Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

10 Tips for Washing Clothes at the Laundromat

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Living without a washer and dryer sucks big time, let me tell you.  First, it stinks to have to “sit with your laundry.”  I have distracted myself with a couple of trips to the Dollar Store in between loads, but honestly, the appeal is wearing off quickly.   Also, for the record, I am pretty sure all of the slasher movies ever made from here on out should be made at Laundromats.

“Surviving” the laundromat is pretty much the only way to describe it.  Am I being dramatic?  Maybe a little, I totally get that there ARE normal people that go to the laundromat–they do not, however, seem to be going to my personal laundromat.

So, if you ever find yourself regularly using the laundromat, here’s a couple of tips to make it less painful:

  1. Sort BEFORE you go.  The key is to get in and get out.  Remember what I said about the slasher movies?  Well, you don’t want to be an unwilling character in one, so the key is speed.
  2. Strive for simplicity.  For the same reasons above, do all stain pre-treatments before you go.  Also, this just means you have to carry less in with you.  Lugging in the laundry is bad enough.  Keep things simple by only bringing laundry, detergent {detergent tabs are even better} and dryer sheets.  Bare bones, my friends, bare bones.
  3. Choose an off-ish hour.  Now, I am not suggesting going in at 1 a.m.  In fact, I would caution you against that, but being able to go in and do every load at one time {using 3-4 washers} is a real time saver.  Middle of the day seems to be best…evenings after work or Saturday and Sundays are busy, though, so getting enough washers and dryers to do all the work at once is trickier.
  4. Take the time to wipe out the washers and dryers before you use them.  Listen, I am not really a germaphobe, but you can’t be sure that that washer didn’t get used to wash a puke-stained comforter from the Frat house down the street.  It’s a basic precaution.
  5. Smell the machine before you use it.  Yep, you read that right.  Gross?  Yes, it really is, but you aren’t smelling it for that reason.  Smell to see if someone used bleach in it the cycle before you.  If so, avoid putting your darks in it.  Sometimes, people go buck nuts with the bleach, and boom, next think you know, your jeans are acid washed.  Not good.
  6. Bring a large black garbage bag.  The weather here in Washington can turn on you fast, and quite frankly, after stuffing $5.00 worth of quarters into a dryer, the last thing you want to do is take your freshly dried laundry out into the rain.  Plus, even if it is sunny, you can always wear the garbage bag–trust me, you will fit right in.
  7. Get rolls of quarters and have them at the ready.  Sure, you can usually get quarters at the change machine in the laundromat, but it’s just easier to have them ready to go.  Remember, we want in and out.  Fast, fast, fast.
  8. Remember to check all of the settings.  Whoever did laundry before you might have turned the settings to a small load on scorching hot.  Check all of the dials, each and every time you wash to make sure.
  9. I know it is hard to just sit there while your laundry is washing, but remember leave your churning clothes unattended at your own risk.  If you don’t get back in time, someone may just take the liberty of piling your clothes on top of one of the tables in order to use the machine.  No one needs their unmentionables on display for all of the laundromat patrons to see.
  10. Remember to bring a basket to bring all of your laundry home in.  The bags you hauled them in will work, but you may have a wrinkled mess by the time you get home.  I like to stash a basket in the back of the car, and then, when it is time, quickly fold the laundry and drape the hang-up clothing over the top


The Original Homemade Laundry Detergent

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

This is the ORIGINAL homemade laundry detergent recipe, all others only imitate what you’ll find here.

Note: No time or desire to make your own laundry detergent? You can always purchase a great natural brand like this.

When we first set out to make our own homemade laundry detergent we thought it would be difficult and time consuming – turns out it’s neither. Making your own laundry powder is fast, easy, and inexpensive.

We opt for powder over liquid in respect for opportunity cost, storage, and simplicity (the liquid variety takes longer to make, requires more storage space, and is more complicated). And now, years after making our first batch, thousands of others have tried it and loved the results.

This powdered detergent recipe requires just three simple ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make:

  • find the written instructions below
  • visit page two for pictorial instructions
  • visit page three for the cost savings breakdown, notes on HE washers, septic tanks, and borax safety.

Note: This soap/detergent works in all HE front-load washers; read more below.

Detergent Recipe

Each batch yields approximately 32 ounces (between 32-64 loads based on how many Tbsp used per load).


  • 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) shaved bar soap (a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Saop, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha)
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda


Thoroughly stir together for several minutes and enjoy the results! You can take this a step further and blend the mixture in a blender or food processor to create a powder that will dissolve easily even in cold water. (Just be sure to let the dust settle before removing the lid of your blender or food processor so you don’t inhale the fine particles.) Store in a sealed container with a small scoop.

To Use

Use 1 Tbsp per small load (or 2-3 Tbsp for large or heavily soiled loads).

Homeade Laundry Ingredients

I purchased all these ingredients at my local grocery store:

  • 1 – 55 ounce box of Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda = $3.99
  • 1 – 76 ounce box of 20 Mule Team® Borax = $4.99
  • 1 – 10 pack of 4.5 ounce bars of Ivory® Bar Soap

Note on ingredients: use whatever ingredients you are comfortable with. Many people cannot afford natural soaps, while others make their own. Brands of commonly used bar soaps include Kirk’s Original Coco Castile®, Pure & Natural®, Fels-Naptha®, and/or ZOTE®. Both ZOTE® and Fels-Naptha® are made for and sold as a “laundry bar.” If you’re looking for a pure, natural solution you’ll need to go with a handcrafted soap so you can be sure of its ingredients.

All items can be found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores. If you can’t find washing soda, you can learn to make your own here!

Continue reading pages 2 and 3 for the pictorial instructions, cost savings breakdown, notes on HE washers, septic tanks, and borax safety.


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5 benefits of dry cleaning?

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

While some people may consider professional dry cleaning a luxury, if you’re someone who understands the benefits of dry cleaning, you know it’s a necessity. Dry cleaning offers benefits that you can’t get from cleaning clothing at home. Although not every piece of clothing requires dry cleaning, taking care of those items that do is essential for maintaining their beauty.

When you pay attention to care labels and clothing details, you know which pieces best dry cleaned. If you’re unable to tell from the label, trust a professional cleaner; you can’t go wrong. The benefits of dry cleaning go beyond just removing stains and freshening garments, and once you know them all, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start using dry cleaning services sooner.

1. Dry cleaning is less abrasive

Today’s dry cleaning innovations use greener products and are less abrasive on your clothing than traditional at-home washing and drying. Professional dry cleaners only use water when during a wet cleaning process, and not all clothing is a good candidate. Your delicate items that need special care are always dealt with according to dry cleaning best practices. Couple that with our many, many years of experience cleaning clothing for Westchester’s finest, and you know your clothing is in good hands.

