Fran's Cleaning Tips
Fran has over 20 years of experience in the Dry-cleaning industry. During that time she has developed some tricks that help out with home laundry. She is happy to pass these on to you:
02/17/16: To remove lipstick from dark fabrics, grab a piece of white bread and remove the crust. You don't have to forgo a sandwich; you can use the heel of the loaf -- no one likes that piece anyway. Wad up the soft center and rub it gently on the stain until it picks up all of the lipstick. Sweep away any leftover crumbs with a clean, soft-bristled brush.
01/25/17: Whether it's on work shirts or Sunday best, staining around the collar can be easily vanquished with a touch of something you're pretty much guaranteed to have in the house -- shampoo. Just pour a little shampoo -- any shampoo will do, even the inexpensive, generic kind -- onto the collar, rub the collar together to work the shampoo in well, and rinse thoroughly. Then launder as usual.
11/29/16: Grass stains on kids clothes can be removed with an old toothbrush and plain white toothpaste; just make sure you use a paste variety and not a gel. Squeeze a small amount of the toothpaste onto the stain, then dip the toothbrush in clean water and use it to scrub away the stain. Repeat this process as needed to treat all of the stain(s). Rinse the area and launder the clothing as usual. Now you can steal home plate without a second thought.
10/28/16: Before you put those summer clothes into storage make sure you get them cleaned. Especially any item that has a stain. Stains will attract insects and they will cause damage to the clothing.
10/07/16: Mistakes we can make Mistake 1: Rubbing stains furiously; This can make the stain worse and possibly wear away the fabric. Instead, be gentle and methodical. Treat the stain as soon as you can; the less time that elapses, the more success you'll have. And always use a white cloth so that colors can't transfer. Dab, rather than rub, working from the outside in to keep the stain contained.
08/26/16: Just because a clothing label reads "dry-clean" doesn't mean it can't be hand washed, especially if it's made of natural fibers. Wool, silk, rayon, and linen can usually tolerate hand washing. When hand washing, immerse delicates into a solution of lukewarm water and mild detergent, and swish for three to five minutes. Drain soapy water, rinse items until water runs clear, and then gently squeeze out excess water, but do not wring. Reshape clothing flat on a towel, and roll up, pressing out excess water. Repeat with a dry towel, and then hang on a drying rack or another towel, flipping once.
08/16/16: One of the most important laundry tip is the regular cleaning of lint filters and dryers. This will keep your dryer operating safely and effectively. Here's How: 1.Dryer Exterior; Dryer exteriors are made from a baked on enamel, and require only a mild dish soap and cleaning cloth to keep clean. Wipe down the dryer making sure to avoid abrasive cleaners. 2.Lint Filter: Clean the lint filter each time you use the dryer to provide the best results for drying your clothes and keep your home safe. Built up dryer lint can provide an environment for fire. It's a good idea to occasionally vacuum around the lint filter area to get loose particles. 3.Dryer Interior: Wiped down the interior of the dryer drum with a mild dish soap and water. In addition It's a good idea to seasonally check the buildup of lint in the hoses and around the dryer.
07/22/16: Want to dry your shoes and don’t have a shoe drying rack for your Dryer? Tie your shoe laces together so the knot is at the end. Then close the laces in the door with the knot on the outside and shoes hanging in the dryer....no more loud noises.
07/15/16: Wash in Cold Water: When you switch from using hot or warm water to using cold water, you reduce the energy needed for heating the water. ENERGY STAR estimates that almost 90 percent of the energy used when washing clothes goes to heating water.
07/08/16: How do you clean linen? 1) Linen is washable, but it can shrink if it has not been pre-shrunk by the manufacturer. Check the label before laundering. 2)If machine washing linens, use warm water and a short, gentle cycle. 3)Separate colors before washing. Many linens may bleed. 4) Dry linen garments on a clothing rack or hanger. 5)Have all pieces of your linen outfits drycleaned at the same time to avoid color discrepancies. 6)When pressing, use a high temperature with a spray mist or damp cloth. 7)If your linens have been treated with a wrinkle-resistant finish, use a lower setting on your iron.
