Let St Croix Cleaners make this the Best Prom Ever!

You spent weeks searching for the perfect dress, now how to keep it perfect for prom.  St Croix Cleaners has you covered with all our before and after Prom Services!

Alterations

As soon as you get your gown from the dress salon you’ll want to set up an appointment with your local St Croix Cleaners’ Alteration Specialist.  Most prom dresses are designed to be altered and are made several inches longer than other formal gowns.  This means that hemming is pretty common when you buy your dress. All of our alteration specialists can take-in, let-out and completely redesign your dress if necessary.  You’ll want to start this process 1-2 months before prom depending on how much work you need to be done.

Wrinkles

A week before the big day you can bring in your dress to St  Croix Cleaners so we can release any wrinkles that may have happened during transport or alterations.  On the day of the prom, you’ll want to make sure your gown is pushed to the side of your seat as much as possible.  This reduces wrinkles from the car ride and makes sure no one sits or steps on it!

Small Stains

Now leading up to a few days before prom, you might decide to get a spray tan.  If you do, make sure to do it 2-3 days before the dance.  It gives the dye time to settle into your skin so it doesn’t transfer onto the dress.  Spray tans love to stick to fabric and can permanently stain the dress if it doesn’t get cleaned off.  If any spots of make-up or food get on the gown, as you are getting ready or at the dance, we have a little trick to getting them out! This trick is only for polyester or synthetic gowns. If your dress is silk, cotton, or another natural fiber you will want to bring it to St Croix Cleaners as soon as possible. Take some warm water and lightly dab the spot.  Then put some pH neutral soap; such as blue dawn dish soap, or a Woolite pen on the spot and rise with water.  Let the dress air dry for a few minutes and you should be good to go.

After the Ball

You’ve danced the night away and had an amazing time, now what?  The day after the dance you’ll want to take a good look at your dress and determine if there are any saturated stains, tears, or any damaged beading and sequins.  If you spilled anything clear like soda or sparkling grape juice on your gown it will dry like nothing is there but will eventually discolor the dress and make it very hard to get out.  Once you’ve looked over your gown you’ll want to bring it to your local St Croix Cleaners. Most gowns need individual care to best remove hemline stains and other spots.

It is best to send it to a professional dry cleaner rather than cleaning at home! Any dress with beads or sequins can get severally damaged in regular washing machines. Most of the time beads are attached on large strands by monofilament thread; similar to fishing line, making it prone to breakage. Silk and other natural fibered dresses like cotton and linen have to be dry cleaned, washing this type of gown will cause shrinkage and distortion of the fabric.

Last Steps

After the cleaning is done, whether your planning on keeping or selling the gown, you’ll want to take the St Croix Cleaners’ biodegradable plastic bag off the dress.  Make sure to keep the gown on a padded hanger if you plan on keeping it in a closet, this will take some of the weight off the fabric so that it does not deform the dress.  A better option would be to lay the dress flat in a spare bedroom or closet, this takes all weight off the dress.  You’ll want to put a cotton sheet over it or a fabric garment bag to prevent dust and discoloration.  For long term storage, anything over a year, you’ll want to consider an acid free box with acid free tissue paper.  This ensures no discoloration or distortion for the life of the dress.

Whether you just got your dress or the magical night is over, St Croix Cleaners has you covered from start to finish! Let us be a part of your high school rite of passage!

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FAQs

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN **DRY CLEAN ONLY** AND **DRY CLEAN**

When reading the instructions found on care labels, we often see the phrase “dry clean” or “dry clean only.”  Many people believe that these instructions are interchangeable, but that is not true.  There is typically a difference between fabrics, and more care is often needed for clothing marked “dry clean only.”

“Dry Clean Only”
A garment that is marked as “dry clean only” is made of material that demonstrates a tendency to deteriorate when cleaned by any other method.  It’s a clear warning to the consumer that no other cleaning method should be used if they wish to maintain the integrity of the garment and allowing it to be useable after the cleaning process.

“Dry Clean”
The purpose of the “dry clean” designation is to give the option of some sort of hand cleaning/washing and drying for the garment at home.   This designation is used when the fabric involved has been demonstrated to hold it’s shape, color and not likely to change if cleaned by hand washing and air drying at home.  The “Dry Clean” designation is intended to convey that gentle cleaning methods other than dry cleaning may be acceptable.   At the same time, there is still risk in doing them at home and the best method is to dry clean the garment professionally.

–IF IT SAYS DRY CLEAN, CAN YOU CLEAN IT AT HOME?

