Fabric Care Tips
We want to have the most success possible when you bring your clothing to us for cleaning, and there are a lot of things you should know so that we can best care for your favourite wearables!
WHAT IS DRYCLEANING?
Drycleaning is simply the use of fluids to remove soil and stains from fabric. It is called "drycleaning" because the fluids contain little or no water and do not penetrate the fibers as water does. Even though we do some washing of shirts and jeans, our service is mostly called upon for those garments that cannot be safely washed or when stains occur that cannot be safely removed with water. We maintain formal training and retraining of managers and drycleaners in New Oriental. This enables us to remain at the forefront of our industry. Compared to the competition, our service is number one and will remain that way as long as we consistently strive for and provide high quality cleaning and finishing.
Some stains (classified as “tannin” stains) are clear and remain invisible until the garment has hung in your closet for awhile after wearing or until the garment is cleaned. The heat of the cleaning and pressing process turns the stain yellow or brown… just like an apple cut open turns brown when exposed to air. Tannin stains can occur when soda, tea, coffee, liquor or fruit juices are spilt on garments. These types of stains become more difficult to remove with age. You can help by bringing your garments to us as soon as a mishap occurs and pointing out the problem areas. We will do our best to remove the ‘spots’ and restoring your garment to like new condition.
COLOR LOSS FROM HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
Sometimes, a mysterious color loss appears as a white, cream, pink or yellowish fading in the neckline, shoulder or back areas of a garment. This type of color loss may have developed when some of the chemicals from hair care products came into contact with the fabric during use. Many hair care products contain oxidizing agents that may eventually cause color loss of fabrics. The discoloration usually does not occur at first, but shows up after a period of time. This is accelerated by the heat of cleaning and finishing; thus it may not become noticeable until later. The only sure means of prevention is to protect the clothing from contact with these chemicals. Many of these products are colorless when the solution contacts the fabric, so the staining may not be visible. However, if the cleaner is informed that there may be some hair care solutions on the fabric, the area can be identified upon close examination. Then the staining can be treated prior to cleaning; thus possibly reducing the color damage.
COLOR LOSS IN WASHING
The problem originates when washable items are washed according to proper procedures and they fade out to lighter shade and/or the dye becomes streaked. This dye fading is due to dyes that dissolve in the wash water and consequently bleed out during washing. This color loss can be objectionable after one washing or it can progress over time and only become noticeable after several washings. The launderer can neither predict nor prevent dye fading on items that were improperly manufactured with dyes that are not colorfast. Only the manufacturer can prevent dye problems by properly setting the colors during dyeing.
COLOR LOSS ON SHIRT COLLARS
The cause of the color loss may be that the garment has come into contact with a solution containing either alcohol or bleach. For example, perfumes, colognes, after-shave lotions, rubbing alcohol, and hair preparations. Sometimes the damage is not immediately visible and it may only appear after the garment has been cleaned. Only in some cases, if the garment is cleaned immediately after wear, can the dye damage be prevented. Unfortunately, once the dye damage has occurred, there is no method to reverse this type of color loss.
DON'T WAIT TO CLEAN YOUR TABLE LINENS
After your guests have gone home, and your table linens are rolled up and put on the side, don’t wait too long before you bring your tablecloths, placemats and napkins in to us for professional cleaning. Prolonged delays will make stain removal more difficult, if not impossible. The longer you wait the more likely the stain will oxidize and become permanent. Keep your heirloom table linens looking their best for future generations with prompt, regular professional care.
MILDEW – WHAT CAUSES IT?
Mildew stains can appear on garments in small splatter-like spots. Mildew is a fungus that can grow on moist garments when there is little or no air circulation. Usually, mildew develops over a prolonged period of time during conditions of high relative humidity or a warm, damp environment. To prevent mildew, wet garments should be hung to dry and should be drycleaned or washed as soon as possible…never left in a pile! It is important to store clean, dry clothes in an area that is cool with low relative humidity and good air circulation.
Sometimes yellow or tan stains, streaks, or rings appear after drycleaning, laundering, or just after a period of time. These stains may develop on the fabric after contact with perspiration and/or body oils. All perspiration contains fats and oils, as well as other substances, which are exuded from the glands onto the skin and have a tendency to “oxidize” over time and turn fabrics yellow or brown. The heat necessary in drying or pressing as part of the normal fabric care process can accelerate this oxidation; thus, these stains may become much more noticeable after cleaning. Garments should be washed or drycleaned regularly to remove perspiration stains while fresh. This will minimize the chances of permanent staining.
DO NOT STORE YOUR GARMENTS IN THE PLASTIC BAG
Please remove garments from bag before placing in your closet. Garments left in poly bags in humid environments may be subject to color loss and mildew.
UNDERARM DAMAGE TO SHIRTS
Mysterious weak areas and tears show up in the areas of the underarm in shirt made of cellulose, such as cotton, rayon, ramie, linen, polyester. The fabric is weakened and torn near the underarms. Sometimes, staining is noted in the area, such as a ring, streak, or a light area. Antiperspirants that remain on the fabric are the cause of this type of damage. Antiperspirants are acid-based chemicals and may also contain aluminum chlorides. These chemicals can form chemical degradation on fabrics containing cellulose fibers and holes can result. Many times the damage is not noted until the agitation of the cleaning processes separates and tears the already weakened fibers. Only the shirt owner can prevent this type of damage by having the shirt washed as soon after contact with the antiperspirant as possible. The cleaner has no way of determining that a fabric is already in a weakened state. Therefore this damage cannot be prevented during normal cleaning procedures. Only the consumer who owns the shirt can be responsible, since the damage originated from circumstances of use.
PROBLEMS WITH LINEN
Li.nen, known for its crisp, smooth finish, is a popular spring and summer fabric. Unfortunately, with that crisp finish comes with the tendency to wrinkle easily, and manufacturers have responded by producing linen with blends of other fabrics to help make linens more wrinkle resistant. These blends offer two advantages over pure linen-they are able to retain crispness and they are softer and more comfortable to wear. As a general rule, blends are less expensive than pure linen. Linen blends often require special attention, based on the individual fabrics used in the blend. Be sure to check the care label carefully and care for accordingly. Linen blended with polyester may respond very well to a washing procedure, while linen blended with silk usually requires drycleaning. One of the problems with linen is the removal of stains. For example, many napkins and tablecloths contain a high percentage of polyester, and these fibers attach themselves to oils and greases. If these stains are left on the fabric for some time before the article is washed, a yellow stain may appear. In some cases, we can rejuvenate a linen article. Drycleaning can be very effective in removing these stains. However, if the stain is left on the fabric for a long time, or subjected to previous washing and drying cycles, the stain may be permanent
With the arrival of hot, sunny days comes the need for sunscreens and suntan lotions. While most of us use these products to help protect our skin from the sun, others use them to enhance their skin tone. Unfortunately, the components found in most sunscreens and suntan lotions can stain fabrics. Most of these skin care products contain oils to make them moisture-resistant. They may also contain dyes to give them a certain color or to allow the skin to darken. Initially, stains caused by these products may be invisible, but age and/or the heating of cleaning may cause them to become more apparent. To prevent these stains, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer. The general rule of thumb is to allow the sunscreen to dry before it contacts a garment. Also wash your hands before handling garments to avoid possible staining. However, it is important to note that despite these precautions, some residue may still transfer to clothing through perspiration. The oil component of these lotions may not be easily removed in normal washing or drycleaning procedures, but appropriate stain removal techniques can be successful. For this reason, please let us know if sunscreens or tanning lotions may have contacted any of your garments. This additional information will make us both happier when you come to pick up your order!