Colors fade over time, and every load of laundry brings you just a little bit closer to dull, faded clothing. However, there are measures you can take to slow down this process. If you would like to protect the rich colors of your favorite garments, take the following tips into consideration while you do your laundry.
- Wash Like Colors Together: When a garment is being laundered with other garments of similar colors, they’re not getting as much intermingling with foreign pigmentation that will compromise their own color.
- Use Cold Water: Heat agitates molecules and speeds up chemical reactions. In laundry, this means that colors fade faster.
- Don’t Overfill the Washing Machine: Though filling your machine to capacity may seem like a good way to save time, you’re not doing your clothes any favors. Your laundry needs room for the detergent to be evenly distributed.
- Wash Your Clothes Inside-Out: Your washing and drying machines can be fairly harsh on your fabrics, which contributes to the breakdown of pigmentation. You can prevent this by turning the clothes inside-out when you wash and dry them.
- Put Vinegar in Your Washing Machine: A cup of distilled white vinegar serves to protect your colors, while simultaneously softening your clothes and removing odors. For best results, try adding the vinegar during the machine’s final rinse cycle.
- Don’t Over-Dry: Leaving your clothes in the dryer for too long is particularly bad for your colored clothing. Ideally, your clothes should still be slightly damp when you remove them from the machine.
If your clothing is particularly delicate, you may require the help of a professional to protect its colors. Consult our Bellevue dry cleaners for more.
Permanent ink can be a frustrating stain to get out of your fabrics. However, there are several tactics to try before you should consider throwing the stained garment out. If the garment in question is dry clean only, bring it in to our Bellevue dry cleaners. Otherwise, consider the following options:
- If the fabric can be safely bleached, try this first.
- Rubbing alcohol represents a good option for many fabrics. If you’re not sure whether or not the fabric would react poorly to alcohol, start by testing it out on a hidden seam. After this, place the fabric over a clean towel and blot the stained area with the rubbing alcohol. The ink should start leaking out into the towel. Continue until you can’t get any more out, then rinse the affected area of all alcohol.
- If the rubbing alcohol does not work, consider fingernail polish remover. Again, start by testing it on an unseen part of the fabric. You can then apply the remover in the same way you would the rubbing alcohol.
- As a last resort, you might consider acetone. This is not an option for acetate or rayon fabrics, and you should still test it on an unseen part of the fabric before using it.
Mud can be hard to avoid, and can sometimes result in tough stains that don’t come out easily in the normal wash. However, by taking the right steps, it should be a simple enough matter to beat even the toughest mud stains. If your clothing is safe for normal washing machines, try the following tips:
- Though it may be counterintuitive, allow the mud to dry before attempting anything. If you try to wipe it away while it is still wet, you may end up smearing it across your garment.
- Once the mud is dried, remove as much of it as you can by shaking it, beating it, or even vacuuming the area.
- Rub a liquid detergent onto the stained area and let it soak for about fifteen minutes. Try rubbing the stain between your fingers every few minutes to loosen up the mud.
- Wash the garment normally with a liquid laundry detergent.
- If any trace of the stain remains, try repeating step three and four. Consider the use of a stain remover stick, gel, or spray for some extra cleaning power.
Should the stained garment be labeled as “dry clean only”, don’t take any extra risks with it. Bring it to our Bellevue dry cleaners, and we’ll set it right for you.
Occasionally, you may find yourself with a sticker on your laundry that is difficult to remove. This can be particularly true if it manages to escape your notice until you run the garment through the dryer. Fortunately, there are ways to easily get rid of the sticker and any paste residue that may remain.
First, don’t try to pull of the sticker too forcefully. You may damage your garment’s fibers. Try rubbing the stained area with an ice cube to freeze and loosen up the paste. If this does not work, try switching to either a cooking oil or baby oil, then rinsing the area thoroughly. If the garment is not too delicate, try warming up undiluted white vinegar in the microwave and letting the stain soak in it for a few minutes. After this, rub liquid detergent into the stain and wash it as normal. It may take several tries to fully remove the residue of the sticker.
If your garment is dry clean only, bring it to our Bellevue dry cleaning with the stained area clearly marked.
Wrinkles are a common problem for your laundry. It can be an easy enough matter to iron out most of these wrinkles enough, of course, but you can also save yourself a lot of time by avoiding some of the most common mistakes that cause your clothing to wrinkle up. Our Bellevue dry cleaners offers the following advice to minimize the need for ironing:
- Fill Your Dryer Only Halfway: You aren’t doing yourself any favors by stuffing your dryer to maximum capacity. Clothing needs to be able to move about as it dries, or else it comes out with severe wrinkles.
- Shake and Smooth: As you take your clothing out of the dryer, don’t just drop it into the basket. Shake it out and smooth out any seams and pleats. This will reduce the occurrence of wrinkles, and ease the process of ironing out wrinkles if any remain.