2. Professional dry cleaners pay close attention to detail

When you do laundry at home, you also have the tasks of folding, ironing, and sometimes storing items in garment bags. However, when you take your clothing to a professional, they can handle all those details for you so all you have to do after picking up your items is hang them in the closet. Or better yet… Take advantage of our premier pickup and delivery dry cleaning service, and you never have to worry about shlepping your clothing to the dry cleaners.

3. Dry cleaning is super-convenient

In today’s busy world, being able to drop off your dirty clothes and then pick them up clean, folded, ironed, and starched in protectives bags is a great convenience. With dry cleaning pickup and delivery, it’s even more convenient and a huge time saver.

4. Dry cleaning is perfect for stain and odor removal

Sometimes home remedies can remove stains, but they may do so at the cost of damaging garments. It’s a better idea to trust your items to a professional dry cleaner who can expertly remove tough stains and clinging odors. If you’re considering throwing away certain items because you can’t remove stains and odors, try taking them to a dry cleaner instead to see if they’re salvageable.

5. Dry cleaners can handle large-item cleaning

Dry cleaners clean larger items than clothing including drapes, area rugs, slipcovers, and oversized comforters that can be an impossible chore for you to handle at home.

Utilizing dry cleaning services for your clothing saves you time and work and is one less thing to worry about in your busy schedule.



How to Fix A Washer That Shakes and Moves

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
A broken washer means disaster in most homes which is why we’ve created this repair guide to help you fix a washer that shakes and moves. While a washing machine repair may seem discouraging, millions of our customers have told us it’s actually pretty easy! To get you started, we’ve made a list of the most common parts that cause a washer to shake and move. You can use this list to help you figure out what part needs to be replaced and then you can enter your model number into the search to locate the part schematics and more.

Shock Absorber

All front-load washing machines have shock absorbers that are used to dampen the tub movement in the spin cycle. The shock absorbers or struts are attached to the base frame and to the outer tub and you will need to remove the front panel or the rear panel to access them. When shock absorbers weaken or become damaged, unbalanced loads will cause the washer to shake or move and the machine will often make a loud banging sound during the spin cycle. If the symptom is not corrected, it can lead to damage of other components. Inspect the shocks for signs of broken attachments, leaked fluids or a weakened dampening action and replace both shocks if worn. Remove power from the appliance before attempting this repair.

Suspension Spring & Tub Spring

The suspension springs on your washing machine are used to either suspend the tub assembly from the cabinet or to stabilize the tub assembly to the washer base. They also absorb the vibration of the wash basket while the machine is in the spin cycle. Occasionally these springs will become damaged, stretched or detached which can cause excessive noise and vibration from your washer during the spin cycle. You will need to remove the top or front panel of the washing machine to gain access to the suspension springs. Inspect for stretching or damage and ensure that they are securely attached at both ends. Use caution when replacing the springs as they are under tension and always wear the proper protective clothing. We recommend that you replace all of the suspension springs if any are determined to be defective.

Snubber Ring & Damper Pad & Tub Wear Pads

Some washing machines have a snubber ring that helps dampen vibration from your washing machine during the spin cycle. It is normally located at the bottom of the machine, and provides a cushion between the base and the tub support assembly. The snubber ring/tub wear pads are often made of hard plastic, although some damper pads are made of lubricated felt. Both styles will wear with normal use and eventually can allow the tub to move excessively. In extreme conditions they can wear to the point where the metal base contacts the metal tub support and the washer will shake uncontrollably. Remove the front panel to inspect the snubber and look for signs of a white dust on the plastic style, or dislodged or dry pads on the felt style. You will need to remove the tub springs first before you can replace the snubber or damper. The suspension springs are under tension so you should always wear protective clothing when attempting this repair.

Tub Dampening Strap

Some models of top-load washers use tub dampening straps to cushion the movement of the tub during the spin cycle. There are four straps attached to the top of the tub and to each corner of the cabinet. These straps are made of rubber and can fail with normal use. When the straps become stretched or damaged, the tub may contact the cabinet during the spin cycle, causing the washer to shake or move and creating a loud banging sound. Continuous large loads and excessive use will create more strain and cause premature failure of the straps. You will need to raise the top of the washing machine to access the straps and determine whether they are causing the noise you are hearing. If any of the straps appear visually damaged or worn, they will need to be replaced. We recommend replacing all four straps at the same time.

Leveling Leg

The leveling legs on a washing machine are used to support the washer and are adjustable so that the machine can be leveled. Some models use four threaded legs and others use two threaded legs and two self leveling rear legs. If your washer is shaking or vibrating during the spin cycle you should first verify that the machine is level and sitting firmly on all four legs. Verify that any of the threaded legs have the locking nuts tightened securely and that the rubber feet are in good condition. If any of the leveling legs or rubber feet are missing or damaged, they need to be replaced.

By Steve Ash

How to Get the Washing Machine to Stop Rocking

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

If your washing machine is rocking or even moving across the floor as if it were alive, fear not — a slight adjustment to the legs can take care of that. Even the most expensive washing machine models rock if the machine is on an uneven surface or if the feet are not level. Over time, a once-level machine may need readjustment. Unbalanced laundry loads, such as wet, heavy jeans bunched up on one side of the machine during a spin cycle, rock the machine and may cause it to become unstable. This can also happen if the machine is moved from a level spot, if the floor beneath the machine is uneven.

  1. Hold a level on the top of the washing machine near the front, noting the bubble position in the level. Lift the left or right side of the level until the bubble is in the center (level) position. If the right side of the level is raised to equal a level position, the right front foot of the washing machine is the one to raise. If the left side of the level is lifted to get a level reading, the left leg is the one to raise.
  2. Place a scrap wood block in front of the washing machine, nearer the side that needs to be raised. Press one end of the pry bar down under the front of the machine, using the wood block as a fulcrum to lift the machine slightly on the side which needs adjusting.
  3. Turn the foot pad counterclockwise to lengthen it to level length. If it will not turn, loosen the lock nut at the top of the foot with a wrench first, then adjust the foot. Tighten the lock nut with a wrench.
  4. Check the machine again with a level placed on top of the unit near the front, readjusting the feet as necessary.
  5. Reposition the level so it lies from front to back on the top of the washing machine, noting the bubble position. If the machine is not level from front to back, lift the back of the machine slightly by pushing it forward with your hand. Tap the back feet gently with your shoe or the pry bar. Set the machine back down and recheck the level. If it is still not level, adjust both front feet as in Steps 2 and 3 until the machine is level from side to side and front to back.

Things You Will Need

  • Level
  • Scrap wood block
  • Pry bar
  • Wrench


  • Position the level resting on its skinny long side to get accurate readings.
  • When loading a top-loading washing machine, position the laundry evenly within the machine. This will help prevent uneven loads and rocking.
  • If the front legs are already quite long on the washing machine, lower them instead of lengthening them to achieve a level machine.


