How To Care for and Clean Pillows

Pillows are a breeding ground for germs, dirt, sweat, bacteria, and mold and often hide them disturbingly well. The accumulation of these substances can cause an unpleasant odor, health issues, and pillow deterioration. With just about one-third of our lives spent sleeping, the cleanliness of where we spend that time is important.

Why is it Important to Wash Your Pillows

While you sleep, your pillow absorbs oil, skin cells, sweat and allergens. Dust mites, bed bugs and fleas can also take residence in your pillow, which can cause allergies and asthma as well as uncomfortable bites. It is recommended that you wash your pillowcase every week so it is easy to disregard the pillow part. In reality, this bacteria makes it past your porous pillowcase and into your pillow, where it can live until you wash the entire pillow.

Signs it is Time to Clean Your Pillows

Discoloration or the smell of a slightly sour or musty odor are the first signs that your pillows require immediate attention or care. If your pillow has lost its “fluff,” a wash can help revive and refresh it. Other indicators of a pillow that needs washing are experiencing worse allergy symptoms and acne breakouts. Physical stains on your pillows, if left for long, can become permanent.

Guide to Washing Pillows

Washing your pillows incorrectly can permanently damage the material and prevent them from actually doing their job – supporting your head and neck. Not every pillow is created equally! Although we can’t give a one-size-fits-all fix to a dirty pillow, we can give you some suggestions to help you clean your pillow properly. Pillows can generally be washed easily, either in the washing machine on a gentle setting or by hand, with a careful reading of the cleaning instructions. It may be easy to disregard the importance of cleaning your pillow. After all, you use a pillowcase, so it shouldn’t matter, right? Wrong! Cleaning your pillows is just as important as cleaning the bed sheets. 

How Often Should You Wash?

If your pillow can be washed, it should be washed at least twice a year. If you eat in bed, have pets, or sweat a lot, you should wash pillows quarterly. Special pillows like body pillows or throw pillows should be cleaned every 3 to 6 months. Pillows that are not in use or aren’t used frequently don’t need cleaning but would benefit from airing out every once in a while.

How to Wash Synthetic Fiber and Down Alternative Pillows

Most pillows can be washed on a low heat and gentle cycle using a washing machine. Carefully remove pillowcases and coverings such as pillow protectors and liners before washing, and use the warmest water temperature and gentle cycle. Ensure to adhere to the instructions on the pillow’s care tag. Only use a tablespoon of detergent to prevent excessive soapy water and detergent buildup inside the pillow. The washer should not be overloaded, and the load should be balanced by washing two pillows in a load. Select the “bulky” cleaning setting if your washer has it. For drying, use low heat and throw in dryer balls to keep the pillows from bunching up.

How to Wash Feather and Down Pillows

Most feather and down-filled pillows can be machine-washed and dried. Although powder detergent can leave a residue, it is best to use a small amount of liquid detergent. Depending on the space available in the washer, perhaps there is enough space; you can wash two down pillows at once.

Use cold water and a mild detergent. Run an extra rinse cycle to remove excess soap and protect the feathers from heat. Use the no-heat or air-fluff dryer setting or go to the dry cleaners. If you’re uncertain about washing feather and down pillows at home, most dry cleaners offer a specialized pillow cleaning service. 

How to Wash Memory Foam and Latex Pillows

Pillows with a structured fill can not be put in the washer. For memory foam and latex pillows, hand-washing is your best bet. Use a small amount of detergent and lukewarm water. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and a tablespoon of detergent, submerge your pillow and let sit. Periodically massage and circulate your pillow. Remove your pillow and rinse gently until the solution is out. Air dry your pillow.

How to Keep Your Pillows Clean

Washing your pillows or having them professionally washed can improve sanitization and quality of sleep. Maintaining the cleanliness of your pillows between washes can help make these benefits last until the next wash. Avoid eating and drinking in bed, fluff your pillow often, and use two pillowcases. One important tip to preserve freshness is to air out your pillows.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a pillow cleaning service, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Davis Imperial Cleaners at (866)-436-0257.

How to Care for and Clean Vintage Clothing

When handling vintage clothing, precautions must be taken to preserve your piece. Throwing a 1970s silk blouse in the washing machine will almost certainly end in disaster. Thorough research is the only way to ensure you are handling your garments properly. Modern clothes are meticulously labeled with care instructions, a luxury that vintage clothing enthusiasts don’t have. It should also be noted that vintage pieces made before 1970 likely won’t have a care tag, and even if it does, the instructions may be faded. Here is a guide to cleaning and caring for your vintage clothing so that you can preserve it for years to come.

What Can Be Washed by Hand

  • Cotton and Linen

These items can be washed at home by hand or in the washing machine. Note that washing on hot can cause quicker fading.

  • Rayon

Strong synthetic fibers fare well in the washing machine. To maximize their lifespan, wash them on cold and hang them dry.

  • Cashmere

Fine-haired wools like cashmere should be washed at home to avoid the harsh chemicals of dry cleaners. However, they are still delicate, so hand wash with a mild detergent.