- Don’t Over-Dry: Clothing becomes difficult to iron when they are too dry. Try to take your laundry out of the dryer when it is still slightly damp.
- Avoid Hard Water: Washing with hard water causes garments to become stiff and wrinkly.
If you stain your clothing with tomato or tomato sauce, you’ll want to act quickly in order to prevent the stain from setting. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll maximize your chance of removing the stain fully:
- Start by scraping away as much of the stain as you can, using a spuun or a knife. Take care not to spread the tomato around and expand the stain.
- Allow cold water to run through the back of the fabric, forcing the stain back the way it came.
- Apply a liquid detergent to the stain. Rub it in with a gentle, circular motion starting around the edge of the stain and moving inward.
- If the fabric can safely benefit from bleach, use a sponge to apply a mild bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar. Rinse thoroughly.
- Hold the fabric up to the light to see if the stain is still visible. If it is, repeat the previous two steps until the stain no longer appears.
- Wash the garment as normal. Check the stain again before drying. If you still see a stain, the dryer will only allow the stain to set more.
- If the stain remains, apply detergent and soak the fabric in as warm a water as is advisable for the garment.
If you spill tomato on a garment that cannot be washed via conventional means, bring it down to our Bellevue dry cleaners.
If you spill gasoline on your clothing, you may find yourself stuck with the smell for a long while. Fortunately, there are ways to treat gas stains that will rid you of any odors.
- Blot the stained area with a paper towel to remove any excess gas. Do not rub the area, as this will serve to spread the oil around all the more.
- Sprinkle the stain with baking soda to absorb the gasoline. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then brush the baking soda off of the garment. You may wish to repeat this process two or three times, depending on the severity of the stain.
- Apply liquid dish soap to the stain, then let it sit for about five minutes. After this, soak the garment in water for about thirty minutes. Use as high a temperature of water that is safe for the fabric in question.
- Smell the area. If you discern any remaining gasoline odor, try soaking it in a mixture of vinegar and water for about thirty minutes.
- Try washing the garment with an all-purpose cleaner derived from oranges.
If the garment cannot be machine washed, bring it to our Bellevue dry cleaners to get the job done.
When you do a load of laundry, it’s important to get it out of the machine soon after the cycle is finished. Let it sit too long, and you may find yourself with a pile of clothing that smells of mildew. If this happens, there are measures you can take to restore your fabrics before they are fully claimed by mold.
It can be difficult to wash out a mildew smell, but it can be done. Firstly, try to set your machine on the hottest water setting advisable for the clothing in question. If your machine has a setting for sanitizing, use it. Use a capful of detergent. Avoid using fabric softener, as this will only serve to mask the smell if it remains. If the clothing can take bleach, this is a good time for it. Afterward, try drying the clothing on a clothesline with direct sunlight. If this is not an option, dry them immediately in your dryer with the highest advisable setting.
In the future, you can work to avoid mildew by keeping up with your laundry. Don’t let it sit at the bottom of the hamper for too long, and don’t let it linger in the washing machine after the load is complete. Regular use of bleach or color-safe bleach discourages the growth of microbes. Should you have any more serious problems, you can bring your more fragile articles to our dry cleaners in Bellevue.
Nobody likes grass stains. These are stains caused largely by the chlorophyll that gives the grass its green color. Chlorophyll is similar to the pigmentations in many dyes, which puts it among the toughest classification of stains to remove. If you get a grass stain on something labeled as “dry clean only”, you can count on our Bellevue dry cleaners to remove it for you. If the garment is machine washable, though, try the following:
- Pretreat the stained area with a liquid laundry detergent. You might try sponging it with white vinegar instead.
- Rinse the garment, then soak it for an hour in warm water with all-fabric bleach.
- Rinse again. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process.
- If nothing is working, you might consider sponging the area with hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol. Simply blot it onto the stain, dab it away with a clean, white towel, rinse, and wash normally. This is not advisable for many garments, though, since the chemicals are likely to remove any coloration that the clothing is supposed to have.
- Until you are confident that the stain is gone, let the garment air-dry. The dryer may allow the stain to set even more than it already has.
Did you put the wrong item in the dryer and let it shrink? Don’t give up hope yet! Though this may seem like a disaster, there are ways to restore your garment to its original size. Try the following methods, and bring your sensitive clothes to our Bellevue dry cleaning service to avoid any problems in the future.
- Wet the garment in cold water and try to wear it, then see if you can stretch it back to an appropriate size.
- Fill a bucket or your bathtub with warm water and add enough hair conditioner to make the water resemble a bubble bath. Soak the garment in the solution for at least five minutes.
- Afterward, lay the garment on a dry towel and gently try to stretch the fibers back to their original shape.
- Mix a solution of vinegar and water, and soak the garment. Lay out a plush towel to spread the garment out upon. Roll up the garment in the towel and then lay it flat again. As the garment dries, gently stretch out the fabric until it is restored.