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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Cleaner World is More Than a Dry Cleaner

Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I usually cut my explanation short by saying ‘I’m a blogger’.  If the person seems interested, then I provide a little more information by saying something like ‘I do social media marketing for a family-owned dry-cleaning chain that has stores in North Carolina and Virginia.’  Most of the time, unless we are at a function that requires you to sit around and chat, that’s about as far as I get.  But recently I found myself talking in great detail about A Cleaner World and my job.  That’s when I figured out that I’d been selling myself and my company short.

The thing is, A Cleaner World is way more than a dry cleaner.  Sure, we take in dirty clothes, remove the stains, press them into crisp perfection, and return them in pretty packaging, but have you thought about A Cleaner World in the following three ways?

  • Image Maker – Have you ever placed a pair of khakis that you ironed next to a pair of khakis that A Cleaner World professionally finished?  The difference is astounding, and that’s because the two processes are completely different.  (Follow the link on professionally finished to find out how.)  You know, we all have our own individual style, but stop and think about how you feel when what you are wearing is crisp, clean, and professional looking versus looking a bit disheveled.  A Cleaner World takes disheveled and turns it into wow, bumping your individual style to a crisp, clean, personal brand. 
  • Time Saver – The one thing we all seem to run short of is time.  Ironing is one of my least favorite tasks, and it seems I’m not alone.  I checked several 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!  It’s not just ironing, check out all the ways A Cleaner World saves you time: folded dress shirts, replaced buttons, alterations & repairs, wedding gown cleaning and preservation, uniform rental & commercial services, rug cleaning, and fire restoration.
  • Happiness Maker – Along the lines of no more ironing and other time-stealing tasks, several articles came out in August sharing the fact that ‘Money Can Buy You Happiness.’  The study showed that people that do spend money on time-saving services are less stressed and more satisfied overall.  Who knew that having to care for your clothes could dampen your mood?
Stop by one of our locations to see how we can help you create a personal brand, save you some time, and, most importantly, make you incredibly happy.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

E-mail from A Cleaner World

Recently, I had a customer fill my ear with compliments about the service she’d received at one of our stores.  She was pleased with the quality of the cleaning and finishing, loved the staff, and was touched by the dog treat for her dog.  But the thing she went the craziest over?  She loved getting an e-mail from the store letting her know that her order was ready.

You might be wondering why you’re not being notified that your order is ready when you already receive e-mails weekly for Wild Wednesday reminders and our monthly newsletters.  That’s because they come from two different sources.  I thought, given the questions we’ve received lately, that it might be a good idea to explain how the whole thing works.

E-mails from wildwednesday@acleanerworld.com

Wild Wednesday reminders are sent out mid-morning every Monday, and they tell you what the week’s special is going to be.  Monthly newsletters are sent out toward the beginning of each month, and they contain helpful information on garment care, fashion, and current events as well as a coupon.  Both are sent via an e-mail marketing platform with the e-mail address wildwednesday@acleanerworld.com.  To sign up, click this link, and if after signing up you find you don’t want to receive them anymore, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of the e-mails.

E-mails from customerservice@acleanerworld.com  (or alan@acleanerworld.com, mike@acleanerworld.com, steve@acleanerworld.com, michael@acleanerworld.com)

These e-mails are sent from the store you visit.  If you aren’t signed up with your store and would like to be, simply tell the CSR at your location, and they can take care of signing you up.  Once you are signed up, you’ll receive e-mails like these:
  • Notifying you that your order is ready
  • Giving you the option to have your invoice and receipt e-mailed to you
  • Reminders if your orders have been in the store more than 30 and 60 days
  • $5 Free dry-cleaning coupon sent to you on your birthday
If after signing up you find you don’t want to receive these e-mails, you can simply click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the e-mails.

Finally, we value your privacy, so we’ll never share your personal information with anyone.  We also value your business and care about what you think. If you have a good experience with our staff, give them a shout-out on Yelp. If you have any concerns, comments, or suggestions you’d like personally handled you can always e-mail me at wildwednesday@acleanerworld.com

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Importance of Clean Bedding

There are so many factors that lead to a terrible night’s sleep – too much alcohol, a heavy meal, lighting, temperature, noise, children in bed with you.  The list goes on, but did you know that sleeping on clean sheets can help you get a better night’s rest?  Check out these results from a poll done by the National Sleep Foundation:
  • 78% of the respondents agreed that they are more excited to go to bed on sheets with a fresh scent
  • 85% of people reported improved sleep
  • 86% stated the comfortable feel of sheets and bedding is an important part in getting a good night’s sleep
  • Only 62% stated that they change their sheets at least weekly or more often
  • A Yahoo survey found that only 16% said they wash their sheets only once a month
So why is all this the case?  The short answer is ‘I don’t know,’ but here’s what happens when you don’t wash your sheets often enough and hopefully the information in the next paragraph will be an excellent motivator.