07/01/16: Removing paint from children's clothes:- Most paints children end up playing with are water soluble and will easily come out in regular washing. The acrylics and other types of paints are better left to professional cleaners who can get the garments clean and flush out all of the stain removal chemicals used to achieve that end. Any residual stain removal chemicals can harm your child’s skin, so it’s best to leave that kind of work to the pros - us.
05/13/16: How to look after your formal wear: 1) Treat stains immediately to avoid damage. 2) Blot stains; do not rub. Rubbing a spot on sheer fabrics, such as organza, can cause the yarns to slip, tear the fabric, or chafe the fabric surface. 3) Shake excess spills from velvets and allow to dry. Do not blot or apply any pressure in damp areas. 4) Satin (especially smooth satin), taffeta, and metallic fabrics are especially susceptible to abrasion damage and snagging. Take care when wearing jewelry or around rough edges. 6) Perfume, deodorant, hair spray, and makeup can be damaging to these fabrics. Apply before you dress and make sure everything is completely dry. 7) After the party, remember to have your formal wear cleaned before storage.
05/06/16: How do you take your coffee? Coffee stains,often contain milk or other additives, making the stain more difficult to remove since the coffee is a tannin stain and the milk leaves a protein- based stain. Protein stains require more work to get out. So coffee stains will have to be treated individually, even though the actual staining occurred at the same time. If you drop off an item with a coffee stain, please inform the customer service representative how you take your coffee.
04/29/16: Linen cleaning: Linen is washable, but it can shrink if it has not been pre-shrunk by the manufacturer. Check the label before laundering.If machine washing linens, use warm water and a short, gentle cycle. Separate colors before washing. Many linens may bleed. Dry linen garments on a clothing rack or hanger.Have all pieces of your linen outfits drycleaned at the same time to avoid color discrepancies. When pressing, use a high temperature with a spray mist or damp cloth. If your linens have been treated with a wrinkle-resistant finish, use a lower setting on your iron.
04/08/16: Salad Oil Stain? This is the worst because it can yellow with age if not removed. Cover a big spill at the table with absorbent powder. Shake off after supper. Apply a mild detergent mixed with household ammonia, ASAP. Wait 5-10 minutes and wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
03/25/16: Forgot that you left wet laundry in the machine and it now smells moldy? Pour a few cups of white distilled vinegar in the machine and wash the clothes in hot water. Then run a normal cycle with detergent.
03/17/16: Red Wine stain? Lightly touch with an absorbent towel to draw up the liquid or put paper towels under the spill. Blotting can spread the stain. After dinner: rinse in cool water; treat with a mild detergent and white vinegar. remember to dab the stain, never rub as this could cause damage to fibres and color loss.
03/11/16: When cleaning towels don't use fabric softener. This makes the towels soft but also much less absorbent when it comes to doing the drying they are designed for. Skip the softener and throw a couple of tennis balls in instead. You will be amazed at the results the next time you hit the pool!
02/26/16: One of the most important laundry tip is the regular cleaning of lint filters and dryers. This will keep your dryer operating safely and effectively. Here's How: 1.Dryer Exterior; Dryer exteriors are made from a baked on enamel, and require only a mild dish soap and cleaning cloth to keep clean. Wipe down the dryer making sure to avoid abrasive cleaners. 2.Lint Filter: Clean the lint filter each time you use the dryer to provide the best results for drying your clothes and keep your home safe. Built up dryer lint can provide an environment for fire. It's a good idea to occasionally vacuum around the lint filter area to get loose particles. 3.Dryer Interior: Wiped down the interior of the dryer drum with a mild dish soap and water. In addition It's a good idea to seasonally check the buildup of lint in the hoses and around the dryer.
