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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stinky Feet Pete

This summer we took a family vacation, driving through Virginia visiting historical sites and throwing in the Great Wolf Lodge to help keep Gray entertained. We spent a fair amount of time in the car. On day one, we’d been in the car maybe 30 minutes when I kept getting a whiff of some simply awful smell. It turns out that it was my son’s sandals…..and feet!

I remembered this tip we once shared about dryer sheets and smelly shoes:

Smelly shoes? Insert a dryer sheet in the offending pair and let it sit overnight.

We bought some dryer sheets (and some odor solving foot powder). We placed the dryer sheets in his shoes and started using the foot powder. Problem solved. When we got home from vacation, we sort of fell off the wagon. And the problem returned. The solution works but you have to stick with it. Every night we use the powder, and every Friday I put dryer sheets in his shoes overnight. That has done the trick. No more Stinky Feet Pete.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some Facts about Care Labels

I always enjoy talking to Mike Taylor, Managing Partner of our A Cleaner World Roanoke Division. Besides being a really nice man, he’s been in the dry cleaning industry for over thirty-five years so he has a wealth of information in his head.

During our last conversation, Mike mentioned that care labeling for clothing years ago was just awful. “But it really didn’t matter that much,” he said. “There were just a few fabric types, and they were easily identifiable. These days, as fabrics have evolved over the years, you can’t dry clean everything.” I guess I didn’t realize that, so I decided to do some investigating.

According to paxar.com, in 1972 the FTC launched the Care Labeling Rule, and for the first time, manufacturers were required to label their clothing with instructions for at least one safe cleaning method. All garments sold in the United States must have a care label, or it is considered unfair and deceptive on the part of the manufacturers.

Mike believes that manufacturers do a good job putting care labels in garments these days. And like on comforters, he warns against removing the label. Otherwise you increase the risk of damaging the garment. He also says that fewer garments are mislabeled these days. Though he did tell me about a tag that he kept in his desk for years that said:

Dry Clean Only
Machine or Hand Wash, Tumble Dry Low
Do Not Dry Clean

Oops.

To download a care label guide for your laundry room, click here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meet Our A Cleaner World Thomasville Manager

I think this statement is true for any industry – Sometimes when there are changes in management, both the employees and the customers have a hard time adjusting. That’s not the case at the A Cleaner World in Thomasville. Donna Lawhorn joined the A Cleaner World Thomasville team in April and didn’t miss a beat. In fact, she’s already made a few raving fans.

Recently a customer brought in several baby sweaters she made years ago for her son. She must have stored them in a basement or attic because they were in terrible condition. Now her son is almost 40, and she wanted to give them to her grandchild. Donna said the customer didn’t have much hope when she dropped them off. Donna and her team were able to restore them, and now a new generation gets to enjoy a handmade treasure.

She’s also made a raving fan at one of the local churches. A church member brought some tablecloths by. Apparently they’d had an event, and the tablecloths were put away dirty. Needless to say, the spills had plenty of time to do some permanent damage. But once again, Donna and her team came to the rescue.

These kinds of things happen on a regular basis throughout our stores. And as I’ve talked to our managers over the years, I’ve found a common theme. They all love working with people. They love their customers and their employees. They love to make people happy – like taking care of the new grandma or the local church member. Donna fits right in with that group. I heard the pride in her voice knowing that she had made someone’s day simply by providing top-notch service. And while she hasn’t been in Thomasville too long, she’s already started getting to know the regulars, and her employees have made her feel right at home.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Egg Coat

Not too long ago, Julie Byrum sent this e-mail message to our President, Chris Edwards. When I read it, I was sad to hear that such a crummy thing had been done to her family. But as I read on, I was so pleased that A Cleaner World could be a bright spot in what was an otherwise hurtful experience. Here’s what happened:

Recently I visited your location at the corner of Cornwallis and Battleground Ave. in Greensboro, NC and was truly blown away by the excellent customer service I received. My husband and I had been a victim of a house egging, and believe it or not, one of the eggs came through the crack between our door and house frame and landed on my nice red dress coat, which was hanging beside the door. The egg splattered down the back of my coat in long, ugly streaks and had dried overnight. In addition to all the clean-up we had to do to the outside and inside of our house (yes, at least one more egg came through the door crack doing other damage), I thought the coat was ruined. For reference, this was a very expensive coat which was a gift from my parents, and not easily replaced. I hoped that in taking it to the A Cleaner World location in Greensboro near where I work that someone might be able to salvage my once beautiful coat. When I arrived I spoke with a very nice young man named Brett, who assured me the A Cleaner World team would do their best to eliminate all traces of egg. When I returned two days later for pickup, I saw Brett again, and he apologized. He said the coat had a button come off during cleaning and had been sent for repairs, which would be completed shortly. I explained there were buttons missing from the cuffs when I brought the coat in and had not expected them to be replaced, but was happy to hear they were going the extra mile. When I returned the next day, I was thrilled to see that the egg was completely gone! That coat truly looked like a lost cause when I dropped it off for cleaning a few days earlier. Buttons on the cuff were replaced and the lady I spoke with that afternoon insisted one had come off during cleaning, but I doubt it since they were missing when I dropped it off. When I asked what I owed, the kind lady replied that there was no charge because I had to make an extra trip. I was floored. Not only did A Cleaner World return my coat to me as good as new, it was better than new since they replaced all the missing buttons. I tried to offer some compensation because I felt they truly deserved it for their work, but they would not accept anything. A Cleaner World not only gave me back the coat which was a gift from my parents, but by their kindness they helped me emotionally heal from feeling violated as a result of having our house egged. I work for a local company which prides itself in customer service and setting a higher standard. We charge our employees to provide each customer with a positive experience he or she will take away and share with friends or family. Unfortunately, this level of superior customer service does not appear to be the standard at most businesses today. I am very pleased to say the level of service I received from A Cleaner World matched the high standards we strive to achieve every day at my company. This is probably one of the only times I have ever been able to make that comment about any service anywhere. Thank you again for going above and beyond! Please see that the employees at your Cornwallis and Battleground location (especially Brett) receive some recognition for their service. Thank you so very much!
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