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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More than Clothes in Her Express Bag

A while back I did a list of crazy things A Cleaner World has found in clothes over the years. Mike Taylor, with 35 years of service, has seen his share of some craziness. But there is one crazy thing he experienced a number of years ago that would have completely send me over the edge. And he was completely calm as he told me this story:

A couple that had been long-time customers divorced. They both continued to use Mike’s store. On her regular drop off day, she brought in an express bag full of clothes. After she left a CSR began to sort and tag the order, and as she did, a garter snake crawled out of the bag.

A few days later the ex-husband came in to drop off clothes. Mike proceeded to tell him what they found. Mike said the ex was not surprised at all as the snake had been lost in the house for some time! Mike couldn’t get over the guy’s easy going response. Now I will admit that I thought Mike was going to tell me that the ex-husband did it, so I too was surprised by the response but in a different way.

Now a dry cleaning manager wears many hats -- but snake catcher? I get the chills whenever I think about it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Poison Ivy is Nasty Stuff

Have you ever had a bad case of poison ivy? I sure have, and I will never forget it. Matt and I hadn’t been married very long. There was a lady at our church that needed some help tearing out an arbor in her backyard, so we offered to help. We spent a Saturday afternoon helping her, and a couple of days later we were both miserable. Now that we live in the country, I come across it pretty frequently. I also now know how to identify the plant.

There’s one thing I really want to stress about poison ivy -- oil from poison ivy is extremely stable and will stay potent, essentially forever. You can get a rash from clothes that have the oil from last summer. Both dry cleaning and laundering are acceptable cleaning methods for removing poison ivy from clothing. But laundering is actually preferred because of the multiple flushes used in the process. It is best to wear gloves and wash the contaminated clothing separately so the oil won’t spread to other garments. Casual contact with other people's clothing should be okay, but be sure to wash any areas that contact the clothing with soap and water. This precaution will usually prevent a rash from appearing.

There are lots of websites out there with great information on poison ivy. Here’s a link to the CDC’s site. But if you have poison ivy/laundry related questions, please let us know.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Fashion Era

While searching online for the lastest trends in fashion, I stumbled on this quiz “What Fashion Era Do You Belong To?” It looked like fun so I gave it a shot. The results didn’t surprise me that much -- apparently I belong in the 50’s. This is what it said about me:

'You’re a prepster at heart: Bring on the pearls, sweaters, khakis, and ballet flats. Like Audrey Hepburn, you love classic A-line cuts, feminine prints, and timeless pieces in neutral hues. The attitude in the 1950s was fresh, crisp, and youthful, and that’s your look to a T.'

It describes me awfully well – minus the ballet flats. Below is a link to the quiz. Let me know how you score.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Complete Loss

I’m sure you’ve seen advertisements on television for those space saving bags. You know the ones where you can place half your house in a bag and vacuum shrink it down to 3 inches by 5 inches.

Not too long ago, a customer at our Hickory location brought in a beautiful handmade, mostly white quilt that she had stored in one of those vacuum sealed bags for three years. When she opened it, she discovered it had suffered terrible yellowing. Upon examination, we were able to determine that moisture had gotten trapped against the quilt, and that in turn caused the yellowing.

I think those space saving bags are a fascinating idea, but you need to be extremely careful when using. It is possible that you could use a product like that and never have an issue. But it is also possible that humidity could get trapped in the bag creating the ideal situation for mildew.

The best way to store out of season bedding is to:

1. Wash and dry the items. Never store any type of soiled fabric.
2. Fold the items, but not too tightly. You want them to be able to breathe.
3. Keep the items away from sunlight – it can cause the fabric to fade. The best place to store would be in a drawer or closet.
4. For an extra measure - place a few cedar balls in the drawer or closet – but not directly on the fabric.

Our staff worked diligently on that handmade quilt, but sadly we were unable to restore it. If you have a one of a kind special item you want to store, we’d recommend you avoid anything that could possibly trap moisture in the packaging. And as always if ever in doubt, ask us. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kindergarten and The Strict Dress Code

Today my son started Kindergarten, so the last few weeks have been spent buying supplies and new clothes. Growing up, I always enjoyed the back to school shopping. Doing it for Gray – I didn’t enjoy it so much. Here’s why: the school system here has an incredibly strict four page dress code – only black, khaki, navy pants and shorts; plain jeans; long and short sleeve polo style shirts in specific colors; and button up dress shirts in specific colors.

In the long list of do’s and don’ts I found two things really difficult to deal with – first, no logos. It seems that most polo style shirts have some sort of logo on them. Second, no cargo pants. When we started the process, Gray only had one pair of shorts (including his nicer ones) that didn’t have cargo pockets.

Once again, my mom bailed me out. (I really owe this woman a lot.) She found a brand, Greendog, at Macy’s that fits the bill. Greendog has solid color polo shirts without logos for around $10, and flat front shorts for around $15. So if you are in the same pickle we were, I recommend the brand. They seem to make basic items at decent quality and not terrible prices. Perhaps we didn’t get to fully take advantage of the great back to school sales, but we’ll definitely be in line with the dress code.
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