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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Life Expectancy Guide for Household Textiles

The American National Standards Institute, Inc. approved the Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products. Not only does the standard provide guidelines for determining liability for claims adjustments for textile products, it also provides a life expectancy chart for household textiles.  Please keep in mind that these are general guidelines; the life expectancy can vary depending on the durability of the material, if the material is preshrunk or pretreated for stains, if the material is resistant to light fading, and how much care is provided to the item. 

Proper care is important when it comes to extending the attractiveness of our textiles.  Be sure to follow these guidelines when caring for your items:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations.
  • Just as you do with your garments, be sure to also clean all household textiles before storing them away.
  • Be sure to address stains and spills as soon as they occur to ensure a greater likelihood that they will be removed.
  • Don’t allow items to become extremely soiled before cleaning.  The heavier the soil, the less likely it is that it can all be removed.
  • Repair tears and damage immediately.
  • Protect textiles (and furniture) from sunlight.
Life Expectancy Guide

Bedspreads: 6 years
Blankets - Heavy wool & synthetic fibers: 10 years
Blankets - Lightweight: 5 years
Blankets - Electric: 5 years
Comforters: 5 years
Comforters - Down: 5 years
Curtains - Sheer: 3 years
Curtains - Glass fiber: 3 years
Draperies - Lined: 5 years
Draperies - Unlined: 4 years
Draperies - Sheer: 3 years
Draperies - Glass fiber: 4 years
Sheets and pillow cases: 2 years
Slipcovers: 3 years
Table linens - Fancy: 5 years
Table linens - Other: 2 years
Towels: 3 years
Upholstery fabrics: 5 years
Articles coated or flocked: 2 years

The information in this post was provided by Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s Consumer News You Can Use.  If you have questions about a particular item of yours, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at wildwednesday@acleanerworld.com or stop by or call one of our locations and speak with a manager.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Flattening Out a New Rug

Recently, Matt and I redecorated and refurnished my home office.  It’s something I’d been wanting to do for a long time given that I work from home, had a desk that was entirely too small, and hated looking up only to see the circuit breaker boxes right above me as I typed.  I wanted a ‘girl cave’; a place where I could escape not only to work but to also read and have alone time.  Thankfully, I am married to a very gifted craftsman, and he built me a custom desk with built-in shelving, not only so that I could spread out while I work but to also cover those hideous boxes with something both useful and cute.

Within my new digs, I also decided to put in a loveseat, make a window seat, and add a new rug.  As I was wrapping up the work on my new space, the new rug was giving me fits.  First, I was placing it on top of carpet; Matt drew the line at pulling out the carpet and putting in hardwood floors, so I was not only dealing with the creases and rolls but also having it bunch up under items.


If you’ve added a new rug to your home, you know what I’m talking about.  You have a vision of your redesigned room in your head, but the rug won’t lay flat, has folds in the middle or curls at the end.  Of course, you could always show some patience and let everything relax on its own, but if you want things to move along a bit faster, try these 4 tips to help new rugs flatten out faster:
  1. Try laying the rug outside in the sun, if the temperature is between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit, for a couple hours to allow the fibers to relax a bit.
  2. If the rug is still curling after sitting in the sun, you could reverse roll or reverse fold it, while it’s still warm.
  3. If the first two steps don’t work, you could spread the rug out and place heavy items or furniture on the rug to try and speed up the process.
  4. Finally, if all else fails, call A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning at 336-804-0045, to see if it is possible to have the rug steamed to help with relaxing the fibers.  This will also give our professional staff the opportunity to examine the rug to see if there might be an underlying reason as to why the wrinkles, folds, or curls might not come out.
As always, please feel free to contact A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning if you have any rug related questions.  We are happy to help.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Repetitive Wardrobe Syndrome

If there were a support group for this, I’d be a member; my closet is an endless array of khaki pants, jeans, and white t-shirts and tops.  And while I mix and match all my stuff, because I own so many of the same thing or the same thing just in different colors, I may think it is a different outfit, but it all looks the same.  Then there’s the fact that I own almost no jewelry, and if I’m not wearing my Sketchers flip flops in warm weather, then I’m wearing my Sketchers slip-ons when it’s chilly. 