  • If you find it awkward to hold up the washing machine with one hand and turn the foot screw with another, enlist the help of a friend. You could also prop up a corner of the machine with a scrap of wood, but remember not to leave it intact after leveling.

How to Keep Whites White

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Having a hard time keeping your whites white? Below are a few methods that should help you maintain your white clothes and help keep them looking their best.

Method #1 Keeping White Fabrics Separated

  1. Separate your white clothes and fabrics from your dark clothes before doing the laundry. Washing white and dark clothes, towels, sheets, etc., together can result in color transfer. Even if the color doesn’t change, white items can appear dingier after coming into contact with darker colors. White clothes or fabrics also tend to pick up dark fluff and look unclean.
  2. Separate by fabric type. Fabric types need to be taken into consideration when creating separate washing piles. Even whites need to be further separated as follows:
  • Acetates and acrylics wash together
  • Linen and cotton wash together
  • Wool washes alone
  • Delicates should be washed by hand.

Method #2 Pre-Treating Stains

  1. Pre-treat any stains. Pre-treating stains on clothes or other fabric items before you wash them will ensure that the stain is removed and isn’t “set” by the washing process. There are several pre-treating agents on the market, including enzyme detergents and oxygen bleach. But if you want to remove stains using a common household item, reach for dish washing liquid or clear shampoo and apply it directly to the stain.
    • You can even use a bit of your normal liquid laundry detergent. Scrub the stain away using a new toothbrush.
    • Always read the garment label before adding any stain remover.
  2. Soak the stained garments in hot water after pre-treatment. This can help loosen up the components of the stain.
  3. If, after a wash, the stain remains, go through the pre-treatment process againbefore drying your clothes. Drying clothes with stains on them can make stains next-to-impossible to remove.

Method #3 Washing White Clothes

  1. Wash white clothes in hot water. Provided the fabric can handle hot water, this is the best setting for white clothes.
  2. Use enough soap or detergent to wash dirt away.
  3. Add a whitener or brightener to brighten the whites. You can use proprietary whiteners, or use your own from these suggestions: lemon juice; white, distilled vinegar; or, 3-percent hydrogen peroxide.
    • Pouring 1/2 cup of lemon juice or 1 cup of white, distilled vinegar or 3-percent hydrogen peroxide into your washing machine with your clothes can keep your white clothes white.
    • If you use lemon juice, dry your clothes under sunlight, as ultraviolet rays can also help brighten whites.
  4. Consider adding a laundry booster to your wash. Adding washing soda, oxygen bleach or borax will increase the efficacy of your detergent. These boosters work best with soft water.
  5. Use a color remover on your white clothes if they discolor, become dull or look dingy.
    • Color removers can remove the unwanted colors from whites. If you don’t want to purchase a color remover, mix boiling water with oxygen bleach and let the clothes soak in the mixture for the same effect.
    • If colors bleed during the wash, do not allow the garments or items to dry. Add color removers to the wash and do the whole wash again. Once the wash has dried, the color transfer tends to set.

Method #3 Rinsing Whites

  1. Make sure that clothes are completely rinsed. This removes all traces of dirt or grimy water that can dull the look of whites.
  2. Select an appropriate load size. The clothes or other items should be able to move freely around in the water.
    • Clean your washing machine regularly to ensure that your white clothes are actually being cleaned and that any remaining dirt in the washing machine isn’t being transferred onto them.
  3. Add bleach to your clothes as a last resort. Bleach will keep clothes white and can act as a disinfectant. Make sure to use the appropriate amount of bleach as recommended on the packaging or else you may damage your clothes.
    • Be aware that bleach has been linked to numerous health problems.

Method #5 Dealing with Yellowed White Fabric

  1. Wash and rinse the fabric or garment as usual.
  2. Rinse the fabric in a little vinegar and water.
  3. Hang in the bright sunlight to dry.



4 ways to get the cleanest clothes possible

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Even the best detergent can’t make up for bad laundry practices. Throw a red shirt in with your sheets and you’re now in the pink. Mix and match fabric types and you’ll end up with lint on your best blouse. Here are four rules to live by from the laundry pros at Consumer Reports plus some laundry pair picks from our washer and dryer tests.

Get sorted

Start by separating lights and darks, paying particular attention to red items, which are notorious bleeders. It’s also a good idea to sort items by fabric type. Keep towels, sweatshirts, and other items that shed lint away from sheets and other smooth fabrics that tend to pill. Close zippers; they can snag easily on other items. Wash jeans inside out to avoid streaky lines. If you have a high-efficiency (HE) top-loader that lacks a special cycle for waterproof and water-resistant items, avoid washing those items because they can cause loads to become unbalanced, leading to excessive shaking.

Pretreat stains

The sooner you treat the stain, the better. Pretreatment products such as Shout and Resolve are often helpful with many stains. Most liquid detergent can also be applied directly to stains. Powders can often be mixed with water to form a paste that can be applied to stains; refer to package for directions. You can also soak affected items in a solution of detergent and water. Many washing machines have a soak cycle that makes it easy, or you can fill the tub manually if you have a top loader. To treat underarm stains, our tests have found soaking shirts in OxiClean to be effective.

Load it properly

An overstuffed washer won’t get clothes clean. Conventional top-loaders hold about 6 to 16 pounds of laundry; high-­efficiency top- and front-loaders hold 20 pounds or more. See the manual or manufacturer site for your model’s recommendations. For best results in a top loader, start filling the tub with water, add detergent, then add clothes. The best time to manually add bleach is a few minutes after the agitator starts running. Bleach is best reserved for white cottons, including sheets and undershirts; note that it can degrade the elastic on underwear and swimsuits.

Don’t overdose

In addition to being a waste of money, using too much detergent can leave residue in your clothes, and it’s not great for your washing machine, either. Confusing detergent caps with difficult-to-read fill lines make it easy to overdo it. Purex is on to a good thing with its Power­Shot Super Concentrated detergent, which automatically dispenses the right amount of detergent. It was an also-ran in our performance tests, but we hope other brands adopt similar auto-dosing bottles. In the meantime, use a permanent marker to highlight the fill line you use most regularly.



You’re Buying Your Sheets Wrong. We’re Here To Help.

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Consider this the Martha Stewart equivalent of finding out Santa isn’t real, or that SPF 100 really won’t work. You ready for this?

A higher thread count doesn’t mean you’re buying a better quality sheet. Yes, higher does NOT mean better.

Believe us, we were as shocked as you. We wanted to get to the bottom of this misconception — obviously — so we spoke with Nancy Koltes, a luxury linens designer, and Shannon Maher, Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology Home Product Development Program who also has a background in bedding, to try to figure out this bed linen lie.

How did the misconception come about?

Thread count, which Maher defines as “the number of yarn per square inch” seems to have started as a pretty genius marketing idea.