02/19/16: Correctly Preparing your clothes for the washer can help cleaning and prevent damage. Remove pins or buckles, zip zippers, close snaps and hooks, and secure Velcro to prevent snags and abrasion. But don't button buttons, which can stress the buttons and buttonholes. Empty pockets and turn them inside out, unfurl socks, and unroll cuffs. Tie sashes and strings to prevent tangling. Place delicate items like lingerie and fine knitwear in zippered mesh bags. Turn delicate items, sweaters, and cotton T-shirts inside out to prevent pilling.
01/29/16: If you've just washed a stained garment, examine the results before tossing it in the dryer. If the stain didn't come out, the dryer's heat will set it and make it even harder to deal with. Your chances of success are greater if you remove the stain while it is damp.
01/22/16: Body oils rub onto shirt collars and attract dirt, leaving them grimy and worse for wear. Reverse the damage by grabbing your shampoo and a clean paintbrush and paint a line over the soiled collar before washing.
01/15/16: Include a few tennis balls in each dryer cycle. The tennis balls not only cut drying time by 25% - 50%, but also fluff the clothes to a delicate softness; towels will be especially fluffy.
01/08/16: When you use laundry detergent, add 1/2 cup baking soda to top-loading machines or 1/4 cup for front-loading machines along with the usual amount of detergent to give the detergent a boost. The baking soda actually helps the detergent work better and acts as a deodorizer for some of those rougher-smelling clothes -- like a teenager's sports gear and socks.
12/10/15: When washing whites a good option would be to use peroxide in the water instead of harsh bleach. This will still make the whites whiter without the risk. Peroxide can also be used in dark loads to brighten them.
10/30/15: Line Drying Secrets: Always line dry colors and bright fabrics in partial shade or in the afternoon in order to prevent fading. Let whites take in a bit of sun in the early morning—it might surprise you how strong a natural bleaching effect solar rays can have on your garments. Dirty clotheslines make for spotty clothing. Once a month, use a rag to go over your outdoor clotheslines with warm water and pine oil cleaner.
09/18/15: Naturally remove stains from whites with lemon juice and sunshine! I used to do this with table cloths; they come out clean and smelling fresh.
07/24/15: Dry Sweaters with Pantyhose: Don't pin sweaters directly to your drying line; instead, run an old pair of panty hose through one sleeve, through the neck, and out the other sleeve, and clothes pin the hose to the line.
06/19/15: Running a dryer bumps up your electric bill, so if you're thrifty, you'll want to air-dry any items you can. But don't think you need a sunny day or even a clothesline or store-bought drying rack. Just suspend an old (clean) refrigerator shelf or oven rack from a beam in your garage or basement and hook wet clothes on coat hangers onto.
06/05/15: Get Rid of Yellow Stains: With time, white cotton and linen tend to turn yellow — hardly the fresh, crisp look for which cotton is famous. Let sodium come to the rescue by mixing ¼ cup salt and ¼ cup baking soda with 1 gallon water in a large cooking pot. Add the yellowed items and boil for 1 hour.
05/29/15: Smelly clothes? Dye smell from new clothes, sweaty teenagers or worse! Add a 1/2 cup baking soda to 1 gallon water and presoak any smelly washable items for at least 2hrs. Then machine wash them as normal but add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
05/22/15: Here are some tips for keeping black and dark colored clothes looking like new: For Blacks, add 2 cups of brewed coffee or tea to the rinse cycle. For dark colors like navy blue or plum, add 1 cup table salt to the rinse cycle. For denim to slow the fade, soak jeans in salt water or 50/50 solution of white vinegar before first wash. Turn the jeans inside out before putting them in the machine and turn the temperature setting to cold.
05/15/15: Are your white clothes Dull? For whiter clothes try adding a half-cup of hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle to whiten clothes.
05/01/15: Tomato Sauce Stains: Remove as much of the excess as possible with a spoon or the back of a butter knife. Run cold water through the back of the stain as quickly as possible, this will force the stain back through the fabric. Rub the area lightly with detergent and repeat running water through back of stain. Repeat until stain gone then wash as normal.
