Posts Tagged ‘Cleaning’

Cleaning up after the holiday?

Image via Flickr   Removing stains in clothing before the stains are set by heat in the dryer is suggested by most experts.  There are many web sites with directions on how to remove stains but I prefer the web sites that aren’t associated with one specific brand of cleaner.The University of Illinois Extension’s Stain Removal has very good step-by-step instructions for treating and removing almost every stain.   Image via Flickr     Confused about the difference and origins of soaps and detergents?  The American Cleaning Institute has an easy to read and understand web site that starts with the history of soaps and detergents to chemistry, safety, products and ingredients as well as soaps and detergent manufacturing.   I highly recommend this informative web site!     Image via Flickr         Now that the stains are pre-treated and the detergent selected it is time for the washing machine to take over.  In the Evolution of the Washing Machine the author suggests that sailors put their dirty clothes in a bag and drug the bag behind the ship.  The water was forced through the bag and the clothes and when the clothes were clean, although smelling like algae, they were hung out to dry.   Thankfully we don’t have to pound our clothes on rocks or rub them with sand to clean them, we just put them in the washer and dryer.  How fortunate we all are!

Cleaning – Poly/cotton/acrylic fabric

Hello, Can you advise me on how to clean a pillow cover that is 80% Polyester, 16% Cotton and 4% Acrylic? Thank you! By: Mary Carpenter

Ravaged Threads: Acts of Terror by Fiber Fiends

Note: this column was to have been about fabrics with dual personalities. However, a reference book I need for this subject hasn’t arrived so that topic will be  postponed until April. Meanwhile, spend some quality assurance time with your vintage stash. Are you guilty of fabric abuse? Is the Fabric Rights Protective League breathing down your back? Are you ready to take the pledge? Then this column is for you.percale with muslin and organdy with dimity which has a crisp finish. Establish agreed-upon definitions of vintage or old — to some sellers, 1980 is vintage — and how seller determined estimated age. Fortunately there are many knowledgeable sellers who will be glad to help you. Be leery of sellers who do not answer your email  or who have no idea what they are selling. For some unbelievable examples, see my favorite auction goofies at the end of this column. If you have old plush, it is washable as long as it is cotton backed. Test if you’re not sure. Plush and fleeces other than cotton could be washed successfully but test to be sure. Remove lining before washing. Usually linings will be heavy sateen or twill and washable. Expect to lose some color. Reams have been written about proper care and storage of fabrics. Tiptoeing around all the expert’s verbiage so as not to duplicate their advice, here are a few more pearls of wisdom learned the hard way. May my personal mishaps help you avoid some painful pitfalls. Where to find vintage fabrics The most prevalent sources today seem to be on the Internet, both auction and individual web sites. The selections are staggering and a windfall for fabric lovers. Besides poking around  estate sales and antique stores, don’t overlook second-hand and thrift stores; flea markets; church bazaars; doll shows; and classifieds in fabric, vintage clothes and doll magazines. Purchasing  Collectors of anything tend tend to make three mistakes when buying– impulse, gotta have and the worst offender, nostalgia. I plead guilty to all three. Actually there is a fourth: disregarding common sense. It’s never around when we need it most. To avoid post-purchase suicidal hysteria scenes in front of family and friends, your first step in buying is to inspect, inspect, inspect. Hold fabric or garment up to light to check for pinholes and thin or worn spots; lay out to check for rust spots [foxing], browning at fold lines, fading or uneven color, severe creases and tears. The sheerer the fabric or denser the pile,…
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Still Cleaning with Toxic Chemicals?

Research is now showing that many fragrance products are toxic.  For those of us who have allergies this is not news!  Buttoned Up: Still cleaning with toxic chemicals? – Taunton Daily Gazette news.google.com Buttoned Up: Still cleaning with toxic chemicals?Taunton Daily GazetteThe National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. Some of these may be capable of causin …

How Do I Remove Makeup and Coffee From a Linen Slipcover?

I have linen slipcovered sofas that have a few subtle spots on them. Coffee and possibly makeup? Not sure exactly what the spots are. I plan to have the slipcovers dry cleaned periodically but would like a recommendation on how to periodically spot clean these slipcovers. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Sean

Spot Cleaning

Can you tell me what ‘spot clean only’ means? I have curtains (shear with print) and don’t want to wreck them, Thank You for your time. p.s. cool site! An asset to the internet! Informative and reliable. Fred: I’m not sure either. Visit www.carbona.com for all your cleaning questions. They have the experts you need. Happy Decorating and Good Luck, Andy

Cleaning Properly

My Mother-in-Law gave me a faux fur coat for Christmas last year, and I had it stored at a friend’s house. I very rarely wear the coat–only on special occasions. I recently found out that she wore it and soiled it while it was in her possession. Obviously I am very livid about this, but am more concerned about getting it cleaned. I am not in the position to take it someplace, and I am not comfortable taking it to someone I don’t know. Especially after I left it in the care of someone I do know and it got soiled. PLEASE help me!! Thank You sooooo much, Syndee Syndee: Follow the care instructions or suffer the consequences. If you really love this coat, make some deal with your friend, to share in the expense of having it cleaned properly. Cheap is Expensive. Good Luck, Andy