“[It’s] an invention of the American market,” said Koltes. More specifically, thread count isn’t so much a “lie” as it is a falsified way to determine to the quality of sheets, especially when it’s used as the only way to determine quality. Just as we attach labels like “low-fat” and “organic” to food, linen retailers extended this to luxury linens in the mid-1990s, Koltes explains. By the early 2000s, the “thread count lie” had reached new levels when the first 1,000-plus thread count linens were introduced. “It’s just all promotional. Thread count doesn’t represent quality,” Koltes says. Nevertheless, it seems to have stuck with customers.

Well, what should we do instead?

Instead of relying on thread count alone when trying to purchase an excellent sheet, consider these other factors as well:

Fiber: According to Maher, the majority of fibers that make up sheets are cotton and you should look for a longer fiber. “Longer fiber is ideal, because when you spin the yarn, it gives it strength, which means less pilling.” Egyptian cotton, which Koltes says is basically the standard of excellence, has a long fiber. Other good high-quality fiber options to look for are pima and supima, organic cotton, cotton-poplin, cotton-polyester and even bamboo.

Weave: According to Real Simple, the weave of your sheet “affects the way a sheet feels, the way it looks, its longevity, and its price.” There are many different kinds of weaves, but “a percale weave is the most prominent,” says Maher. “It’s a balanced weave, sort of like a basket weave, and it is a crisper or cooler feel.” Maher said another common choice is a sateen weave, which “has a bit of a softer feel to it, and a little warmer than percale.”

Numbers aren’t everything: Even if a sheet has a high thread count, that can be inflated by manipulating the sheet-making process with a low-quality construction or thread. As a general rule, buy above a 200-thread count sheet, and know that anything over an 800-thread count really doesn’t matter.

To help protect consumers from inflated thread counts, the Federal Trade Commission does its best to crack down on deceptive techniques and technology designed to increase thread count, as well as deceptive advertising and marketing.

Location, location, location: Not all thread is created equal. In an interview with New York Magazine, Amanda Mettler, a textile buyer for Gracious Home, said “I can guarantee a 200 thread count from Italy is better quality than a 1,000 thread count from Pakistan.” France and Italy are regarded as some of the best sheet-makers in the business, even though the fiber they use isn’t always from those particular countries (such as Egyptian cotton).

Price matters: Maher is quick to remind people that “price and quality definitely go together. Bed Bath & Beyond or a Target 700-thread-count sheet is not really going to be the best quality.”

Finish is everything: Most sheets are “finished” with chemical processes to keep them from wrinkling or shrinking (look for words like “shrinkage control”). Though it’s nice not to have wrinkly sheets, try looking for organic cotton which should be chemical-free.

So just remember…

Buying the right sheets is a balancing act. For additional linen help, consult our handy-dandy buying guide to finding the best sheets for your budget or use this little trick to turn your bed into a luxurious hotel room.


By: Carly Ledbetter


How to Store Your Clothes Properly

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Are you tired of seeing your clothes piled up on the bedroom chair? Do you wonder why your garments require ironing every time you put them on? Better yet, have you ever stretched out your favorite sweater by hanging it? If so, it’s high time for you to learn how to fold and hang your clothes — the right way.

Properly storing your threads will keep them looking their best and extend their “shelf life,” and allow you to maximize your closet space.

The first step is determining which items in your wardrobe should be hung and which should be folded.

what you should fold

  • Fold your sweaters (especially the heavier ones), T-shirts and underwear.
  • Knitwear: If hung, knitted garments will likely stretch eventually.
  • Garments made from stretchy fabrics such as spandex and nylon, to make sure they maintain their original shape.
  • Relatively fine or delicate articles of clothing.

folding tips

Everyone has their own secret technique when it comes to folding shirts, but in the end, it doesn’t matter what a T-shirt or sweater looks like once it’s sitting in a drawer.

The technique you use to fold your garments isn’t so important. Some prefer to fold their sweaters in half before folding the sleeves in; others prefer to start by folding the sleeves and then folding the sweater in half. Either way doesn’t make much of a difference.

What is important is that your garment must be flat and wrinkle-free before you start folding it, and the fabric must remain nicely spread out throughout the folding process. By doing so, you’ll keep your garments free of creases and will therefore get to skip out on ironing before wearing them.

Where shape is concerned, some prefer to fold their garments in a perfect square while others prefer a rectangular shape. Just keep in mind that a rectangular fold will help you maximize deeper storage spaces while a square fold is more practical for spaces with minimal depth.

extra folding tips

Mix it up. Once in a while, try to alternate the way you fold your garments in order to prevent creases from setting in permanently.

Make smaller piles. Avoid piling up too many sweaters or T-shirts in order to reduce the strain on those at the bottom of the pile. The extra weight might emphasize the creases in the garments and might even cause them to set in permanently.

Use tissue. If you’re a perfectionist, then you might want to place a thin layer of white tissue between folds to help prevent creasing. Because this technique is rather time-consuming and costly, it’s usually limited to retail stores.

Stay organized. Always try to keep your closet neatly organized. Separate your Ts from your long-sleeve knits, and your heavyweight sweaters from your lighter ones. It will make choosing what to wear for that hot date that much easier.

What you must hang, and how to do it…

what you should hang

  • Pants, with the exception of pajamas, track pants and sweat pants.
  • Suits and items like button-down shirts, blazers and overcoats.

hanging tips

When hanging your garments, make sure that they are evenly spaced out and easily accessible. They should drape naturally rather than be bunched up together; this will prevent them from creasing and allow the air to circulate for proper ventilation.

When hanging a shirt, make sure it’s completely buttoned up in order to keep the collar in place and prevent the neckline from creasing, and in some cases, getting distorted. (In the instance where a shirt doesn’t button up all the way to the top, you can always use a safety pin to hold the collar in place.)

For heavier shirts, consider crossing the sleeves around and over the hanger to prevent the sleeves from stretching.

Always remember to remove your belt from your slacks before hanging them; this will prevent the waistline from distorting.

Next, fold your slacks along the pants’ natural creases, so that both legs of the slacks lie flat against one another (parallel); make sure any pleats are folded down. You can use a hanger with clamps or slide the slacks onto a trouser rod or regular hanger.

Note: Hangers with clamps or grip clips will make your life easier and help you maximize your closet space. If you use regular hangers instead, you might want to consider those with non-slip rubber to prevent the slacks from slipping off.

choosing the best hangers

Plastic tubular hangers are known to offer minimal support and should be used for lighter items such as button-down shirts.

Padded, shaped and traditional suit hangers are best for jackets, suits, thin shirts (i.e. linen), and tailored garments. The bigger the hanger, the more support your clothes receive, thereby helping to prevent unsightly creases.

