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Fabricare Tips: What To Remember...
- When going away on vacation or a business trip, leave your closet doors open. Air will be allowed to circulate throughout your closet, and this will help control the possibility of mildew growth and reduce moisture.
- To apply hairspray and perfume prior to putting on your clothing. The alcohol and other chemicals present will cause damage to your garment, which generally is not visible until the garment is pressed.
- Leather and suede garments need to be aired out after each wearing. Leather and suede absorb extensive amounts of moisture and can generate mildew if stored away before drying.
- To make sure that your dry cleaner measures and blocks all of your knit garments before processing each time you send it in for cleaning.
- To send to the dry cleaner all the components of an outfit. Even the finest garments may have dyes that are unstable and could result in a slight change in color during processing. If all the components are processed together, the resulting color change is generally unperceivable.
- To always purchase each component of an outfit at the same time to be assured that you will have consistency in the dye lot.
- To be particularly careful when wearing fine fabrics, such as silk or satin. Purses and jewelry (yours and others) can easily snag your favorite garment.
When storing garments for the long term, be careful to avoid storing it along an exterior wall. These areas generally have higher humidity, which could result in mildew growth, and extreme fluctuations in temperature can be detrimental to fabrics.
- To always clean your garments before seasonal storage. Soil, food stains, and perfume will attract insects during storage. Remember to store your sweaters in breathable sweater bags that have clear view fronts and synthetic fabric for the backing.
- Garments should never be stored in plastic garment bags. These bags are used by dry cleaners purely for the purpose of transport to prevent your garments from soil and poor weather conditions. Remove them immediately upon receipt and remember to leave your garment covers on to protect the shoulders of your garments from dust and direct light.
- Clothing that comes back from the dry cleaner smelling like solvent means it is time to find a new dry cleaner. Solvent smell is an indication of bacterial growth and impure solvent in the dry cleaning machine.
- After wearing a tie, remember to untie the knot before putting it away. Do not pull the small end through the knot, as such action places unnecessary stress on the fragile bias material.
- Toothpaste, particularly the ones that promise to brighten your smile, contain bleaches that not only remove stains from your teeth, but can remove color from your garments. Often you will think that the “white spot” is a surface speck, only to find out after cleaning or laundering that the dye was disturbed and the spot was permanent.
- Fine soft knits easily pill. If you wear an overcoat, be sure it has a slick lining. Rubbing with a coarse lining will promote pilling.
- If you are looking for a couture dry cleaner in your area, ask the premier boutiques, couture department store managers, event planners, and personal shoppers in your area for their recommendation.
- Very dark cotton dress shirts or blouses should be dry cleaned and hand-finished with low-temperature irons to assure the color doesn’t fade and the edges don’t turn white.
- If you do not have a couture dry cleaner in your area, consider shipping your fine garments. Eveningwear, bridal gowns, purses, ties, scarves, and leather items ship very well. Call Davis Imperial Cleaners 866.267.4560 or visit our FabricareByMail for additional information.
- In the course of your day, you may unknowingly have multiple exposures to products containing bleach and acids. Fabrics exposed to any of these products could remove color and/or weaken the fabric.
- “I never use bleach.”
Maybe, but you may have used products that contain bleach. Dishwashing detergents use chlorine bleach, benzoyl peroxide, or perborate in a liquid, gel, or powder formulas.
- Acne preparations often contain benzoyl peroxide. Hair colorings use hydrogen peroxide to do their work.
- Sink cleaners, mildew removers, laundry stain removers, and brightening detergents will frequently have one of the three most common bleaches as a component.
- Remember that bleaches contain hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate, sodium percarbonate, and chlorine. Whenever a label says it will whiten, brighten, or disinfect, bleach may be part of the product, and concentrated amounts can cause a color change.
- “Acids never touch my clothes”
It is almost impossible to avoid contact with acid-based substances in your daily life. Gardening products such as herbicides, pesticides, and plant foods enhance your environment but are of an acid nature. Rust removers found in a garage, color remover found in the laundry room, and dry erase board cleaner used at the office are acids, too.
- Soda pop, cola drinks, lemonade, coffee, tea, and vinegar are acidic enough to cause damage to certain dyes, finishes, and fabrics. Flavorings or condiments such as mustard, pickles and horseradish are also in the acidic category.
- Skin care products that soften hands and minimize sun exposure smell great but range from slightly to very acidic.
- When you undress, allow your clothing to breathe for an hour before filing back in your closet or drawers.
- Inspect the clothing, under bright light, for soil on the collar and cuffs, front, and back.
- Do not wear dress shirts and blouses more than once without laundering or drycleaning. Soil becomes much harder to remove when there is more than one layer.
- To maintain balance in your closet, discard or donate an old garment every time you buy a new one.
- When you shop, have a quality standard for all clothing – from bargain basement to designer boutique – and require that all clothing meet these standards
- When you shop for clothing, and before you reach the cash register, hang the garment, spin it around, and spend two minutes doing the 6 Point Quality Check™ for zippers, hooks, hems, seams, snags, and buttons.
- When purchasing a new garment, ask for extra buttons.
- Use plastic or wooden hangers – no wire (except on cotton dress shirts).
- Avoid mysterious yellow and brown spots – point out lemon, apple, and oil splatters and any “invisible” spills and stains.
Choose a drycleaner for quality, service, convenience, and price – in that order.
- Avoid drycleaners that have a sign that says, “Not responsible for zippers, buttons, and trims.”
- Never rub a stain – blot only, with a dry white napkin and then stop!
Identify stains as oily or water-based, and never use water or club soda on an oily stain (water-based stains have a distinct outline).
- Starch can diminish the life of a dress shirt. To make starched shirts last longer, request no starch every few weeks, for two to three weeks.
Avoid purchasing dark-colored garments if you plan on wearing them often outdoors during daylight hours. Color loss will be more apparent in dark-color garments.
- Rain-resistant finishes on garments will eventually wear out. Davis Imperial Cleaners can reapply a water resistant finish to your rain apparel after cleaning. The garment must be cleaned first so that it will absorb the water-resistant finish evenly.
- Many of today’s garments are manufactured with some spandex. Often you will see something that looks like lint but in reality it is spandex fibers that have snapped. When making a purchase, always check the fabric content label for the presence of an elastic fiber. Remember, the higher the percentage of the elastic fiber, the greater the chances of having a snapping and protruding problem.
- Keep sequined garments away from direct steam. Steam causes them to curl up and/or discolor.
- Alcohol that is found in perfume and in drinks discolors sequins. Be sure to apply your perfume before dressing and be careful while you are sipping your favorite drink.
- Don’t make a suit a separate! Wearing one piece of a matched outfit can result in uneven wear and an eventual variation in color between the two items.
- Never store any garment unless it has been drycleaned or laundered first and all stains have been removed. Body oils, perspiration, invisible tannin stains, etc. are magnets for moths and destructive pests.
- The safest stain removal tip is to bring the garment into your drycleaner promptly for proper treatment. Fresh stains are much more likely to be removed safely.