There are various processes that we use to clean clothes. The basics are hand washing, machine washing, and drycleaning.
Hand Washing involves soaking the item in water and detergent to gently remove soils from the fabric. This method is very restrictive, and has very little or no agitation.
Machine Washing garments are cleaned in a machine with water and detergent. Bleach and/or other laundry additives may be used. The garments are subjected to mechanical action by an agitator. Although there are several different cycles available on most washing machines, they are not as gentle as hand washing.
Wetcleaning is the professional process of removing soils from garments and other textile items through the use of water in specialized equipment. This equipment allows the precise control of additives (such as detergents) water level, temperature and rotation speed. Careful control of these factors is necessary to prevent shrinkage, loss of color, and fabric distortion.
Drycleaning uses fluids to remove soils and stains from fabric. The term “drycleaning” is misleading; it is called drycleaning because the fluid contains little or no water and does not penetrate the fibers like water. Common solvents currently used for drycleaning include perchloroethylene (“perc” for short), GreenEarth, Solvon K4 and petroleum or other hydrocarbon based solvents. In most cases, garments are cleaned and dried in the same machine — they go in dry and come out dry. This process is followed by finishing procedures using special equipment, such as presses and puff irons.
It's a whole lot easier to get rid of unwanted guests before they become permanent residents. Mysterious stains sometimes appear on clothes after a period of time in storage. Faint stains may also appear worse or stains "invisible" to the naked eye may show up only after the garment is cleaned. Making sure clothing is properly cleaned before storage is the best defense against these problems. This is true for all garments including wedding gowns. Club soda and water are good short-term solutions to stains, but they do not remove all of the staining material. It is risky to store a garment that has not been fully cleaned. Be sure to tell the counter staff about any stains or spills when dropping off clothes.
The Dry Cleaning & Laundry Institute, the trade association for professional drycleaners to which we belong, conducted several tests to show how hidden stains can resurface after cleaning if not addressed prior to cleaning. By spilling a juice beverage on the sweater shown below the Institute observed there was no visible stain after it dried. Then, the Institute cleaned the sweater and the heat of the cleaning accelerated the oxidation of the sugars and tannin residues that were in the juice. As seen in the second picture, the "invisible" stain is readily apparent after cleaning.
Next, the Institute stained a blouse with an alcoholic beverage that oxidized and left a faint stain. In this case cleaning removed the stain, but the next picture shows the loss of color that resulted from contact with the alcohol. Some products that contain alcohol include perfume, skin freshener, after shave, cologne, hair spray, lotions, and some medicines.
The best short-term prevention is to thoroughly rinse all affected areas with water, taking care to blot-not rub-the stained areas. That will get you through the night, then it is best to get the garment to us as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage or color loss. Please inform the clerk of any spills when you drop off your clothes so we can attend to those stains and hopefully prevent any delayed staining.
Open those windows and let the sun shine in! But be careful where those rays go because they could fade some of the more integral parts of your home environment.
Sometimes we forget about some of the household items that blend into our homes so well that they become a part of the scenery. These items collect dust and dirt and become damaged, faded or discolored in their relative inactivity. Since we see them everyday, gradual changes happen without our noticing. Then, one day, the realization sets in and our perception of the item's value sinks.
Guest room items are often overlooked, as many comforters on guest room beds become sun faded from being in direct sunlight. Draperies, upholstery, rugs, and pillows all fade into the background. While these items brighten our homes, they are collecting dust, grime, food crumbs, and stains.
We're a professionally-trained fabric care business with the knowledge and equipment to help you care for your household items so you can enjoy them even longer. Here are some tips you can use to get the most out of home items that are such an important part of our daily lives.
Comforters rarely become soiled as they rest atop the other blankets and coverings on a bed, but sooner or later they will acquire some kind of staining or collect enough dust to warrant a cleaning. Comforters left in direct sunlight can become discolored or faded due to the direct light on the dye. It is best to keep comforters and heirloom quilts out of direct light to prevent
We can process your comforters and quilts and get the dust and grime out of them safely. Many comforters will not fit into a home washer and dryer, and therefore won't be cleaned properly.
Handmade quilts are especially susceptible to dye bleeding since the fabric components of the quilt may vary. We test each part of the quilt to ensure no bleeding will ruin it.
Blankets are available in many fibers and construction types. These include wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester, and polyurethane. A blanket's construction plays a direct role in its thermal qualities and should be cleaned in a way that will protect its ability to contain heat. We are skilled in the
methods of cleaning blankets to preserve their heat retaining qualities and appearance.
Upholstery fabrics used for furniture are usually used to cover decorative pillows. Occasionally, pillows are also made to match draperies or other home furnishings. Most of these items are not supposed to be cleaned unless the manufacturer recommends a procedure. This is a task best left to us as we can help you get them clean without destroying them. Ask us for help when you find your items may require cleaning.
The fabric covering for stuffed furniture and cushions is known as upholstery. Upholstery cannot readily be removed for cleaning, as the fabric is usually nailed onto the frame of the furniture. Furniture covers on cushions usually contain a zipper, but the zipper is there for the convenience of the manufacturer, not for cleaning purposes. Most manufacturers never expect the cover to be removed from the cushion during use of cleaning.
Upholstery is made from numerous fibers or fiber blends, and many include latex or similar coating on the reverse side. This coating gives the fabric extra body, stabilizes the weave, and prevents shallow seams from unraveling during use. Do not remove the stuffing from cushions for cleaning.
Draperies are often left hanging for years before they are taken in for cleaning. Often, exposure to sunlight and changing temperatures lead to fabric damage in the drapes. In time, soil and dust in the room, as well as outside atmospheric dirt and gasses from industry, automobile, and
construction, may soil the drapes. Many of these soils can be removed through careful cleaning practices.
Water stains are caused when moisture from condensation on the window, humidity or spilled liquids causes the soils to disperse, leaving a stained area.
Moisture may also be responsible for displacing drapery sizing. After the moisture evaporates, a ring or streak may be noticeable because any solvent-soluble soils will be removed. You may notice discoloration due to light combining with oxygen, which tears down certain chemicals in
Professional cleaners like us can get water stains out of drapes, but only if the drapes can withstand the process. Ask us about your drapes before you decide to have them cleaned.
Probably the main complaint we hear is that the drapes have yellowed in general or possibly yellowed more noticeably in certain areas of drapes. Most fibers have a natural tendency toward slow oxidation and yellowing both from aging and from atmospheric exposure. Any drapery material used to cover a window is exposed to both direct and indirect lighting. Some fabrics are treated with sizing or finishes to impart body. Some of these sizings oxidize and yellow with age. In some cases this yellowing is more pronounced on the leading edge or fold of the drape. This
indicates a greater exposure to atmospheric gases, smoke fumes, and cooking oils.
Together, we can get the most out of your household items just by remembering they're there. The best way to prevent excessive damage or fading is to rotate a few different sets of drapes, blankets or comforters periodically, or with the seasons. Keep furniture out of direct light to minimize fading. This will not only brighten the look of your home, but it will ensure that you get the most mileage out of your household items.
At D and M we appreciate the opportunity to make your clothes (and you!) look and feel their very best. We look forward to working with you to keep your wardrobe at its finest.
Each week we will post new information to help maintain your wardrobe at it's finest.