Wardrobe valets are also great for hanging suits, but they are rather expensive and will take up a lot of wardrobe space.

Try to avoid wire hangers altogether — you know, those you get from your local dry cleaner. When used to hang pants, they can create a crease right at your pants’ thigh level. They can also rust and may eventually stain your clothing.

You can also find various types of practical hangers made especially for hanging belts and ties.

more storing tips…

Empty your pockets. Remember to remove everything from your pockets, as some bulky items could distort a garment’s shape.

Air out your garments. Before hanging or folding your clothes, make sure they are completely dry to prevent mildew from building up. As well, if you were hanging out in a smoky club, it’s a good idea to let your clothes air out before storing them away (no one wants a smoke-infested closet).

Do it right away. You should also get into the habit of hanging and folding your clothes as soon as you get undressed, unless they need to be aired out (see above).

Don’t hesitate to ask. Finally, if you don’t know how to store a new garment, simply ask the salesperson for advice.


written by : Chris Rovny

Does thread count really matter in sheets?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

There are a few factors that should be thought of when deciding to purchase a good pair of sheets. Does Thread count really mater? Learn more below!

“Thread count is an overrated issue when considering sheets. Quality of cotton is far more important. More cotton does not mean a better sheet. When considering new sheets, always look for the type of cotton used. Egyptian cotton or U.S.-grown Pima cotton yield a smoother, softer end result — and the contact with the body is an important point to consider. If you buy a good-quality Italian linen, such as Frette, 200-300 count is a very good guide to follow. They will last the distance and you will sleep in luxury. So quality over quantity; it’s a good principle to follow for everything.”
— Phillip Silver (

“My idea of a perfect night’s sleep is sleeping on freshly pressed 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton sateen sheets. A good set of these sheets may be more expensive, but they will last a long time. You can buy a lower thread count, but it truly is about having the Egyptian cotton in the sateen finish. And the ultimate luxury is having your sheets laundered. To me, it feels like I’m going to a very exquisite hotel when I slip into my freshly laundered bed. I typically purchase my sheets at Williams-Sonoma Home. I’m a white-sheet-and-duvet-cover type of gal, but they offer some beautiful colors and styles. They also have great service and know their product.”
— Amy Weaver (

“While the idea of thread count plays a part in luxury bedding, there are many other factors that can dictate the comfort of a sheet. For starters, the ply. There can be a 1,200 thread count — but is it a 600 double-ply or a 1,200 single-ply? The durability will be in the double-ply count, as the single will be thinner and more delicate. Next, consider the cotton itself, which is very important. Egyptian cotton is breathable and absorbent. Pima cotton is more durable and will hold up to family use. And then there’s the weave. For a very silky feel, a percale weave is best. If you are looking for a fluffy and warm feel, as on a flannel sheet, choose a twill weave. For the most luxurious feel, go with a sateen weave, which places most of its threads on its surface, allowing for a light and silky feel. On most of my projects, I use custom bedding from C&C Milano. For those who don’t mind ironing, they have 100 percent linen sheets; but they also have wonderful cotton and cotton linen blends for easier care.”
— Geoffrey de Sousa (

Stain Removal

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Whether it’s a new or well-worn, treasured garment, everyone hates to have clothing stains. We understand, and will always use our best efforts to make clothing stains go away. Sometimes it’s pretty easy – sometimes not. Either way, we have the professional expertise to do the job.

Successful removal of clothing stains depends largely on the nature of the stain, the type of fabric, and the colorfastness of the dye. Some fabrics and dyes simply will not withstand the use of cleaning or stain removal agents. Some stains, like ink and dried paint for example, can be impossible to remove. “Miracle” stain removers – guaranteed to remove clothing stains – are pretty much just that. It would be a miracle if they did the job.

Help Us Help You with Clothing Stains

Bring a stained garment to us as soon as possible to prevent the stains from setting. Show us the location of clothing stains (see “invisible stains”) and tell us any removal procedures you may have attempted before turning to us for help.

Never put a garment away for the season without it being cleaned. Every year we see garments that weren’t dirty “when I put it away for summer,” only to be taken out in the fall full of little holes and stains. The smallest unseen food crumb or spillage invites insect damage.

Don’t iron stained or soiled clothes trying to get just one more wearing out of them. Ironing dirty clothes will set stains and drive soil deeper into the fabric. Not good.

If You Must Do Something Before We Get Your Stains

Never rub clothing stains. Blot the stained area. This may help remove some of the staining substance while avoiding damage to the fabric.

“But It Wasn’t Stained When I Brought It In”

Some clothing stains caused by beverages, food, or oily substances may not be visible after they dry. But later, with exposure to heat or simply the passage of time, a yellow or brownish stain will appear. This is the end result of oxidation or caramelization of sugar or sweetening agents. It is the same process that makes a peeled apple turn brown after exposure to air. If we don’t know about it we can’t fix it, so let us know if you spilled something.

White Turns Yellow

This problem arises when white and pastel fabrics begin to yellow. When this happens, a little investigative work typically reveals a manufacturer defect in the optical or fluorescent whitening agent applied to the fabric. When this agent begins to break down as the result of exposure to light, atmospheric gases, or drycleaning or washing solutions, yellowing results. The problem cannot be corrected and can only be prevented by the manufacturer using stable brighteners.

Consumer-Related Sources Of Discoloration Stains

Perspiration – Body oils, antiperspirants, or perspiration left long enough on silk and wool garments will weaken the fabric. Frequently cleaning clothes heavily soiled with perspiration can lessen the likelihood of a problem.

Acids – Perspiration, deodorant, antiperspirant, even “all natural organic” products, fruit juice, or hair preparations can cause a change or loss of color along with weakening the fabric.

Alcohol – Perfume, cologne, skin freshener, aftershave, hair spray, medicine, and adult beverages can cause permanent stains or color loss.

Bleach – Home bleach, hair care products, disinfectant, skin lotion, acne preparations, whitening toothpaste, medicine, cleaning products, office supplies, and other such items can cause a change or loss of color or fabric weakening depending on the dye and fabric.

Alkaline Substances – Cleaning products, toothpaste, soap, detergents, shampoo, and skin preparations can also cause problems that may not appear until the stained area has aged or the item is exposed to heat during a cleaning process.

Salt – Perspiration, beverages and food, medicine, even wintry street gutter splash or snow removal slush can result in a change in color on wool fabrics.

Hair Preparations – Permanent wave solution or other hair care products can result in a change in color. This type of staining is easily recognized by the location in the neckline, shoulder, or back of a garment.


source: Clothing Stains

4 mistakes you’re making with laundry

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Laundry is (hopefully) a part of your regular routine — but you might be doing it incorrectly.

Here we break laundry down to reveal how you really should be loading the washer, tackling those stains and managing the dreaded chore.

Overloading the machine

When you have a ton of laundry to do, it’s tempting to just open up the washer door and stuff everything in. But fight that urge.

