Champion Cleaners Dry Cleaning Blog - With Birmingham Area Happenings

How Do I Clean A Designer Dress That Says "Spot Clean Only?" This is the #1 question we are asked about all the time.

Posted by David Whitehurst

We received a question about a designer dress with a care label that says to "Spot Clean Only."  This is a common problem that consumers encounter, and not just on designer dresses.

Here is the question we received from Elaine:

"I purchased a lovely Adrianna Papell dress that can be neither laundered nor dry Adrianna Papell Dress that allows Spot Clean Only resized 600cleaned. It has a beaded decorative pin at the neck that would crumble I'm sure. Could you suggest what I might use to freshen it. Just needs something for under the arms (I wore it on a warm evening)."

Why Does The Care Label Specify "Spot Clean Only?"

Elaine probably had it right when she identified the beaded decorative pin.  Pins like this often prevent an otherwise dry cleanable dress from being cleaned (other than through Spot Cleaning).  Subjecting the dress to normal dry cleaning agitation can damage the pin and the pin can damage the dress.  Sometimes the pin can be removed and the dress otherwise cleaned with a normal dry cleaning process.

But sometimes, the dyes in the garment may not withstand a normal dry cleaning process with any dry cleaning formula available to the dry cleaning industry.  I'm not sure why any manufacturer would design a garment that cannot be dry cleaned or wet cleaned, but it happens often.

Ric Pevey, our General Manager at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, Alabama and a Certified Garment Care Specialist, gave Elaine our response.  This is an approach DIY Cleaning Solution for Spot Clean Only garments, especially for garments that aren't really dirty...when they just need a little freshening up:

If No Stain Is Present

If the fabric has no apparent stains, manipulate the fibers using a fabric sheet (such as Bounce).DIY Solution for Spot Clean Only Garments  This should help freshen the dress.  This method does not remove stains but it does help absorb the odor and will give you at least another opportunity to wear the dress again.

If Stain Is Present

If the dress has stains, test an inconspicuous area with water and woolite mix to see if the dye in the dress can retain it's color with this mix.  If successful, use the mix on the area needing freshening.  Then let the dress air dry.  Once dry, use the dryer sheet to manipulate the fabric needing freshening.

If you have a garment needing cleaning and the care label allows Spot Clean Only, take it to your professional dry cleaner and discuss the best way to clean the garment.  Many dry cleaners will not clean the garment without a waiver of liability.  But it the garment cannot be worn again without a proper cleaning, you don't have much at risk.


Dry Cleaning Equipment  

On Site Cleaning = Access To Professional Dry Cleaning Management

At Champion Cleaners we do our dry cleaning and laundry on site.  This gives you access to professional dry cleaning management in Vestavia Hills, Hoover and Calera, all with Certified Garment Care Professional credentials.

Topics: dry cleaning, DIY Cleaning Solutions, Spot Clean Only

How to Properly Sort Your Laundry

Posted by Brandi Kane

laundry

Improper sorting is one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to washing clothes.  Taking a few extra minutes to properly sort your laundry into piles can keep your clothes looking their best.

Wash and Fold Service like the one offered at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham Alabama have saved many people the trouble of sorting clothes.  This is always an option for you and since we know your time is priceless, using our Wash and Fold Service can actually save you money!


Most folks know to wash whites and dark colors in separate loads, but there is much more to it.  If you're a laundry beginner, you may find that you end up with dingy whites or the infamous pink underwear from the renegade red sock that found it's way into your white load. 

Reds are a very difficult color to deal with in Laundry.  They are a family of hues that just do not play well with others.  One way to avoid Reds wrecking havoc is to wash all similar hues together in a separate load.  Purples that are more red than blue, maroons, crimsons, pinks, etc can all be washed with reds.  redsock

In my household I use a laundry organizer like what's pictured above just with an attached bar to hang clothes and a top shelf.  I believe I paid around $20 for it at Walmart.  Throughout the week I keep dirty clothes sorted in the three provided bins.  Whites, Household, and Darks.  I place my Reds in the Dark bag and sort into sub-piles before washing.  This method means that your handling each piece more than once which lessens the chance of the "Renegade Red Sock Incident."

Whites

Socks, underwear, undershirts, and anything bleach safe goes into this pile.  I add white blouses, cotton shirts, and even some pants.  Place each garment individually in the washing machine making sure to check care labels, pockets, seams, and stains.

