re thinking about purchasing an authentic, hand-crafted Persian rug but you don’t know where to start, email Greg or give him a call at 336-804-0045.  He will gladly answer any questions you might have and help you get started.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Commercial Apron Rental

I’ve mentioned before that my son likes to dress the part – no matter what he’s doing.  Perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  While I don’t normally concern myself with those kinds of details, I might make an exception when it comes to cooking.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve become a bit of a foodie.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and I always wear an apron when cooking.  I wear one partly because I am messy and I don’t want to ruin my clothes, but also because it makes me feel more official – like I could actually be The Next Food Network Star.  I have a bunch of aprons, mostly thanks to my mom who likes to keep me supplied in cute kitchen gear.  But if I’m to be completely honest, I’d love to come up with some sort of logo and name for my home kitchen and have it embroidered onto a commercial-grade apron.  So imagine how excited I was when on a recent visit to A Cleaner World Uniform and Commercial Services, I saw these:

It’s funny because I’ve seen these aprons worn by the staff at Cheesecakes by Alex, and I had no idea that we were the ones supplying them.  I’ll admit that I was a bit excited.  Mike, the General Manager of A Cleaner World Commercial Services, is not only passionate about what he does, but he too can be a bit of a foodie.  So we started having a little fun with all of A Cleaner World’s food-related supplies, and my son Gray was a really good sport about the whole thing.
And as we had him try on different items, I asked questions and before you knew it, I actually learned a few things.  Here are 5 reasons why your restaurant, bar, bakery, or candy making business might want to consider using A Cleaner World’s commercial apron service:
  1. We offer a wide variety of styles including full aprons, which are upper chest to mid-thigh length and half aprons, which start at the waist and can be as long as you’d like – even to the floor.  They come in 5 assorted colors, with or without pockets, so you can match your restaurant’s décor, and we will be glad to add your company’s logo if you wish.
  2. We will set up a rotation based on your needs – once a week, every other week, or once a month.  You tell us what works best for you.
  3. Front of the house aprons help with branding, give your business a more polished appearance, save your employees clothing, and keep things more sanitary.  Plus, if an employee spills something down their apron – no worries, they can simply change aprons and continue working.
  4. Not only do we have front of the house aprons, we can also provide chef’s aprons, pants, and coats, with or without logo and can add a name or title as well. 
  5. As a restaurateur, you and your staff don’t have the time or supplies to try and remove all the food stains that can get on an apron or chef’s clothing.  A Cleaner World can get out stains that the average home washing machine can’t.  We’ll return all these items to you spotless, in like-new condition.
If the foodie in you needs some help with restaurant-related aprons, towels or uniforms, give Scottie Springer a call at 870-6299 or 992-0700.  He will be glad to answer any questions you might have.
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