“You don’t want to stuff it,” Mayhew said. “You need the agitation so the water can take the dirt away and clean the clothes.” Keep in mind as your sort and load that large front-loading machines can fit 18 pounds while top-loading machines can hold roughly 15 pounds.

Adding too much detergent

It might seem like the right thing to do to is fill that detergent cup up and pour it in the washer — but it’s not.

“Don’t use too much,” Mayhew said. “It leaves a residue and is not good for your clothing.”

Skipping stains

Mayhew suggests reaching for stain remover as soon as that spaghetti sauce hits your child’s shirt, and letting the remover sit for 20 minutes before tossing the clothing into the washer.

“Just wet it if anything,” she suggests if you don’t have a stain-removing product nearby.

Mayhew also warns against using bleach, as it can often yellow stains. Instead, she recommends trying these DIY options:

  • To tackle sweat stains: Mix two crushed Aspirin with warm water, then let clothing sit in the mixture overnight while the salicylic acid takes care of the stains.
  • To make whites whiter: Soak whites in lemon water, then lay them out in the sun.

Welcoming wrinkles

Wrinkles are everyone’s enemy, but we’re letting them happen by leaving our clothes in the dryer after they have been tried, so make sure to take dry clothing out immediately.

If you’re too late and need to break out the iron, Mayhew has a few tips for getting it done quickly and properly. For pants, turn them inside out to avoid getting the sheen look irons often leave behind. And get ironing done quickly by lining your ironing board in aluminum foil.

Click here to learn more.

Source of article,

What are the Benefits of Dry Cleaning?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

When the label says Dry Clean Only, people generally follow suit, but may not understand why it’s so important! Dry cleaning will keep your clothes looking their best. Here are some the benefits of dry cleaning over machine/hand washing:

1. Less abrasive than machine washing and the solvent used is easy on your clothes. Learn more about dry cleaning San Jose Laundry Care Express.

2. No water is used, so it won’t run colors and shrink fabric. Learn more about dry cleaning San Jose Laundry Care Express.

3. Saves you time – no more ironing, folding, and hanging stages. Learn more about dry cleaning San Jose Laundry Care Express.

4. Ensures that particular fabrics like wool are handled appropriately to avoid damage. Learn more about dry cleaning San Jose Laundry Care Express.

5. Eliminates certain types of odors, even if the smell has been present for a long time. Learn more about dry cleaning San Jose Laundry Care Express.

6. Removes stains. Learn more about dry cleaning San Jose Laundry Care Express.

Another time-saving benefit of Laundry Care Express: order by 10 AM, and your dry-cleaned and laundered (“fluff and fold”) items will be delivered the next business day.

Does It Matter What Laundry Detergent I Use?

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Actually, yes, it does matter which laundry detergent you buy. While the difference between brands doesn’t matter much in the end, certain choices can have a serious impact. Most concerns depend on your needs.

Detergents with Fragrances Irritate Sensitive Skin

Detergents come with all sorts of scents, so you want to pick one you like—unless you have sensitive skin. Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey explains:

People with sensitive skin should avoid laundry detergents with fragrance because fragrances are common skin allergens. For people with sensitive skin I recommend All Free and Clear and Cheer Free. Some natural cleaning ingredients like citrus and lavender can be allergens too. Fabric softeners and antistatic drier sheets are loaded with fragrance and should be avoided. To remove all detergent residue from washed clothing I tell my sensitive skin patients to rinse their cloths twice and avoid packing the washer too full because clothes in an over full washer are not rinsed as well.

This same advice generally applies to parents with young children, as babies tend to have sensitive skin and may react negatively to the aforementioned allergens.

Some Detergents Remove Stains Better

Most people don’t test every detergent or severely stain their clothes in time for every load, so real-world experience provides very little information in regards to stain-lifting power. Fortunately, other people independently test this sort of thing so we can find out what works best. Our friends over at the Sweethome make a researched argument on behalf of Tide:

Tide simply scores the best in testing from trusted sources, whether as a powder, liquid or pod. That’s why the obvious choice is Tide’s Ultra HE Vivid Bright + White.Consumer Reports had the most comprehensive tests. Tide’s Ultra HE Vivid Bright + White was the only one to be ranked “excellent” in warm/hot and even cold water cleaning, and it swept the “blood,” “grass” and “ring around the collar” tests. Only 3 other kinds of detergent, out of dozens, could say the same. It earned a final score of 82/100, making it the best in CR’s findings among any type or brand of detergent.

The Sweethome found that Good Housekeeping and other sources agreed: Tide does the best job regardless of the form it comes in.

DIY Detergent Works Well Enough

While Tide sits atop the throne in stain-lifting power, it also happens to cost more than a handful of options—especially those of the DIY variety. If you want to save a bunch of money and make your own laundry soap, it’ll compete admirably against your average consumer products. Blogger Liz Marie made her own detergent, used it for a year, and loved the results:

[A year ago] I made my very first batch of DIY laundry soap. I had researched it online before I made it & combined a few different recipes that I had found to make my own laundry detergent. I really didn’t think that it would last me a year like the posts I read had said, but it did & I loved it along the way! It got me through countless dirty baseball uniforms, stinky gym clothes, paint messes, military uniforms, & stains of all sorts.

You can find her recipe and more about her experiences here. We’ve also noted a few options in the past, like this simple recipe and a phosphate-free option.

Choose High-Efficiency Detergent for High-Efficiency Washers

This should go without saying, but if you have a high-efficiency washer you should use a high-efficiency (HE) detergent. HE options produce fewer suds and make it easier for HE machines to rinse out the soap. In most cases, it’ll clean just as well as regular detergent so you can use it in anything. Basically, you can always buy HE detergent for any washer but do not buy standard detergent for an HE washer.

Note: The Tide detergent recommended earlier is a high-efficiency soap. 

You Need Less Than You Think

Many people overuse their laundry detergent, but a small amount goes a long way. Furthermore, if you pack your washer pretty full you run the risk of trapping detergent on your clothing. That’s especially bad for people with sensitive skin and nothing positive for the rest of us, either. The New York Times explains why we should cut down on our soap usage

“Nobody thinks they use too much soap,” said Vernon Schmidt, who has been a repairman for almost 35 years and is the author of a self-published book, “Appliance Handbook for Women: Simple Enough Even a Man Can Understand.” But apparently most of us are in denial.

Washing machines and dishwashers are made to use far less water now than older models and, therefore, need less soap. And detergents have also become increasingly concentrated. So a little goes a long way.

“Most people use 10 to 15 times the amount of soap they need, and they’re pouring money down the drain,” Mr. Schmidt said.

