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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why Do Whites Gray?

You already know I have an affinity for khaki pants, but have I ever mentioned that I'm also a collector of white t-shirts? I probably have 15 short sleeve and sleeveless hanging in the closet right now, and I am always buying more. That's because I like my white t-shirts to look crisp and fresh.

Have you ever noticed how whites tend to gray over time? Here's why - most white t-shirts have some amount of cotton in them. Cotton isn't naturally white but more like a tan to grayish color. With repeated washings, the optical brightness (sort of a white dye kind of thing) breaks down, and all dyed fabrics tend to fade to their natural state over time. Bleaches as well as excessive wash or drying temperatures and cycle lengths exacerbate the white cotton discoloration. Some personal products, such as deoderant, anti-perspirant, and even topical medicines can cause local or general discolorations.

What can you do? Well according to my favorite enthusiastic District Manager Mike Feudale - only a few things. First he suggests not using chlorine bleach, excessive temperatures, and lengthly cycles. He likes using color safe bleaches, well dissolved and distributed, in a hot or warm load that is paused during the wash cycle for several hours. Finally he prefers drying outside on a clothes line. (On a side note, I like doing that because I love the way clothes smell when they dry outside!)

Of course since I am better at pointing out laundry problems then solving them, I just suggest calling your local A Cleaner World if you have a stubborn white issue. Any of our folks can help you out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No New Carpet Needed

Thank goodness A Cleaner World got into the carpet cleaning business shortly before we bought our first house. The honest truth is back then I had no idea what to look for in a carpet cleaner. I only really knew two things. First, I knew the type of business A Cleaner World strives to run. Second, Greg (the managing partner for A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning) had been a dry cleaning manager for years so I knew what a stickler he was for top-notch service and quality.

Our house had hardwoods on the main floor and carpeting on the second floor. The carpeting was in decent shape, but of course I wanted to replace it prior to moving in. My husband convinced me that we should at least have it cleaned first. Cleaning it made all the difference in the world; Greg removed spots that my husband and I didn't think would come out. The carpet looked almost new. In fact, we had the carpet cleaned every year for 5 years, and when we sold the house, that same carpeting was still upstairs.

If you need your carpet cleaned and have no idea how to select a company, here's some information on how to select a reputable company:

http://www.acleanerworldcarpetcleaning.com/quality/how-to-select.asp

The most important thing though is to choose a company that is IICRC certified, like A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning. IICRC is a non-profit organization that helps people like us ensure we're using qualified and trusted professionals. In order for a business to be IICRC certified, they must adhere to a strict set of guidelines. Now that I no longer have access to A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning, I'll be using this nifty little tool to help me find a carpet cleaner in Tennessee that's IICRC certified.

http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/locator.shtml

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Obvious Reminder

I have an uncle that is pretty close to my age, and we talk. So when he learned that A Cleaner World was going to venture into Social Media and that I would be handling it, he was curious. Curious in particular, I think, because really what would a dry cleaner have to talk about? I shared with him some blog topics and gave him a few examples of information I would share on Facebook and Twitter. Here's one that made him raise his eyebrow: "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?"

Recently I was cleaning the master bathroom. I was having trouble with the lid to the toilet cleaner and some ended up spilling on the floor. I wiped it up (but apparently not all of it) and continued cleaning, sometimes crawling on the floor to get the corners and such. About twenty minutes later I noticed that the bottom of my black yoga pants were covered with splotches of orange. After being puzzled for a moment, I realized what happened.

So I think I'd like to answer my uncle's question now. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of even obvious things.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Zippers

When I was in high school I had that perfect pair of jeans. I vividly remember the day I got them -- at Maurice's Eastland Mall location in Evansville, Indiana while shopping with my mom. I wore them often until that dreaded day when the zipper broke. I also remember that day vividly. I was devastated.

When you think about it, isn't the zipper an incredibly clever invention? Just from a utilitarian perspective, the zipper is a very useful tool especially when you've been in the car several hours and have had too much diet coke. Then look at the zipper from an ascetics perspective, it certainly improved the look of pants. Let's face it, pants went through some pretty unflattering stages.

Where am I going with all of this? No where really other than to share some interesting information and a cute story.

Inventor -- Gideon Sundback from Sweden in 1913

Special Tip -- If you have a stuck zipper that is a little rough getting up or down, rub a bar of soap over the zipper. It will make it work easier.

Cute Joke -- My mother taught for 11 years at a day-care center. One winter afternoon she was trying to show a young boy how to zip up his coat. "The secret," Mom said, "is to get this piece of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up." After struggling for several minutes, the boy sighed and said, "Why does it have to be a secret?"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Storing Clothes

So I know I talked about some of these last Spring, but it is something we all do every year. It's worth repeating especially so that next Fall you don't find that one favorite piece ruined.

1. Clean everything before storing it. Even if it looks clean - body oils, perspiration, and invisible stains are there and will attract moths and other critters.
2. Don't hang knits. They will stretch and distort, leaving them out of shape for next season.
3. Never use our poly bags for storing your clothes. They are strictly designed for short-term protection. Long-term use will suffocate your clothes and possibly cause staining or mildew issues.
4. Store your clothes in a cool, dry, clean place. Avoid storing clothes in a cold basement or hot attic. Extreme temperatures could damage your garments.
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