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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Restoration Dry Cleaning After a Home Fire

Whenever we leave our house for an extended period, I find myself going from room to room checking on things.  I make sure all the lights are turned out.  I check the stovetop and oven (even if I haven’t been cooking).  I make sure the iron is unplugged (even if I haven’t ironed for days).  I could continue on, but I think you get the idea.  I perform this ritual – for every extended leave – because I seriously do worry about a home fire.  If you are like me, your home holds many prized possessions and the thought of losing them makes me really sad.

When a home fire occurs, A Cleaner World Restoration Dry Cleaning will be there in your time of need.  We understand that you will experience a range of emotions, so we will gladly work with you to make sure you have those much needed items back quickly.  We will start by cleaning emergency items and returning them to you in 24-48 hours.  After that, we’ll work closely with the insurance company, the contractor, and most importantly – you to ensure that we clean and restore your garments and textiles back to the way they were.  And because we’ve been in the restoration business since 2001, we have the training, knowledge, and equipment to get results.  In fact, our success rate is near 96%.

Experience isn’t the only thing we offer.  Our credentials include certifications by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute, and we are members of the North Carolina Association of Launderers and Cleaners. We are also members of the Mid-South Professional Cleaners Association and carry the Seal of Approval by the Carpet and Rug Institute.

If you experience a fire or smoke damage, call directly or have your insurance company call A Cleaner World Restoration Dry Cleaning at (336) 992-0700.  For emergencies call Greg Henderson at (336) 804-0045 or Mike Feudale at (336) 804-0036.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pleated versus Flat-Front Pants

I regularly make fun of my husband and his clothing choices.  That’s because he dresses like an old man.  I really dread shopping with him.  Not only for his taste in fashion but also because he is incredibly particular.  He tries on pair after pair after pair of pants.  To paint you a better picture -- you know how you walk by a bench at a clothing store and a man is sitting there waiting there for his wife?  Well, we are the opposite – I am the one waiting on the bench.  On a recent pant shopping trip, I tried to convince him to purchase flat-front instead of pleated pants.  I lost the debate, but I did provide quite a show for the folks that walked by.

So what’s the difference?  Is one better than the other?  What style should you choose?  Here are a few answers:
• Pleated pants have creases at the front of the pant along the waist.  They are the most common suit pant, and they became more popular in the 1970’s and 80’s, when looser styles came into play.  Pleated pants typically work well on men with larger frames.  According to one website I checked out, they are considered more of a classic look and typically don’t go out of style.
• Flat-front pants have no pleats but instead have a contouring dart that causes the pants to lie flat against the body.  Flat-front pants provide a more tailored look.  They were popular in the 1950’s and 60’s, regained their popularity again in the 1990’s, and tend to go in and out of style.  Flat-front pants work well on men with slimmer builds, and because they complement slimmer builds, they also tend to accentuate larger features, sometimes in a not-so-flattering way.

So perhaps in the case with Matt, I didn’t know best; according to the information above, he made the correct choice.  If you are in the market for new pants, now you know which style best suits your taste and frame. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Professional Wet Cleaning

When a garment comes into an A Cleaner World store, we do all kinds of things – check the pockets, look for stains, complete the appropriate paperwork.  We also take a look at the care label, and many times our managers discover that the care label isn’t exactly accurate.  What happens then?  An alternative cleaning method needs to be used, and one excellent option is professional wet cleaning.

Here’s an example.  This metallic shirt was recently dropped off at a Raleigh A Cleaner World location.  The store’s manager Brent Dixon, with his 18 years of experience, immediately knew when he looked at the care label that this shirt could not be dry cleaned.  If Brent had dry cleaned this shirt, the outside would have ended up looking like the inside.

Brent chose to professionally wet clean this shirt instead.  Professional wet cleaning isn’t like throwing your favorite t-shirt in the washer with a little bit of detergent.  It’s a specialized and time-consuming process that requires three things – the proper training, the proper equipment, and the proper supplies.  All three components are equally important when using this process.  There is extensive training involved, and you must invest in the right equipment.  But the supplies also play a key role.  Professional wet cleaning detergent contains both polymers, which coat the fibers to protect them and prevent them from drawing up, and conditioners, which soften the fibers leaving them feeling like the garment has been dry cleaned.