In the end, you don’t have to make as many choices as the store shelves tend to imply. If you need a detergent for sensitive skin, buy one. If you need stain-lifting power, Tide currently wins on that front. If you don’t, you can save a bunch of money making it yourself. Regardless of what you pick, don’t overuse it and your laundry will come out nice and fresh.

Click here to read more from Adam Dachis


Winter laundry tips and tricks

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

While the weather outside is frightful, your style can still be delightful. This winter, don’t sacrifice warmth or style — just follow these tips and tricks on how to best care for winter fabrics, so you can leave the house feeling warm, cozy and fashionable.

* Stay warm in winter wools. Soften rough fabrics by washing clothes with Ultra Downy Free & Sensitive, a liquid fabric softener that is free of dyes and perfumes and provides outstanding softening and cleaning;

* Don’t get bent out of shape. Woolen fabrics will hold their shape best if laid flat to dry;

* Turn out those pockets. Be sure to clean your winter jacket pockets of tissues and lip balm before loading into the washing machine;

* Never neglect your accessories. Mittens, hats and scarves need to be washed just as often as our other clothing;

* Keep fleece fluffy. Wash fleece clothing inside-out and machine-dry on low to keep it soft and prevent pilling;

* Check it twice: Be sure to consult laundry care labels on all clothing, remember — different fabrics need different care.

More laundry tips and tricks can be found online at

5 Ways to Have Wrinkle-Free Clothes Without Ironing

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Sometimes we don’t always have access to an iron to get our clothes looking perfect, here are some ways around that tricky situation.

Shower steam: While you’re taking a shower, hang your clothes up on the shower rod, so the steam will straighten out the clothes. Make sure the bathroom door is properly closed, so steam can’t escape. It takes at least 15 minutes for the steam to uncrinkle the folds in your clothes, so you might want to only use this method when you’re taking a long, hot shower.

Wrinkle-removing sprays: There are a couple of wrinkle-removing sprays on the market, and one of the more popular ones is the Downy Wrinkle Releaser ($16). Spray it on your clothes and smooth it out while it’s damp, and you’ll see the wrinkles magically disappearing. Works best on cotton-blend fabrics. Be careful when spraying on fragile fabrics like silk as it may leave water spots. Always do a patch test before spraying.

Blow-dry: Dampen the wrinkled areas with water, and then gently blow-dry it it on low heat. Hold it about two inches away from your clothing, so it won’t overheat the fabric.

Hang your clothes right after doing laundry: Take your clothes out from the dryer as soon as you can and fold them or hang them to put in your closet. This will help keep wrinkles to a minimum.

Tumble dry: Spray water on your clothes so that they’re slightly damp, and then put the items in the dryer on low heat setting for about 15 minutes. Instead of spraying water on your clothes, you can also toss a damp sock into the dryer instead. Be sure to hang your clothes immediately after you take them out of the dryer.


Click here to read more by by Emily Co

Did you know?

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Tops of two-piece outfits are usually the first to go to the cleaners, mostly due to odors and sweat stains. But sending tops and bottoms out separately can cause a disparity in the fabric. The item that’s more frequently dry-cleaned can become lighter in color than its mate. Always dry-clean both pieces together to keep the color consistent.

How to Sew a Button Easily

Friday, September 12th, 2014

We all have that one favorite shirt or jacket that is missing a button in our closet. Here’s how to remedy that situation and fix it without having to pay someone else.

1. Take twelve inches of thread, knotted securely at one end, and thread your needle. Make a single stitch in the shirt in line with the row of buttons, about ⅛ inch long, and then make another stitch perpendicular to the first.

2. Hold the button about ⅛ inch away from the shirt and thread the needle up through one hole in the button and down the diagonally opposite hole. Do the same with the other holes and then repeat four times.

3. Wrap the thread tightly around the ⅛-inch shank that has been created between the button and the cloth to create a tight pillar.

4. Push the needle through this pillar a few times and cut the thread close to it.

5. Button up.

Eco-friendly Laundry Tips

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Small changes can add up over time. When you wash clothes, be energy smart with these laundry tips:

  • Wash full loads. It saves water, energy and time.
  • Pay attention to the amount of detergent you use. Too much detergent reduces a washer’s efficiency and dumps more pollutants into local ecosystems. Always read and follow the directions on your detergent box.
  • Wash clothes assembly line style. When you use the residual heat in your dryer from the previous load to help start a new load, you save energy. So get in the habit of washing multiple loads sequentially. Pull one load out of the dryer (to fold elsewhere), and then put a new, wet load in right away.
  • Use timed drying. Timed dryer settings are convenient and eco-friendly, so be sure to match the drying time to the load every time you dry clothes. For instance, nylon underwear dries faster than, say, a load of denim jeans.
  • Wear your clothes more than once. You may change your clothes every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to wash all of your garments after a single wearing. It’s a good bet that many of the outer garments you throw in the laundry through habit aren’t dirty at all. They may just need a few minutes in the dryer to get creases or wrinkles out.

credit: howstuffworks

Your Measuring Cups Are Wrong

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Consumer Reports has found in its tests that liquid detergent measuring cups are often impossible to read, leading to overdosing of detergents, which itself can leave detergent residues that make your clothes look dingy.

They suggest marking the fill line with a permanent marker so it’s easy to see. And when it comes to actual amounts, follow your machine manufacturer’s recommendations, not the detergent manufacturer’s. “The manufacturer wants you to use as much detergent as possible,” he says, but they don’t know what kind of washing machine you have.

Also, the softness or hardness of your water affects how much detergent you need to use. Soft water usually requires less detergent, Green says, while hard water usually requires the full amount. If you have hard water, Green also suggests adding a water softener, such as baking soda, to help your soap dissolve. Start with equal parts detergent and baking soda, and then experiment from there.

Laundry Detergent Tips

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Before you add your clothes, add your detergent, allowing it to dissolve in the water fully before adding your clothes. Your soap will work more effectively and, if you’re using powdered laundry detergent, there’s less of a chance for powdery residue on your favorite black jeans.

Wash Clothes In Cold Water To Save Energy

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Heating water to do laundry is one of the largest users of energy in a typical home. So, switch to washing in cold water – it gets clothes just as clean as hot water, while using less energy and money.

Energy Star states that almost 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine goes to heating water. Switching from hot or warm water to cold water washing saves that energy. In fact, each household that makes the switch to cold-water washing eliminates about 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year, according to the Sierra Club.

But if the benefits are so obvious, why haven’t people made the switch before? Although cold water has long been used for certain garments, many people have assumed that only hot water could really get clothes clean. That’s just partly true.

Heat is one of three main ingredients in cleaning clothes – mechanical energy (in the form of your washing machine agitating clothes) and chemicals are the other two, according to a recent New York Times article. So, you can take out one of the ingredients as long as you improve the others, James Danzinger, a senior scientist who works on detergents for P&G, told the Times.

