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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How Often Should You Wash Bath Towels?

I tell my husband that if it wasn’t for me, his bath towel would get up and walk away.  Here’s why -- he hangs it up and uses it over and over and over, until I swear that it could grow legs.  His argument is that he’s drying off a clean body.  True, he’s washed off the dirt and germs but there’s so much more to consider.

I actually keep track of his towel and never let him use it more than three times.  Why?  According to a menshealth.com article, every time you dry off, dead skin cells collect in the fibers of your towel.  Those cells serve as food for bacteria, which happens to flourish in moist, tightly woven fabrics.  If you reuse your towel over and over and over, then you’re just wiping that bacteria all over your body.  Gross.

It seems that my, ‘no more than three times rule’ is a pretty good one.  According to the American Cleaning Institute, ‘bath towels should be hung to dry between uses and washed after 3 or 4 normal uses or more frequently if you do sports.’  So how exactly should you care for bath towels?  Here’s what we recommend:
  • Be sure to wash and dry your bath towels to remove any excess dyes or chemicals before using them for the first time.
  • Wash bath towels with similar colored bath towels, but avoid washing them with other clothing for both efficiency and sanitary reasons.
  • Wash them after every 3 – 4 uses, washing colored towels in warm water and white towels in hot water.
  • Avoid using too much fabric softener on bath towels, which can make your towels feel slimy and less absorbent.
  • Make sure your towels are completely dry before folding and putting them away.  A slightly damp towel can quickly mildew.
Check.  I do lots of things wrong, but I am proud to say that I handle our towels with great care.  There won’t be any towels here that sprout legs, and my husband should thank his lucky stars that he married a clean freak.

More more laundry tips, check out the helpful hints section of our website. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meet Carrie Pierce - A Cleaner World, Union Cross

Managing a dry cleaning plant is hard work – the hours are long, our managers spend most of the day on their feet, and the heat can be unbearable.  But there are rewards too, and those rewards make the hard work worthwhile.  Every time I ask a manager about the rewards, they all say the same thing – it’s the people – both the folks that show up every day to work and the folks that come through the drive thru entrusting us with their clothes.  Carrie Pierce, manager of our A Cleaner World on Union Cross Road in Kernersville, is happy to be one of those managers.  She loves helping people -- from the lady who came in frantic because her red blouse faded on her husband’s jacket to this delightful couple:

Carrie said that a gentleman stopped by her store one recent Saturday morning to see if he could have his military uniform cleaned, pressed, and ready that afternoon.  He went on to share that he and his fiancĂ© had decided to get married the very next day!  Carrie and her crew got to work, and his uniform was in prime form in no time.  When he returned at 3:00 to pick up his uniform, his fiancĂ© accompanied him and had a previously-worn bridesmaid dress with her.  It was the dress she wanted to wear when they got married.  Carrie said it was stained, most likely with a drink, and incredibly wrinkled.  The young lady asked if it was possible to simply press it.  Nothing doing.  Carrie gladly cleaned and finished the dress that afternoon, and it turned out beautifully.  The bride-to-be picked it up just before closing and was so very happy.

Carrie smiled as she shared their story.  “People just want to be treated with respect, honesty, patience, and kindness,” she said.  That’s what she and her staff do every day, with every garment they handle.  Then it was back to the work – there were clothes waiting for her.  But to her, and all of our managers, they are more than just clothes.  They are pieces of people’s lives, and we are happy we get to help.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Tale of the Christening Gown

Can you get 4 year-old spit up out of a 45 year-old christening gown?  Glenn Batts can.

Recently, a gentleman stopped by our A Cleaner World on Leesville Road in Raleigh with just such an item.  He said that the christening outfit was his, several children had worn it over the years, and he didn’t know when it had been cleaned last.  Was there any way we could get it out?  Glenn was in the back of the store working on something at the time, so the customer happened to talk to our Vice President of Operations, Mike Smith.  “You’d be mighty lucky to get it out,” said Mike.  “But you’ll have one of the best in the business working on it.”  I can attest to that; Glenn has rescued a few garments of mine.

“I knew I had to take great care with this one,” said Glenn.  “Because the garment was 45 years old, I couldn’t soak it for fear that it might fall apart.”  Glenn simply spotted the area, several times flushing after each time, with a combination of a neutral spotting agent, an acid-based spotting agent, and then a general purpose stain remover.  Then he dry cleaned the outfit and had one of our skilled pressers finish it.  The result?  Check it out:

Glenn was pleased and a bit surprised.  “The Lord was on my side on this one,” he said.  I reminded him that it was a christening outfit, after all.  And the customer?  He was more than pleased – in Glenn’s words, “He was ecstatic.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Number Two Most Common Rug Stain – Dog Poo

Pets. They worm their way into our homes and hearts and become so much a part of our families.  I’ve had a number of dogs over the years.  I love them all.  But no dog will ever compare to Libby.

I got Libby shortly after moving to Greensboro.  She was a mix between a Silky Terrier and a Poodle, and she had a big personality.  My mom always said she was half human.  She was a terrific dog – well trained, obedient, and housebroken.  But she did, on occasion, have an accident.  And when there was an accident, it was either because I was gone too long or there was something wrong.

Within my first few weeks working at A Cleaner World, I came home to piles of Libby poo all over the living room rug.  It was clear that something had not settled well.  After I recovered from my gag-fest, I got to work.  Unfortunately, besides remembering that there were 7 piles and that I gagged – a lot, I don’t remember how I went about cleaning up the mess.  Luckily, we now have Greg Henderson, manager of A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning to tell us how to properly clean up pet poo.  Here’s what he recommends for most rugs – unless it is silk – then he recommends that you call a trusted rug cleaner.

1. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and use some sort of utensil like a spatula along with a dust pan to scoop up the piles.
2. Take plain, white paper towels and try to remove as much of the remaining residue as possible without smearing it.
3. Get a bucket of cold, soapy water and clean the area using a clean, white cloth. Use a pH neutral detergent, such as Woolite, and be sure not to scrub or rub too firmly.
4. You can use a store-bought spray cleaner, but be sure to check its pH value.  If it is an alkaline product, then be sure to rinse well with something on the acidic side after so that it neutralizes the rug or carpet. 
5. Blot the area dry with a dry, clean, white towel.
6. If the area is large or if there are several places, set up a fan to circulate the air so that it will dry quickly.

A word of caution – use care when using products like detergent and spray cleaner.  It is a good idea to test an inconspicuous area (perhaps on the back) to make sure there will be no dye bleeding.  But of course, if your pet pulls a number two on you and you are feeling a bit uneasy about moving past number two on our checklist, simply give Greg a call at 336-804-0045.  He’s glad to help.
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