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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Loud House

Our neighbor has four kids, one of which is the same age as Gray, and Gray loves to go over to their house and play. Many times we just send kids back and forth but we also love to get together and visit. One of the things I noticed early on about their house is that it seemed really loud. In the beginning I attributed it to lots of kids running around but as I became more familiar with their place, I noticed that they had no carpeting and only one rug, which is in their family room.

One day I connected all the dots when sharing tips on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Tips like carpeting and rugs provide warmth and comfort, can be great filters for allergens, add beauty and style, and here’s the big one – reduce noise. Carpet actually absorbs sounds from all kinds of electronic equipment and helps as a sound barrier between floors by blocking sound transmission to rooms below. Plus adding a cushion pad under your carpet reduces noise even further. And carpet on stairs helps camouflage the sound of foot traffic.

I can personally attest to all these things – our house isn’t nearly as noisy as our neighbor’s house when kids are running around.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Say Hello to Scottie Springer

When someone loves what they do, enjoys the folks they work with, and thinks highly of their employer – it shows in everything they do. Folks like that are such pleasures to talk to and do business with. Here’s one that’s a home-town guy -- born in High Point, raised in Trinity, and now the Customer Service Manager for A Cleaner World’s Commercial and Uniform Division for the last 3 ½ years.

Meet Scottie Springer, a guy with a can-do attitude and helpful spirit that comes out no matter what you talk to him about. It’s clear that he really likes people and really likes helping them too. And while the commercial and uniform division has a route driver, it’s not unusual to see Scottie deliver or pick up items from a customer if a special need arises. For those of you that aren’t aware, A Cleaner World started up this division a little over three years ago and offers the following services: bar and shop towels, wet and dry mops, restroom supplies, aprons, customized uniforms, and indoor and outdoor mats.

Because of Scottie’s positive attitude and great service, the commercial and uniform division moved to a larger facility a few months ago. The transition was a bit difficult. Scottie and his crew had to wait for inspectors to come out and sign off on the set up before work could actually begin at the new location. But there were still customers to take care of, so they spent days loading up items to be cleaned, delivering them to several A Cleaner World locations so as to not overburden one store, picking the clean items back up, and then getting those items to the proper customers. They didn’t miss a beat. It would be easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed but Mike Feudale, Manager of both A Cleaner World Fire, Smoke, and Water Restoration Services and A Cleaner World’s Commercial and Uniform Division, told me that “nothing discourages Scottie.” That’s a rare gift.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shopping For A Prom Dress

I realize that it is only January, but it is never too early to start thinking about – prom dresses. At least I know my 17 year old niece has already started looking. During a recent conversation with Melody Yates, our seamstress at the A Cleaner World in Boone, I learned what to look for when I venture out with Kaysie.

• Check the construction of the dress before purchasing. If there is loose stitching or loose bead work, then the dress is poorly made.
• Look for damage to the dress. The more girls that try it on, the more likely it could have a small tear or hole. Also check to see if the fabric has been stretched out and that the zipper zips easily.
• If you don’t get a perfect fit off the rack, you can always have your dream dress altered. Keep in mind, however, that it is easier to take a dress in than let it out. Melody suggested that it is better to purchase a dress that is a little bit too big rather than one that is a little bit snug. Be careful not to get a dress more than two sizes larger than what is needed because the alterations could change the original look of the dress.
• Here’s something else to consider with alterations – the construction. If the dress is lined, make sure you can get to the top of the side seam. Otherwise your seamstress will have to remove the entire side of the dress to adjust the sizing. And that could end up being costly because they will have to do it twice – once on each side.
• Finally, consider the fabric on the dress. Some fabrics are easy to alter and clean, others like costume satin, silk, and chiffon are not.

What fantastic advice. I feel armed, educated, and ready for a marathon shopping day. If you have questions about alterations, just reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or leave a message below. We’re happy to help.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Are My Clothes Really Clean?

I realize I’ve shared my frustration – many times – with our front load washing machine. Part of my regular maintenance routine is to scrub the inside of the washer and the soap dispenser with bleach water. Last week as I was performing my scrubbing ritual and cursing under my breath, my mind began to wonder. I thought about things like – how clean does home washing get my clothes, what kind of funk really lives in here and stays on my ‘clean’ clothes, and how does that leftover stuff impact my family?

According to an article on abc.com, ‘washing machines are teeming with bacteria that find their way onto your clothes – and then onto you.’ The more I read, the more I worried. Of course, once I started I kept reading article after article. Medicaldaily.com addressed something they called ‘The Sick Laundry Cycle.’

After reading these two articles, along with about a half-dozen more, I am going to continue a couple of things I already do and then add a few more. Hopefully we won’t experience the Sick Laundry Cycle in our house. These could be some things you might want to try too. Here they are:

• Dirty clothes carry germs so I will continue the habit of washing my hands after sorting dirty clothes and/or placing dirty clothes into the washing machine.
• Continue the regular bleach water scrubbing routine followed by a basket clean cycle and probably increase the frequency from once a month to twice a month.
• Wash whites in hot water. I know we’ve shared with you the cost savings suggestion of washing your clothes in cooler temperatures, but I have to say that personally, the cost savings isn’t as important to me as killing the bacteria in my washer and on my clothes.
• Wash undergarments in hot water, in a separate load, and as the last load. Both articles mentioned the amount of fecal matter found on supposedly clean undergarments. If you wash undergarments with things like your bath towels, that stuff can find its way onto your towels.
• Start using my clothes line more often. The sun is a germ-killer and also a great natural bleacher. It will be good for the whites, but I will be careful with color clothes.

If you have suggestions on how to stop the Sick Laundry Cycle, please share them below, or on Facebook, Twitter, or G+.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Teaching My Husband To Do Laundry

I was thinking about all the things I do for my husband….and it led to two thoughts. First, wow he is really spoiled. Second, if I were to die today, he’d really be in trouble. Now before I go on, I must tell you that my husband is a really smart and talented guy. He’s the president of an e-commerce company. He can fix almost anything. AND he’s super handsome. But he cannot operate the washing machine. Or at least he pretends that he cannot operate the washing machine. This realization came about during a fun exchange with a customer on Twitter.

The truth is that I’d prefer he not do my laundry. BUT I’d like it if he’d do his own. He travels regularly and always comes home with a pile of dirty clothes. So on Friday, when I think all the laundry is caught up, he gets home at around 10:00…..and five minutes later the laundry basket is full.

Given that today is January 1, a day full of New Year’s resolutions, I pledge to you that my resolution this year is to teach my husband to do laundry. I know my success with this resolution depends on my husband's willingness to participate, and I already have a game plan in mind. I will spare you the details of my plan, but I will tell you that I will start slowly. Just know that my ultimate goal is that if I die tomorrow, my child will have clean underwear to wear -- until my mom shows up.
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