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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

All Sweaty

I run therefore I sweat. And my running clothes are very much like my wardrobe. That means I tend to stick to the same colors, so I have a lot of white tanks. After running in them a while, I start to notice discoloration under the arms. When I was working full-time, I'd just go purchase new ones. Now that I'm not working full-time, I'd like to salvage them. After all, good quality running clothes are pricey.

To try and figure out how to salvage them, I called my favorite A Cleaner World runner Mike Feudale (you know the guy with lots of enthusiasm). Mike had me do some research as apparently it's important to know what's in sweat in order to know how to treat it. Here's what I learned: sweat contains sodium chloride, phosphate, urea, ammonia, lactic acid, and oils. As the water evaporates, all that stuff is left behind. Over time it builds up and causes your whites to yellow or your colors to fade.

After I reported back to Mike, he provided the following advice:
  • Each person is slightly different so there may not be a single solution for discolored under arm problems.
  • For dress clothes, you can consider shields sold at better clothing stores, but these are not practical for sport use.
  • Soaking garments in cold water and dish soap immediately after use will help as dish soap contains de-greasers. After soaking, rinse and line dry. Then wash in the washing machine.
  • An ounce of white ammonia per wash load could help remove potential staining material.
  • Occasional soaking in mild color-safe bleach can also help. Strong applications of chlorine bleach will only result in breakdown of the optical brighteners in white clothes and will actually speed overall yellowing.
I promised I'd give it a try. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Color Matching

My husband has a fashion sense all his own. On a number of occasions I've tried purchasing him things and have even gone shopping with him to offer some gentle guidance. He rarely takes my advice although on our last trip I did convince him to purchase plain front khakis -- a big success in my mind. I say all of this to set the stage - one morning he was dressing for work and he put on a pair of olive colored pants with a navy plaid long sleeve dress shirt. Apparently the look on my face said it all. "What's wrong with what I'm wearing," he asked. "You don't match," I said. And so the debate began. Ultimately he wore it to work that day, and I felt like I'd sent him off in plaid pants and a polka dot shirt. But it also got me thinking about my own fashion sense and how I tend to migrate to black all the time.

In an effort to educate my husband and to liven up my own wardrobe, I began searching sites. There's a ton of stuff out there, mostly complicated things like color wheels and hues. Who has time to read all that? Then I stumbled on to an article from womensfashion.suite101.com. It had a wonderful little bulleted quick reference list. Since finding it, I've ventured out a bit. I hope you'll check it out too. Now if only I could get my husband to read this.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Routine Dryer Maintenance

Of course we all know to clean the lint trap after each load. But a dryer is like anything mechanical, it requires maintenance. For instance, you wouldn't just put gas in your car and then do nothing else to it. You need to put forth a little effort to maintain its health in order to get the most out of it. Here's why -- did you know that inefficient dryers run longer and cost more in electricity to operate? Below is a quick and easy list to do once a year to keep your dryer in top shape.

1. Check the balance on your dryer. If it's not level, not only does it make a lot of racket but it can cause the parts to wear out faster.

2. Wash the lint trap. Fabric softeners can clog the small holes in the trap.

3. Pull your dryer out from the wall and wipe the area clean. Remove the venting and clean it out as well.

4. Clean the vent mounted on the outside of your house. Lint can accumulate there and block air flow.

Thank you to my handy husband for keeping my dryer in top shape. Long live your current dryer.
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