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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Moths

Most of us think of insects simply as pests, ones that we smoosh with a tissue or swatter and then place in the trash.  But some pests, like moths, are difficult to see, and the first indication that they’ve descended upon your home is when you discover damage to a garment.  How do you know if you have a moth problem?  Besides the obvious holes in your clothes, they leave webbing, cocoons, and droppings.

How do you prevent a moth infestation?

It’s actually pretty easy -- simply remove their food source by doing these two things.  First, clean and vacuum thoroughly – and not just areas that everyone sees.  But you also need to be sure to vacuum your closet regularly, paying special attention to use the attachment to reach corners, along baseboards, and remove any dust on shelves.  Second, never put away dirty clothes.  Even if it doesn’t appear to be dirty, moths find invisible stains, body oils, and perspiration and will feed on it.  Always, always, always clean your clothes before putting them away.

For added measure, you can use cedar in your closet.  Hang wool garments on cedar hangers or fill sachet bags with cedar chips and place them in your closet.  One side note, while moth balls are also effective, they have a strong smell, and it tends to linger on your clothes.

What do you do if you have a moth infestation?

Find the source and start cleaning.  Thoroughly vacuum the area as well as wash down surfaces like floors, ceilings, and shelves.  After the cleaning is done, be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag and thoroughly clean any supplies used before putting them away.  If your infestation is really severe, you may want to call a professional exterminator.

Immediately wash or dry clean all garments in the infested area, making sure that you don’t move the clothes around your house.  This could cause the moths to infiltrate other parts of your home.  While we normally recommend that you follow care label directions on your clothes, in this instance we suggest you launder your clothes in water that is over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, if the garment can withstand it.  If you opt to have your garments dry cleaned, be sure to mention your moth infestation the A Cleaner World drop off.  View our locations here

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veteran’s Day

I’ve always been interested in history, but lately I’ve been on a kick of reading books only about World War II.  I find myself being fascinated with not only that era but also with the selflessness and bravery of the men and women that served.  My grandpa was a Veteran of World War II, earning a Bronze Star Medal.  I’d like to say I know a lot about his tour, but I could never really get him to talk much about it.  The books I’ve been reading paint such a vivid picture of the kinds of things he had to endure.  But his generation isn’t the only generation to exhibit selflessness and bravery.  Anyone that currently serves or that has served in our military shows those characteristics as well, and while we recognize and appreciate the sacrifice and courage, it’s hard to really put it into words.

Offering to clean a few military uniforms at no charge seems like such a small thing to do compared to what a U. S. Soldier does.  Calvin Coolidge once said that “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.”  Cleaning those uniforms is our small way to make sure we never forget our defenders.  So on this Veteran’s Day, drop off your military uniforms.  We’ll clean two per family at no charge, and we’ll consider it an honor to do so.   Just drop off at the location nearest to you, and thank you for your service.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Peanut Butter Stains

Did you know that there is pretty much some sort of holiday every day?  While there are some terrific ones in November like Veteran’s Day and World Kindness Day, there are some crazy ones too.  For example in November alone there’s Deviled Egg Day, Chaos Never Dies Day, Have a Bad Day Day – just to name a few.  If that’s not enough, somewhere along the way someone decided to create month-long holidays too.  Again there are some terrific matters addressed in November like Child Safety Protection Month and National Adoption Awareness Month.

But let’s have a little fun with this now.  November is also Peanut Butter Lovers Month.  Everyone that knows me, knows that I’m a huge foodie – and one of my obsessions is peanut butter.  I seriously love the stuff.  I buy Matt and Gray plain old Jif (not that Jif is not great too), and then I buy myself the freshly ground stuff at Whole Foods.  But my obsession doesn’t stop there.  I also have gourmet peanut butters like Honey Pretzel, Cinnamon Raisin, and White Chocolate Raspberry stashed away.

What’s the one thing all these flavors have in common?  Peanut butter is an oil-based stain so it’s not the color that’s hard to remove, it’s the greasy film that’s the challenge.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple in most homes with children, so what should you do if your youngster gets peanut butter all over a favorite garment?  Your best bet is to leave it alone and bring it to us as soon as possible.  Why do I keep telling you to bring oil-based stains to us?  Multi-purpose grocery store pre-treaters (which is what we normal folks have access to) are great at handling water-based stains, but they cannot break down oil-based stains.  Why as soon as possible?  If a greasy stain is left to oxidize, it will get darker and more difficult to remove.  And why should you leave it alone?  Using a wet cloth to wipe up oily peanut butter will cause the stain to both be forced into the fibers and to spread.

Many of us (myself included) like to attempt these things on our own so if you’d like to give it a shot, here’s what we would suggest:
  • Carefully scrape off the excess with a dull knife, using care not to rub or dig into the fabric
  • Sprinkle (don’t rub) the area with cornstarch and let it set for several hours
  • Brush away the cornstarch and if a slight stain still remains, then treat the area with Fels Naptha – a bar laundry soap used for pre-treating stains
  • Launder per the garment label directions
If the stain remains after laundering, do not place the garment in the dryer.  The heat from the dryer will set the stain.  You could repeat the process, but at some point you need to say uncle before you pull the color from the garment.  If you are unsuccessful in your attempts and need some help, bring it by one of our locations so that our trained staff can take it from there.  And when you do, be sure to point out the stain and mention what products you used to try to remove it.
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