Numerous articles say most women wear 20% of the clothes in their closet; that can cause Repetitive Wardrobe Syndrome but so can having lots of the same things.  If you only wear 20% of what’s in your closet, then that’s an easy fix.  But what if you are like me and own so many of the same thing?  How do you fix that?  This is where a personal shopper or shopping assistant comes in handy, and I bet if you stop and think about it, you probably know someone that dresses with a bit of flair.  Why not ask him or her to go shopping with you?  After all, we all love spending someone else’s money.
  • Suggestion 1: Ask your friend to help you put together an outfit, one that you will wear, that’s a little bit edgy.  Because all your clothes look the same, you can’t throw this one in and wear it twice a week, so to get some more mileage out of it, wear it to work, then find another event to wear it for, then wait two weeks and wear it to the office again.
  • Suggestion 2: Let your friend pick out one or two flashy pieces that you can wear with multiple items.  For instance, you could pair a fun jacket or blazer with a skirt for work and then wear it again with a pair of jeans for a weekend event.
  • Suggestion 3:  Consider purchasing a few accessories like a chunky necklace or a pair of colorful pumps.  Ask your friend to help you pair them with some of your simple or basic pieces to add a little bit of flair.
These are a few suggestions if you are feeling like a change, but honestly if you are happy, then stop worrying.  This woman has worn the same outfit for over a year and no one has seemed to notice.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Top 5 Causes of Color Loss on Garments

Here they are and in no particular order:
  1. Beauty and household products can contain alcohol, bleach, and other substances that could lead to color loss.  Use care when applying perfume, hairspray, lotion, and deodorant; A Cleaner World recommends that you apply these items before you dress, allowing them to completely dry or be absorbed before putting on garments.  In addition, use caution around pool water and when using cleaners with bleach, ammonia, or peroxide as these too can remove the color from your clothing.
  2. Failing to follow the garment’s care label could cause color loss, so be sure to follow the care label.  If there are instructions that specify that the garment be washed with similar colors, separately, or in cold water, that could indicate that the garment’s dye is unstable.  In addition, garments that are red or pink will likely bleed during washing, so wash these items with similar colors in cold water to minimize color loss and dye transfer.  Finally, clean all the pieces of a matching outfit at the same time to avoid any color discrepancies.
  3. Allowing a spot, spill, or perspiration sit on a garment too long before cleaning is a huge problem when it comes to color loss or color discrepancy.  Always address spills and stains as soon as possible.  If a stain is left untreated, it can begin to react with the fabric causing the fabric to change colors.  When the stain is finally removed, the fabric where the stain once was is now a different color.
  4. Exposure to intense lighting, including improperly storing garments, could lead to color
    loss.  In past blog posts, we’ve discussed color loss or fading by addressing how black garments seem to fade, and how certain colors and fabrics, in conjunction with outdoor activities, can lead to sun damage.  But you also need to remember to store garments away from natural and artificial light; a cool, dark closet is a good place for storage.
  5. A manufacturer’s defect could also be the cause of color loss, and if that is the case, even properly following the care label won’t help.  An example of this might be if the manufacturer uses fugitive dyes, which are not colorfast to cleaning solutions or water and will fade after the first cleaning or washing.  If this occurs, your professional dry cleaner can send the garment off to the International Textile Analysis Laboratory for an unbiased analysis of the garment.  If you purchase a garment that you suspect may have color problems, your professional dry cleaner can test it for colorfastness.  If the test shows that the colors may bleed, you could return it to the retailer.    

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Clean Matching Pieces Together

My husband has a pair of suit pants that he really likes, so he tends to wear them as a separate with just a dress shirt.  Every time he does this, I fuss at him.  “You know,” I’ll say, “you’re going to have those pants cleaned a couple times and suddenly they won’t match the suit jacket anymore.”  He always dismissed the idea until recently when he went to wear the pants and jacket as an ensemble and low and behold, there was a slight color variation between the jacket and pants. 

We all have suits and matching outfits that we tend to mix and match with other pieces, and that’s okay.  But professional dry cleaners for years have said, whether you wear all the pieces or not, to have all matching pieces cleaned together.  Here’s a little insight:
  • Quality standards vary from country to country, so cleaners are never sure of what types of dyes or sizing are being used by the manufacturer.
  • When all pieces are cleaned together, the color, sheen, and fabric texture will remain consistent.
  • This doesn’t just apply to suits; it applies to all fabric items – clothing, bedding, window treatments, etc.
  • It also doesn’t apply to just dry clean only items; it also applies to things you might wash in the washing machine like sweater sets, pillow covers, and bedding.
If you have questions or concerns about caring for matching pieces, feel free to contact us or stop by one of our locations.  We are happy to help.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why Wear a Slip?