Household

Towels, blankets, robes, and washcloths are placed in this pile. You can re-sort these by color too.  Whether you consider it lazy or clever, I tend to buy all of my household type items in the same colors to cut down on the number of loads I have to run.  I also wash items separately that tend to let off lint.

Darks

Since dark colors often tend to bleed, I am very careful about how I wash my dark colored items.  My first load is blacks and grays.  The logic behind this is that if my blacks bleed a little, my grays will not be harmed.  If anything, it keeps my gray items looking fresher, longer.   You can use this method to create navy/blue, and red/purple/pink loads.  Blue Jeans are notorious for bleeding, and I suggest washing them in their own load.  Denim is also a much stiffer and abrasive fabric than your typical cotton.  Washing them separate will prevent tough denim from wearing holes in more delicate fabrics.

 

As a general rule, be sure to make note of any spots to pre-treat.  This is also a great time to note any repairs or alterations that may need to be done.  Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, Alabama would be happy to handle any tough stains or repairs for you.

 


Interesting Image of folded laundry

Need a Break With Your Weekly Laundry Chores in Birmingham, Alabama?

Get Champion Cleaners Wash Dry & Fold Service.  We'll Even Pickup and Deliver In Our Service Area!  We Charge by The Pound...Not The Piece.

Topics: Birmingham Dry Cleaner, laundry, DIY Cleaning Solutions, laundry services

How to Remove Coffee Stains on Dress Shirts, Upholstery, and Carpet

Posted by Brandi Kane

CoffeeStainOnShirtedit

For as long as life goes on, stains will as well.  It's inevitable that you will find yourself with a stain. 

Coffee stains are some of the most common stains we encounter at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham Alabama.

A coffee stain can be a real pain to deal with.  Stain removal techniques have to address tannin,protein, possibly sugar, animal fat in cream, or non-dairy creamer. Coffee alone is a natural dye.  When combined with other ingredeients like sugar and cream, it is much more complex.

If the stain is fresh and is coffee only, it's fairly easy to remove.  If the stain has dried, has sugar, or has been ironed, it makes removal much more difficult.  On some light fabrics such as wool or cotton, or if the coffee includes sugar or cream, usually multiple attempts are needed. 

Here's our advice on How to Remove Coffee Stains.

 coffeeonshirt

Oh No, I spilled coffee on my shirt!

Customers most frequently inquire about stain removal on their clothing.  From Dress Shirts, to Silk Blouses, coffee loves to find it's way onto your clothes, especially right before you head to work.  If you're running short on time, you may opt to just change into a new shirt.  It's always best to treat a stain immediately for the best possible chance at removal, but we understand that life happens.

So here's what you do:

  1. Determine if the garment is Dry Clean Only or machine wash.  If Dry Cleaning is recommended based on the care label, do not put anything on the stain and take it immediately to your Dry Cleaners. Try to absorb as much of the excess liquid as possible.  Do not rub vigorously...just soak up as much of teh spill as possible.  Skip the rest of the following steps and head to your dry cleaner right away.
  2. If you can wash the garment (i.e., not a "Dry Clean Only" garment), grab a sponge and carefully dap the stain with cool water. You can also soak the entire item in cool water for about 30 minutes
  3. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover. 
  4. If you added any sort of dairy in your coffee like milk or cream you will need to use a laundry detergent that contains enzymes.
  5. Launder the item, and if safe for the fabric, use a chlorine bleach.
 couchcleaning

Oops, I spilled Coffee on the couch!

Coffee stains on Upholstery is an even bigger pain that a simple spot on your shirt.  Since we can't throw the living room sofa or Grandpa's old recliner in a washing machine we have to take a slightly different approach.

  1. Make a solution of one tablespoon liquid dish detergent and two cups of clean, cool water.
  2. Obtain a clean white cloth and sponge a hidden area for colorfastness.
  3. If no color appears on the cloth, move to the coffee stain and sponge.
  4. Blot the area until the coffee stain disappears
  5. With a new white cloth, sponge cold water onto the area to help "rinse" the stain.
  6. Blot with a dry cloth to dry the area.
 cleaningfloor

What if it's in the carpet?

Besides hauling out the heavy machinery, (big ol' carpet shampooers which may do more harm than good) there is a way to treat Java on the floor. 