What Must Be Dry Cleaned

  • Velvet

Pure velvet should be dry-cleaned. Check the fabric contents to ensure your velvet is not polyester

  • Garments with inner linings

Water alone can damage the connection between the liner and fabric of your garment. For items with inner linings like dresses, suits and blazers, opt for a dry-cleaning service

  • Fabrics that tend to shrink

Fabrics like wool can be a gamble to handle yourself. Exposure to water causes massive, irreversible shrinkage.

  • Fabrics or embellishments with dyes that run

Dark silks are the main culprit in this category. Some can ensure a hand wash, but others, darker silks, tend to bleed and stain surfaces and other clothes.

  • Fabrics that are embossed, embellished or embroidered

Embellishments like sequins, beads and studs aren’t equipped to handle a rough wash cycle, as many are secured by a fragile piece of thread.

  • Leather and suede

Washing leather can cause shrinkage and cracks. Professional cleaning takes measures to protect from these disasters.

  • Furs

Any fur with skin on the underside should not be washed at home. Vintage furs are especially delicate and can be permanently ruined by washing at home.

Care for vintage clothing is not the place to cut corners. If you value your garments, you’ll want to take special care so that they last for years to come. If you face any confusion or uncertainty about the care of such fabrics, reach out to experts. Davis Imperial is well-versed in vintage care and would love to help you preserve your pieces. Call us at (866)-436-0257 for information and care services. 

What Is the Best Way to Clean a Wedding Dress?

A bride’s big day consists of many planned and prepared details such as invitations, flowers, the cake, food and drink, and more. The wedding dress though, is arguably the most significant detail for a bride. A wedding dress is a piece of memorabilia that can be a keepsake for years to come. Because a wedding dress is so important to many brides, it must be taken care of properly. Many are made with delicate fabric, intricate detailing and design, and other features that cannot just be cleaned like any other garment. To clean it appropriately, a wedding dress requires special cleaning and storage. But with wedding dresses requiring close attention to deal, what is the best way to safely clean them?

Here are some best practices for wedding dress cleaning:

Dry Cleaning

With wedding celebrations comes food, drinks, and cake. It is inevitable that you might get your wedding dress a little dirty on your big day. Dry cleaning is one way to take care of this, especially if the dress is made of rayon, silk, or acetate. Dry cleaners have special cleaning solutions that can degrease stubborn oil-based stains. Dry cleaning solutions will also prevent discoloration of the dress because of their non-toxic formula. 

Wet Cleaning

A wedding dress can also be wet cleaned. This is a method of cleaning your wedding dress with only water, no solution. Wet cleaning is best for water-based stains like sweat or beverages. The dress is submerged in water, helping any dirt or debris to be flushed away. Wet cleaning is especially good for fabric like silk and polyester.

Dependable Wedding Dress Cleaning Provider

There are different ways to clean your wedding dress but dry cleaning and wet cleaning are two of the safest and effective cleaning methods. Due to the delicate materials and details of dresses, we recommend avoiding washing machines and harsh chemicals to prevent damage. At Davis Imperial, our team of garment care experts is knowledgeable about delicate fabrics and has been a trusted cleaner by brides throughout Chicago Our methods include gentle handling, non-toxic chemicals, and an odorless cleaning solution. We also provide pickup and delivery services for added convenience. Contact Davis Imperial at (866) 267-4560.

Tips for Cleaning & Caring for Your Winter Coat

When Winter approaches, your coat instantly becomes an important staple in your wardrobe. Whether it’s for fashion, work, or to simply keep you warm outside, Winter coat materials must stay resistant to withstand outdoor conditions. No matter how durable they may seem, Winter coats are an investment that requires proper care and maintenance to last through the seasons. From your coat’s outer layer to the lining and padding, proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage are necessary to avoid damaging it.

So what do you need to do to make your Winter coat last?

Below are some tips for properly caring for your Winter coat:

Cleaning Your Coat

When it comes to washing your coat, you should always review the care instructions on the tag. Coat manufacturers understand the materials they use and will provide the best care recommendations. If the care instructions on the tag are not legible or have been removed, we recommend using a clean, damp white rag to spot clean stained areas. Avoid using any chemical-based cleaning solutions. While the coating on weather-protective fabrics makes them resistant to wind and water, using cleaning solutions may damage the fabric. More delicate materials like wool, fur, and leather should also never be cleaned with chemical-based solutions as this will ruin the material. 

If you feel unsure about cleaning your coat, we recommend taking it to a professional cleaner as their knowledge of fabrics and materials will provide you with the most effective options for cleaning. In most cases, dry cleaning is a capable method for cleaning but depending on the material, other methods should be used instead. A professional cleaner will understand the safe and proper way to clean materials like wool, fur, and leather.

Caring for Your Coat

Winter coats are made of different materials that are durable enough to keep you warm and protect you from outside elements. But despite how sturdy your coat may be, it’s not indestructible, and specific care methods must be used to avoid damaging the outer and inner layer materials. 

Below are some recommendations to properly care for your coat:

1. Maintenance

Materials like suede, leather, and fur require specific maintenance to prevent them from damage such as drying, cracking, and looking dull. Proper maintenance also includes storage, hanging, and placement as these issues can lead to permanent creases, damage to the liner, crushing of the fur and/or padding, cracks, rips, and tears.