What started out as a petticoat, an undergarment that was designed to support the shape of a dress many moons ago, eventually morphed into what is known today as a slip.  My mom taught me to wear a slip when I was just a young girl, and that habit has stuck with me.  Apparently slips are not worn nearly as much today as they were a few decades ago.  While many skirts and dresses now come lined, there are also those that don’t believe slips are necessary because all that can be seen is just the outline of a woman’s legs.
 
I tend to disagree, so I am here to make the case for bringing the slip back:
  1. Slips help garments hang properly.  Sadly, not every fabric hangs properly against the skin.  For example, wool can feel somewhat rough and cause chafing; a slip will help guard against that.  Rayon, cotton, and spandex blends all either ride up or cling to the skin, sometimes resulting in static cling; wearing a slip will allow skirts and dresses made with those materials to hang nicely. 
  2. Slips help with modesty.  As mentioned above, some materials tend to cling, and as a result, when you wear that jersey skirt or dress without a slip, those around you can see the outline of your unmentionables……and other things.  Plus, if a hearty wind whips around, you have an extra layer of protection.  Just ask Queen Elizabeth what she thought of Kate’s lack of decorum.
  3. Slips are worn for protection.  In the winter, they can provide added warmth, and in extreme heat, they can protect fine fabrics from perspiration.
There are all kinds of slips out there, and I find that a lot of it comes down to personal preference.  Should you get a full slip?  A half-slip?  Just a camisole?  I have all three and in various lengths, but I will admit that I get the most use out of a nude-color, plain, above the knee, half-slip.  When you are shopping for a slip, keep these things in mind:
  • Stick with something that is either nude in color or flesh-tone.
  • Be mindful of any lace or decorations on slips as many times they can be seen through the fabric of certain garments.
  • You may want to consider purchasing more than one in various lengths to avoid having it hang down below the hem of your dress.  
   

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dogs and Laundry

I forgot how gross dogs can be; they roll in poop, eat worms and bugs, and drag around dirty underwear, and yet we still love them like crazy.  Does your dog have a thing for laundry?  Ours does.  In particular, she loves stealing socks.  Matt throws his socks in the corner, and it doesn’t take any time for them to appear chewed up on the living room floor.  If I’m folding laundry and leave several pairs of socks balled up on the bed – even just for a couple minutes – I have to go searching for them.  Once we gave her a pair of Angry Bird socks that Gray had outgrown, and you’d thought we’d given her a giant steak.  She was beside herself excited.

There are several reasons why dogs take to laundry …….
  1. Scent.  We all, including our dogs, have our own scent.  Dogs are pack animals, but since they’ve been domesticated, being part of the family equals being a part of a pack to them.  One way of being a part of the family is to get your scent on them from your dirty clothes or to put their scent on your clean clothes.  In addition, a dog’s sense of smell is approximately 40 times stronger than ours.  Laundry, whether clean or dirty, is awfully appealing to them.  Until I started this blog I thought of it as annoying, but now I think of it as endearing.  She really does love us. 
  2. Boredom.  When we first got Macy, she had a bed full of toys, but it hasn’t taken her long to go through her toys and destroy most of them.  All that’s left are a couple of chew bones and a tennis ball, so she roams through the house looking for stuff.  Because I like to have everything in its own place, she doesn’t find much…..but on occasion I leave the laundry room door cracked or Gray doesn’t put his clothes away and of course, there’s Matt’s sock corner. 
  3. Thrill.  So I catch her with a sock and immediately I’m fussing at her; she turns it into a game by running, darting, and taunting me while carrying a sock.  Apparently this is all part of their ploy to both entertain themselves and get attention.  Bottom line is to keep things out of reach.
According to lots of online articles out there, bored dogs are the ones that tend to get into things.  There are all kinds of articles out there that give tips on how to keep our dogs entertained.  I am including a link from Puppy Leaks on 33 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy because the video under number 23 of the baby giggling while Fido chases bubbles is totally worth watching.  We spend time with our dog daily, nightly play time and two nice walks a day, but who has time to entertain a dog all day?  My solution, of course, is to simply keep laundry and things picked up.

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