Cold-water specific detergents do just that. Whereas older soaps only worked well with hot water, new cleaning agents are chemically formulated for cold water. These cold-water detergents perform the same as or better than traditional detergents, as rated by Consumers Reports. In fact, P&G’s Tide Coldwater, one of many detergents specifically designed for cold water, is ranked above many regular detergents onConsumer Reports’ detergents list,.

Cold-water detergents also cost about the same as their warm-water competitors, with the additional benefit of reducing energy use by over three-quarters. This can add up to substantial savings every time you do laundry.

credit: ase

How To Remove Ink Stains

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Iodine is great for treating kids’ scrapes and cuts, but if it gets on clothes, the stains can be severe. Iodine is a dye, so you need to get to it quick and follow these steps to remove the stain.

How to remove iodine stains from clothing

  • Start by immediately flushing the stain in plenty of cold, running water.
  • Next, wash the clothing as per normal with washing powder or liquid – but don’t use bleach as it can set the stain.

How to remove iodine stains from non-washable fabrics

Use a sponge soaked in water to blot as much iodine from the fabric as possible. If the stain persists, seek professional help from a drycleaner.

How to remove iodine stains from carpets and furniture

  • Start by quickly blotting up as much of the stain as possible.
  • Mix 1/4 teaspoon mild dishwashing liquid with one cup of warm water.
  • Working from the inside of the stain, gently apply the cleaning solution to the stain.
  • Blot with a dry cloth.
  • Continue, slowly and patiently applying and blotting until the stain is removed. Repeat if necessary.
  • Apply a few layers of white paper towel and weigh them down with a non-staining object. Leave overnight to dry, then vacuum to restore pile.

Stain remover notes

  • The quicker you deal with a stain, the more likely you are to remove it.
  • Unless it’s a fat stain, cold water is best for rinsing a stain, so as not to set it and make it harder to remove later.
  • Before using a cleaning solution, test on an inconspicuous section, such as the inside of a sleeve, to check it won’t ruin the fabric.
  • Always rinse out one cleaning solution before trying another to remove a stain as certain chemicals are not supposed to be mixed.
  • Read the care instructions on the item of clothing before attempting vigorous stain removal. Some clothing may be too delicate to attempt stain removal and are better taken straight to the drycleaners.
  • Don’t rub fabric harshly to remove stains as this can abrade fibres and cause fading.
  • The white towel blotting method is often recommended for stain removal. Simply fold a clean white towel and, once you have treated the stain with water, gently dab it with the towel and check to see how much of the stain has transferred to the white towel.
  • If using commercial stain removers and detergents, always follow the product label to understand the proper use and safety precautions you may need to take.
  • It’s always easier to treat a stain on a washable fabric.

credit: kidspot

How to Make White Socks White Again

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

If I didn’t know better I’d think my boys run around school all day without shoes. Every day I send them off with pristine white socks and every afternoon they come skidding through the door with socks that look like they’ve been through a war zone. Encrusted with dirt, sand, leaves and grass, they’re stiff with sweat and virtually walk their way to the laundry basket. Well, they would if the little blighters didn’t kick them off anywhere they felt like it.

But the thing is, I have a thing about their socks being super white. Not white with a hint of grey but that bluey, gotta wear sunnies white that make them look as if I just ripped the price tag off. Call me strange, tell me I have too much time on my hands if you will but white socks have got to be white. Which is why I have a Friday night ritual where I make White Sock Soup. While I wouldn’t recommend you drink the resulting stock it does keep their socks white and me happy. Try it and you’ll feel like you’re starring in your own laundry commercial in no time. Here’s the recipe…

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup (60g) soap flakes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • water

How to make White Sock Soup

  • Add the soap flakes to a large saucepan with the lemon. Keep the lemon whole – no need to squeeze the juice.
  • Next add the manky socks and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to the boil then turn down the heat to a simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Drain and marvel at the colour of the water before washing as normal. Hello white socks!

How to Cut Your Laundry Time in Half

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

With piles and piles of clothes to sort, soak, wash, hang and iron, a mum’s laundry is never done. It seems that as soon as it’s finished you need to start again. So when Shannon Lush, co-author of Speed Cleaning (ABC Books) promised to cut our laundry time in half, we let out an almighty cheer. Here are her top eight laundry-busting tips:

Set up a washing basket system

Shannon advises keeping three to five baskets or plastic crates in your laundry, marked with coloured ribbons, where family members can drop different types of clothes when they’re dirty. Mark each one as: whites; colourfast items; darks; sheets and towels and hand washing. “We keep a hamper in each bedroom and colour co-ordinated baskets in the laundry,” says Shannon. “When one of the baskets in the laundry is full, whoever is there puts a wash on. Then whoever is in there when it’s finished hangs it on the line. It’s a simple way for other people to help. I’m particular about my laundry, but anyone can do this.”

Turn socks the right way out

To save time re-washing socks that go into the machine inside out, train children and family members to turn them the right way around when taking them off. “If you don’t turn them the right way out, they get impregnated with dirt, as it gets stuck in the fibres. Not nice,” says Shannon.

Fit laundry around your daily routine

Shannon explains that one of her friends puts the washing on as she’s going to work and finishes the task when she walks back through the door. “Put the washing machine on as you head out of the door, and transfer the clothes to the dryer when you get home.”

Leave it in the machine

If you don’t empty the washing machine first thing (your two-year-old is decorating her face with lipstick and it’s time to exit) – don’t panic. You have a full 12 hours before that musty smell takes hold.

Great hanging means no ironing

Shannon says properly hung clothes mean no ironing. “When hanging your clothes, your mantra needs to be ‘I hate ironing’, ‘I hate ironing’ and then you’ll find you hang them much flatter. Peg clothes at the strongest part of the fabric – the waistband or seam – and never, ever hang shirts or jumpers by the shoulders.”

Spray and go

Try another Shannon speed cleaning tip with this amazing crease release mixture. “I never iron. I just mix a teaspoon of lavender oil – the cheapest kind available – in a litre of water and mist it over the clothes before wearing them or hanging them in the wardrobe. Lavender oil is a fibre relaxant, so the creases drop out. I always take a spray on book tours and it’s a great one to do on stage – you see the creases disappear before your eyes.”

Super-charge your iron

Another timesaving trick is to beef up your iron and halve your arm power. “If you absolutely have to iron, put some aluminium foil underneath the ironing board cover,” advises Shannon. “You get twice the heat, as it’s reflected back on to the clothes, and you don’t need the iron temperature so high, so you don’t risk burning your clothes.”

Beat dirty birds

If you’re freshly laundered clothes get soiled on the line with – ahem – bird poo, try this speedy hint to stop them at the pass. “This often affects people, depending on where they live and the trees surrounding their washing line,” explains Shannon. “Tying coloured ribbons to the washing line stops birds from hovering above.”

credit: kidspot