  1. Blot up as much as you can with a dry cloth, try using a pinching motion like you would to add a pinch of salt to your cooking, as simply applying pressure can push the coffee further down the fibers and possibly into the padding.  You definitely want to avoid getting the padding wet as the stain will wick back up into the fibers, over time making the stain reappear.
  2. Use plain water and a white cloth first and sparingly sponge the stain.  When the fibers start getting more than damp, blot up the moisture with a dry white cloth.  This is to avoid too much liquid on the carpet, again to protect the padding.
  3. If the stain isn't budging, use a solution of one tablespoon liquid dish detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar to two cups of water. 
  4. Just like in step 2, dab a little solution on the stain, then blot dry.  Continue until the stain disappears.
  5. Use plain cold water and dab the area, then blot dry to "rinse" the dish detergent/vinegar solution out of the carpet.

*Note: If the stain is on a rug, you may need a professional stain removal.  Rugs are woven differently and are more delicate than wall to wall carpeting.  Contact us HERE for a price quote on a rug cleaning.

The Good Housekeeping Research Institute also suggests a commercial stain remover known as Wine Away as an effective treatment for coffee stains.  Follow application instructions on the bottle and always test an inconspicuous area first.

Always remember, If the garment is Dry Clean Only, take it to your local Dry Cleaners like Champion Cleaners in Birmingham Alabama where Professionals will get the job done right.

 

spotting

Get Help With All Your Spots From Champion In-Home Services in Birmingham, Alabama

Don't Know What That Spot is or How to Get It Out?

Call 205.824.7737 for assistance or visit any of our three locations.

 

Topics: Birmingham Dry Cleaner, Dress Shirt, Clean Area Rugs in Birmingham Alabama, Carpet Cleaning, stains, carpet cleaning tips, DIY Cleaning Solutions, Spot Clean

How Do I Clean A Designer Dress That Says "Spot Clean Only?"

Posted by David Whitehurst

We recently received a question about a designer dress with a care label that says to "Spot Clean Only."  This is a common problem that consumers encounter, and not just on designer dresses.

Here is the question we received from Elaine:

"I purchased a lovely Adrianna Papell dress that can be neither laundered nor dry Adrianna Papell Dress that allows Spot Clean Only resized 600cleaned. It has a beaded decorative pin at the neck that would crumble I'm sure. Could you suggest what I might use to freshen it. Just needs something for under the arms (I wore it on a warm evening)."

Why Does The Care Label Specify "Spot Clean Only?"

Elaine probably had it right when she identified the beaded decorative pin.  Pins like this often prevent an otherwise dry cleanable dress from being cleaned (other than through Spot Cleaning).  Subjecting the dress to normal dry cleaning agitation can damage the pin and the pin can damage the dress.  Sometimes the pin can be removed and the dress otherwise cleaned with a normal dry cleaning process.

But sometimes, the dyes in the garment may not withstand a normal dry cleaning process with any dry cleaning formula available to the dry cleaning industry.  I'm not sure why any manufacturer would design a garment that cannot be dry cleaned or wet cleaned, but it happens often.

Ric Pevey, our General Manager at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, Alabama and a Certified Garment Care Specialist, gave Elaine our response.  This is an approach DIY Cleaning Solution for Spot Clean Only garments, especially for garments that aren't really dirty...when they just need a little freshening up:

If No Stain Is Present

If the fabric has no apparent stains, manipulate the fibers using a fabric sheet (such as Bounce).DIY Solution for Spot Clean Only Garments  This should help freshen the dress.  This method does not remove stains but it does help absorb the odor and will give you at least another opportunity to wear the dress again.

If Stain Is Present

If the dress has stains, test an inconspicuous area with water and woolite mix to see if the dye in the dress can retain it's color with this mix.  If successful, use the mix on the area needing freshening.  Then let the dress air dry.  Once dry, use the dryer sheet to manipulate the fabric needing freshening.

If you have a garment needing cleaning and the care label allows Spot Clean Only, take it to your professional dry cleaner and discuss the best way to clean the garment.  Many dry cleaners will not clean the garment without a waiver of liability.  But it the garment cannot be worn again without a proper cleaning, you don't have much at risk.


Dry Cleaning Equipment  

On Site Cleaning = Access To Professional Dry Cleaning Management

At Champion Cleaners we do our dry cleaning and laundry on site.  This gives you access to professional dry cleaning management in Vestavia Hills, Hoover and Calera, all with Certified Garment Care Professional credentials.

Topics: dry cleaning, DIY Cleaning Solutions, Spot Clean Only

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