Besides metallic disco shirts, here are a few more reasons why we might professionally wet clean a garment:
  • Many garments with decorative embellishments cannot be dry cleaned
  • Water soluble stains are easier to remove using professional wet cleaning
  • Some garments and fabrics simply respond better to professional wet cleaning
  • Whites turn out whiter and brighter using this process
We are proud to say that A Cleaner World has been professionally wet cleaning garments since 1995.  You can rest assured that if a garment comes in with an incorrect care label, A Cleaner World has plenty of experience in multiple cleaning methods to ensure that item is returned to you in tip-top shape.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Grocery-Store Pre-treaters vs. A Cleaner World Pre-treaters

I have an 8 year old boy.  Translation: I go through a whole lot of Shout Advanced.  It’s pretty decent stuff but doesn’t take care of everything.  That’s because, according to Mike Smith, most products sold at the grocery store are general, all-purpose stain removers.  They are good for many food spills, but they won’t touch things like grease or blood.  I know I’ve shared this before, but the National Cleaners Association says that there is no one size fits all stain remover.  That’s true even at our stores.

But we have access to two things that the average home doesn’t. First, a few select companies that specialize in making spotting agents to address specific stains and to compliment both the dry cleaning and wet cleaning processes.  These companies have been doing it for years (like more than 100), employ research chemists, have patented processes, state-of-the-art facilities, and fully comply with environmental regulations.  The second thing A Cleaner World has is the knowledge and training to evaluate each spot and spill and then choose the appropriate spotting agent and cleaning method.  While the products we use are considered professional grade, it’s the product in conjunction with the know-how that gets the kind of results that you simply cannot get at home.

It has taken me both years of trial and error and ruining a number of garments to realize that there are certain stains and spills that I simply must leave to A Cleaner World.  Here’s advice from a stay-at-home mom (that does LOTS of laundry) with a messy boy – water-based stains are fairly simple to remove.  For many, using a good-quality grocery store pre-treater and laundering according to the care label takes care of it.  Sometimes more effort is required – like soaking in warm water with a color-safe bleach and then laundering according the care label.  But for things like oil-based stains, combinations stains, ink, blood – a grocery store pre-treater simply won’t work.  That’s when stopping by one of our locations so that our trained staff can use our specialized spotting agents comes in handy. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

History of the Clothes Dryer

I am absolutely fascinated with history.  That’s probably why I’m so obsessed with Downton Abbey.  While I am interested in the characters and story line, I’m way more interested with the fashion and how they lived everyday life.  The first episode was set in 1912, and the Abbey was just getting electricity.  Mrs. Patmore was cooking the family’s meals over a wood burning stove.  They’ve never really showed anything in the way of cleaning clothing.  But I did notice in season one, they were stitching things by hand, and a few seasons later a ladies maid caused a huge ruckus when she brought a sewing machine into the servant’s hall.

When it comes to clothing, they had some really elaborate wears back then.  Apparently there were laundry maids in those days, though there is no mention of them as part of the downstairs servant’s crew on the show.  Could you imagine being a laundry maid in 1912?  While the electric wringer washer had come along by then, there was still no modern-type dryer on the market.  Everything was hung on clothes lines to air dry.

The first mention of a dryer dates back to the 1800s, when a Frenchman named Pochon created a vented barrel shaped metal drum to be placed over a fire and turned by hand.  Sounds dangerous to me.  Even though the first electric clothes dryer was introduced in 1915, it took until 1938, when the Hamilton Manufacturing Company put out the first automatic dryer, for the use of an electric dryer to even be heard of.  Unfortunately, the cost of one was so incredibly high that only 10% of U. S. households had one even as late as 1955.  Today, we take owning a clothes dryer for granted but truly they’ve not been around all that long.  In fact, my parents didn’t get one until after my sister was born – in 1972.

Dryers today can do more than just dry clothes – many can kill germs, de-wrinkle, and most sense moisture levels.  But remember, like with any other piece of equipment, it requires regular maintenance.   And if you decide you want to give your dryer a break, there are lots of benefits to the 1912 way of line-drying your clothes.

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