Your body does some crazy things; for instance, it sheds around a million skin cells per day, has more germs on it than people in the United States, naturally secretes oils, and has a built-in mechanism to help you cool down -- called sweat.  In fact, a Wall Street Journal Online report reported that one person can perspire as much as a liter in one night.  These things, when left on sheets for an extended period, can put you at risk for infections, viruses, acne, and induced asthma symptoms.  In addition, dust mites feed off dead skin cells; these little creatures live, die, and reproduce in bed sheets.
Now that you are motivated, here’s how you go about properly caring for your bed sheets:
  • Before washing, read the care labels to ensure there aren’t special instructions to follow. 
  • Just as with your clothes, sheets can bleed onto lighter color fabric, so be sure to separate by color.
  • Wash with the hottest temperature setting listed on the care label; hot water kills most germs and will also kill dust mites.  Cotton sheets can handle hot water while polyester blends need to be washed in warm water.
  • Sunshine is a both a natural disinfectant and a natural brightener, so instead of throwing your sheets in the dryer, consider hanging them outside to dry.   
  • Several years ago, I poked fun at my mom for ironing sheets, but the truth is doing so will help kill the last of the germs and will also make them easier to fold and store.
  • To efficiently store your sheets, place the folded set inside one of its matching pillowcases and store them in the room in which they will be used.  It is best to store them in a cool, dry place out of sunlight. 
  • To help your sheets last longer, consider having more than one set so that you can rotate them.
As always we are here to help, so if you have questions about caring for your sheets, stop by any one of our locations or send me an e-mail at wildwednesday@acleanerworld.com.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Trick-or-Treat Safely

When I was a kid, Halloween was easy.  You just threw together a homemade costume, told your parents where you were going, and started walking down the street.  Not today.  Either you are concerned about keeping your children safe or, like us, you live out in the middle of nowhere.  Today there are so many things to think about for just a couple hours of candy collecting, and each year, I seem to learn more and more about what not to do.  Like for instance the year I let Gray talk me into letting him be a ghost. 

That violated half the tips I’m about to share.  Thankfully, that was one of the years that we just trick-or-treated Matt’s office.
  1. Costume Safety: Avoid letting them wear masks, and make sure other accessories aren’t blocking their vision.  Check the costume’s length to avoid tripping hazards.  If the costume isn’t reflective, consider adding some reflective tape.  Have them carry a flashlight, and make sure they wear comfortable shoes.
  2. Driving Safety: Be alert, use care when going through neighborhoods, and never take your eyes off the road.  Put your iPhone away.
  3. Pedestrian Safety: If there are sidewalks, then walk on them.  If not, then walk against traffic and stay as close to the curb as possible.  Look right and left before crossing the road, and only cross at intersections.  Carry a flashlight and be aware of your surroundings.
  4. Candy: Only visit homes where the light is on and of those that you know.  Go through your child’s candy collection before allowing them to eat any.  Throw away anything that is not commercially wrapped, has an unusual appearance, or has a torn or discolored wrapper.
If you do have the option to trick-or-treat an office, a mall, or trunk-or-treat, I highly recommend doing that.  The environment is safe, they always get plenty of candy, and typically there’s lots of other fun stuff going on as well.  Whatever you choose, we hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Organizing Your Closet

A Tie rack with two clean ties and a belt
There are so many things I love about our house, but the closet in the master bedroom is not one of them.  In fact, the closet in Gray’s room is bigger than the closet in our room.  If I could ask the builders of our house one question, it would be: “What in the world were you thinking when you put such a small closet in the master bedroom?”