2. Fabric Care & Stain Removal

Your coat’s fabric material may be resistant to wind and water but it is not resistant to stains. Understanding the material of your coat is important to take the proper steps to clean it. Avoid over-the-counter stain removal products at all costs as they can damage the fabric and material. In the event of a stain, we recommend gently blotting the stained area with a clean, moist, white towel. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting into the material which can cause more damage.  In any case, we recommend taking it to a professional cleaner for the safest, most effective stain removal.

3. Storage

As the Winter months fade away and the climate gets warmer, your coat may need to be stored and put away for some time. Before storing your coat, we recommend a thorough cleaning to remove all stains and prevent fabric discoloration as well as lingering odors. If your storage method includes hanging, we recommend using a wooden hanger with rounded edges as this will maintain its shape. Also, storing it in a breathable garment bag can protect your coat from dirt, dust, and insects.

Choosing the Right Cleaner

Properly cleaning and caring for your Winter coat can ensure it stays looking pristine for many seasons. While there are methods that can be used to clean and care for your coat yourself, understanding the material of your coat is essential to its care as this will determine what steps need to be taken. A professional cleaner can provide confidence as their knowledge of fabrics and materials can determine the best, safest methods. For the best reassurance, seek a professional cleaner with expertise in the materials your coat is made of.

Looking to get professional cleaning for your Winter coat? Davis Imperial has been serving residents throughout the Chicago area for over 65 years. Our expert staff understands fine garments and fabrics and is dedicated to providing extraordinary care. Sign up today for pick up and delivery services.

How to Care for Your Fur Coat

Fur coats are timeless luxury garments that come at a high price due to the craftsmanship, materials, and attention to detail needed to make them. Many furs are delicate, requiring proper care and maintenance to maintain their quality and condition. According to fur care specialists, coats that are properly cleaned and maintained can last up to 50 years. However, improper care and cleaning techniques can just as easily destroy your fur coat beyond the possibility of restoration. 

So how do you properly care for your fur coat and avoid permanent damage?

We’ll outline some tips from our very own furriers below:

Removing Stains & Dirt

No matter how careful you are, stains and dirt are almost impossible to avoid so there is a high chance that your fur coat will eventually get dirty or stained. In the event you stain your fur coat, NEVER attempt to wash it at home using your washing machine. Soaps, detergents and other chemical stain removers can damage the fur. Instead, you should use a clean cloth to dab the stained area on your coat. You can also use a slightly damp cloth to gently blot the stained area. But any stains that cannot be removed by these techniques should be cleaned by a professional.

Maintain the Natural Oils of the Fur

Have you ever noticed the beautiful shiny look of a well-kept fur coat? The base of the coat releases natural oils that expand throughout the fur which gives a sheen to it. To best maintain the natural oils of the fur and keep your coat looking pristine, we recommend having your coat professionally cleaned and cared for at least once a year.

Protect it From Excess Moisture

Weather conditions can be unpredictable causing your fur coat to get wet unintentionally. While exposure to water and moisture may not permanently damage your coat, we recommend avoiding excess dampness to prevent further harm. If your fur coat gets wet, we recommend shaking your coat out to release any water that is trapped within the fibers of the fur. Once you are done shaking it out, we recommend hang-drying your coat in a well-ventilated area away from direct sources of heat. You should never put it in the dryer as this can significantly damage your coat. If your fur has been completely soaked and cannot be dried naturally, we recommend having it professionally cared for. A professional cleaner can take further measures to dry the fur and treat it to prevent any damage caused by the moisture.

Keep Dirt & Dust Away

If exposed to dust, dirt, and other particles, the oil from the fur absorbs these substances which in turn disrupts the release of the oils it produces. This causes the natural fibers of the fur to turn dull and patchy. We recommend getting your fur coat professionally cleaned to effectively remove all dust and dirt particles from the fibers in the fur. This will restore the oils it releases and maintain the sheen of your fur without damaging it.

Avoid Matting & Crushing Your Fur

Accessories like jewelry and shoulder bags can mat and wear away areas of the fur where they’ve been pressed together for long periods. To maintain the natural look and feel of your fur, you should avoid accessories that press up against it. 

Also, sitting on and leaning against your coat can crush the fur. If you’re planning on sitting for a long period of time, it’s recommended that you place the coat on the back of your chair or lay it flat across your lap. This will keep your body weight from crushing  the fur and keep it looking nice and full.

Know When to Get it Professionally Cleaned

Fur coats are timeless luxury garments that can be in your wardrobe for decades if properly cared for. Knowing and understanding when to get your coat professionally cleaned can be the difference maker in making it last. While small issues can be taken care of by you, xposure to excess moisture, stains, dirt, dust and other debris should be addressed by a professional cleaner right away.

To keep your coat looking pristine and shiny, we recommend having it professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you need fur cleaning and storage services, contact Davis Imperial Cleaners today at (866) 267-4560. Our fur cleaning specialists have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to properly clean, repair, moisturize, dry, and remove odors from your coat.