04/23/15: Folding Suits for that business trip. You're going to love this one! A friend was visiting Canali in Beverley Hills yesterday and it just so happened that the head Tailor was over from Italy and showed him how to perfectly fold and pack a suit for travel. It works so well that I had to share it. http://goo.gl/kkdkv8
04/10/15: Mud Stains: Unlike other stains you want the mud to dry before you treat it. Do not try and wipe it off. When dried first shake and vacuum the area to remove clumps. Then rub liquid detergent into the stain and let soak for 15 minutes. Lightly rub the stain between your fingers every 3-5 minutes to help loosen. If traces of mud still remain then apply some stain remover, let stand for 5 minutes and wash as normal.
04/03/15: Egg Stain. Egg can be tricky, it is a protein based stain so even after treatment it may re-appear. It must be removed before drying because heat will also cause it to turn yellow and become difficult to remove. Use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much residue as possible. Apply water with a sponge to the front and back to help loosen. If the stain is dried rub some laundry detergent to help dissolve. Soak for 15-30 minutes. Wash as per label. Before drying check area for any sign of stain remaining. Repeat steps if necessary.
02/27/15: Tea Stains? Hopefully you did not burn yourself! Don't worry the stain will come out wit a little sugar. Mix up a concoction of heavily sugared water by stirring the water as you add sugar to it. Keep adding sugar until it no longer dissolves (warm water makes it easier for sugar to dissolve). To remove tea stains from clothing or table linens, submerge the stained area for several minutes in a small container of the heavily sugared water, then launder as usual.
02/13/15: We all hate folding laundry so what if you could fold those T shirts in less than 5 seconds? Watch this you tube video which shows the method in detail and start saving time. It really works. http://youtu.be/BAxhr0j0thY
02/06/15: Ink Stain: If you've ever stuck a ballpoint pen in your pocket for safe keeping, you probably learned there's nothing safe about ink exploding all over your clothes. Don't give up on those jeans yet --they may not be beyond repair. If you get ink on a piece of clothing, try soaking the ink mark with rubbing alcohol and wiping it away with a clean, white cloth. Another old-fashioned remedy for removing ink marks from clothes and other fabrics is to wet a sponge with milk and rub the ink stain until it disappears.
01/23/15: Grease Stains: you probably know how impossible grease stains can be. Not only do they refuse to come out, they also never seem to blend into the fabric, so you can't just pretend they're not there. Don't worry; if this sounds like your life, try this trick: Sprinkle the spot with cornstarch. Allow the cornstarch to soak up the grease for a few minutes, and then brush it away. The grease spot will lift right out, and you can get back to trying to convince everyone to use napkins instead of their clothes.
01/09/15: Whether it's on work shirts or Sunday best, staining around the collar can be easily vanquished with a touch of something you're pretty much guaranteed to have in the house -- shampoo. Just pour a little shampoo -- any shampoo will do, even the inexpensive, generic kind -- onto the collar, rub the collar together to work the shampoo in well, and rinse thoroughly. Then launder as usual.
11/21/14: Wash sheets once a week- Sheets should be washed often to remove a buildup of debris, dust, sweat and other icky things. Use hot water (130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit) and a hot dryer cycle to kill all germs.
10/24/14: Mistakes we can make! Mistake 3:Washing shirts all buttoned up- seems like a good idea, but it can stress buttons and buttonholes and lead to premature poppage. Take the time to unbutton before tossing clothes in the washer (or the hamper).
10/17/14: Mistakes we can make Mistake 2:Overusing bleach- Think twice before you reach for the bleach: You actually don't need it to get rid of protein stains, like blood, sweat and tears. (Okay, maybe tears are not a big laundry issue.) One natural option: Toss stained socks, tees and undies into a big pot of water with a few lemon slices and bring to a boil for a few minutes.