Because the closet is so small (and I am required to share it), I’ve developed the following strategy:
  1. Store out-of-season clothing somewhere else.  Twice a year, I make certain all my out-of-season clothes have been washed or dry cleaned, and I move them to the upstairs guest room closet.  I then move my in-season clothes downstairs to the master bedroom closet.  While this does take a couple hours on a Saturday twice a year, it provides me with a great opportunity to purge.  As I am moving clothes, I evaluate garments and shoes and always have several things I can donate.  But the bottom line here is, if I don’t use it regularly then it goes upstairs in the guest room closet.
  2. Make use of every inch of space. On the back of the door, we hung a tie/belt rack so that Matt could hang his ties and we both could hang our belts.  There was one wall that was simply dead space, so Matt put in some narrow shelves for sweaters and such.  On the opposite wall, there were bars for hanging clothes up high and down low, so Matt installed a long shelf in-between and up high, so now I have space for shoes.
    Closet Shelving
  3. Strategically hang things together.  Some people like to pair outfits together while others place like items or like colors together; I do a hybrid.  There are certain outfits that stick together, and they all go in one location.  The rest of my items I group together by type, then color, so all my tops are hung together and then in color order starting with the lightest and then going to the darkest.  This helps when I am putting together an outfit, and it also helps prevent sublimation of dyes, which occurs when light garments are stored with dark garments and nitrogen gas causes dark dyes to redeposit on light garments.
If you are light on closet space, you could give these tips a try.  Another option would be to store your out-of-season clothing at A Cleaner World.  Both storage and insurance are free. You only pay the regular cleaning charges at pick up.  If you have tips on how you make the most of your limited closet space, please share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or G+.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

6 Ways to Transition Your Summer Wardrobe into Fall

A woman in a dark denim jacket, white under-shirt and flowing black skirt
A year ago, we posted a blog with a very similar title, but the topic was geared toward properly storing away your summer clothing to make room for your fall and winter items.  In the post, I mentioned that I like summer clothes far better than winter clothes, and that got me to thinking that I should figure out a way to get more use out of my favorite summer items.

I’ve never been one of those super-trendy people; I tend to migrate toward good-quality classic pieces.  Plus following every trend can be difficult on your pocketbook.  These tips can work with whatever your style – trendy or classic.
    A woman in a black horizontally-striped dress in black leggings and boots
  1. Get more wear out of your favorite sleeveless dresses by adding a cardigan or blazer and pair of closed-toed shoes.  Another great trick is to wear a ¾ length or long sleeve blouse or top under your sleeveless dress.
  2. The same thing holds true for your maxi dresses; keep them out a bit longer and pair them with a chunky sweater or a chambray shirt.
  3. Adding tights or leggings to your summer skirts, dresses, and tunics will extend their wearable life as well.
  4. Mix a bright bottom, like a pair of hot pink pants, with a white blouse and black blazer.
  5. Boots are a fantastic way to make summer pieces functional and fit the season. 
  6. A leather or jean jacket goes with any outfit and can help as the weather gets cooler.
It would be tons of fun to purchase a new wardrobe every season, but taking existing pieces from your current wardrobe and mixing and matching to create new looks could be lots of fun and will allow you to save a bit so that you could perhaps purchase a few special things.
What tips do you have to help transition into a new season?  Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or G+

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Selecting and Caring for your Dress Shirt

A man buttoning the final button in a white button-down
The dress shirt is an important staple in every man’s wardrobe, and every guy has his preference on what he likes.  For instance, my husband is incredibly picky about his dress shirts, especially when it comes to the amount of starch; he likes his shirts to be able to stand up on their own, but in order for his shirts to do that, he needs to purchase a shirt that’s 100% cotton.  Given that he was purchasing a poly blend and was unhappy with how little starch they held, I thought it might be a good time to share some information so that you can both choose and care for your perfect shirt.

Fabric and structure: 
  • If you are like Matt and like your shirts to be rather stiff, then 100% heavyweight cotton is the way to go.  The thickness and weight of the fabric determines how much starch the shirt will hold, and heavyweight 100% cotton shirts are the only shirts that can be heavily starched.  In addition, oxford weaves allow for heavier starching than finer pinpoints.       
  • If you are a hot-natured person, choose natural fibers like cotton and silk because they breathe well.  Keep in mind that silk is more difficult to care for than cotton, and of course, there is no starching with silk. 
  • Finally, when purchasing, check for quality.  Look for things like a symmetrical, straight collar; removable collar stays; a split yoke; neat, tight side stitching; cleanly finished button holes, tightly sewn buttons, and spare buttons; hand-sewn cuffs; patterns that match; and a small button at the sleeve placket.   
Caring for your perfect shirt:         
An array of dress shirts in order from darkest to lightest

  • Rotate your dress shirts regularly to reduce the amount of wear they receive.
  • Wash your dress shirt after each wearing to avoid perspiration and deodorant stains, cologne stains, ring around the collar, and overall dull looking shirts.
  • Keep in mind that heavy use of starch can impact the life of your shirts over time because the starch residue settles in the shirts, which eventually causes the threads to break and fray.
  • A beard or five o’clock shadow rubbing on the collar can reduce the life of your dress shirt.
  • Watches and jewelry can cause fraying, especially along the cuff area.
If you feel like your dress shirts need a bit of extra attention, just drop them off at any A Cleaner World location.  We’ll gladly give them the care and attention they deserve to look like new again.
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