Garments with care labels that say Dry Clean or For Best Results Dry Clean AND are made of natural fabrics like cotton, linen, cashmere and even some silks – may be done at home with a little extra care and patience.  AVOID or use caution if doing this with synthetic blends (rayon, viscose, acetate, etc.)

—HOW DO YOU CLEAN IT?

This depends on the fabric type.

* Keys to cleaning are: hand wash cycle (minimal agitation)

* NO extraction (spin) cycle used at all

* Air Dry/Fluff Cycle or hang to dry or dry flat (no heat)

* Reshaping may be required with some garments

For example a 95% cotton blazer with 5% Lycra a that has a care label that says “Dry Clean” could be done at home on a gentle hand washing cycle in cold water.  Avoid any extraction cycle (because of the Lycra and use an air fluff (no heat) cycle to dry it or hang dry.

Cashmere – would be similar –  a hand cleaning cycle with minimal agitation and no spin or extraction process– lay flat on a towel to dry (no tumbling) and reshape

–WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THE STAIN OUT? BLOT? DAB? RUB?

Blot, Dab or Tap … NEVER EVER rub and avoid “wiping”

—IS THERE A STAIN A DRY CLEANER CAN’T REMOVE?

Yes, sadly there is.  While we love being the Super Stain Fighting Heroes – there is a stain or two that a dry cleaner may not be able to fully remove without possible damage to the garment (usually can get it to lighten).

It depends on a number of factors including:

  • Fabric type (delicate fabrics may not be able to handle certain stain removal techniques w/out risk/ damage)
  • Nature of the stain
  • How long the stain has been there
  • Any treatments already tried
  • Home remedy attempts often make a dry cleaner’s job more challenging
  • The knowledge and skill of the stain remover

Example:  curry sauce spilled on a sheer silk garment with unstable dyes in the silk fabric meaning that color on the fabric may be pulled would be difficult to fully remove. Why? Curry is a natural dye. Silk is a porous fabric and naturally soaks up and adheres stains, dyes to the fiber.

Example:  ground in dirt / tar on the hemline of a silk dress (wedding, long dress or formal) may be difficult to fully remove (some “shadowing” may be left when inspected closely)

Example: Coffee w/cream that had club soda poured over it – while it may flush out some of the coffee color – the club soda acts almost as a shilac over the acidic part of the stain and sets it in.

Another truth is…A dry cleaner may not always be sure if they can get it out until they are able to give it a try.

–ARE THERE ITEMS THAT SHOULDN’T GO THROUGH THE DRY CLEANER?

That may depend on your dry cleaner but typically no.  Most full-service dry cleaners utilize both dry and wet clean cleaning methods as well as wash and fold (laundry) services.

Even if the item says do not dry clean (example many down coats say this on their care labels) – your dry cleaner can STILL clean it!  We simply use a special wet cleaning method to clean the coat instead.  Even if the item says Spot Clean Only – your dry cleaner can take care of this for you.

We  see everything from cushions, costumes, Prom dresses, drapes to dog beds and doll clothes and more!

–HOW OFTEN DO YOU RECOMMEND COMMON ITEMS GOING TO THE DRY CLEANER?

IN PARTICULAR, MEN’S SUITS, WOMEN’S FORMAL DRESSES

SUITS

How often you should dry clean really depends on how often you wear the garment and how well you take care of it between getting it cleaned.  If you only wear your suit 2 times a year and only for a few hours at a time and do not spill anything on it, you don’t need it cleaned as frequently.  However, if you wear the same suit at least once a week – we recommend cleaning it every 3-4 wears to keep it looking it’s best.  And of course if you spill anything on it – bring it in right away to be treated!

FORMAL DRESSES

Pretty much the same as above…it depends on how careful the wearer of the dress was when they wore it.  You may be able to get up to 4 wears out of it before needing to clean it.  Some formals after one wear have beverages spilled on them, the hems look like they danced in the parking lot all night and there are visible perspiration stains!

If there are no spills, no major perspiration or deodorant marks (which can cause color fade and fabric to weaken)… then you’re probably ok to just hang that lil black dress till the next time you need to wear it and just steam / iron out the wrinkles (or take it on for a professional press only in between wears).

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Storing Winter Garments

Spring is here! The snow is finally melting and it’s time to swap out the winter gear for those fresh spring looks.
Before we get too eager, it’s important to prep your garments for storage.
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 The first step is cleaning. The reason we clean items before storage is because any dirt or stains have the potential to become
bigger problems when left untreated for an extended period of time.
We often see garments come in that have stains that sat untreated all year, which makes them difficult to remove.
Some stains are easily forgotten about and can cause major problems on your garments. For instance, say you spilled some clear soda on your sweater and when it dried you couldn’t see it anymore.
Even though the stain has “disappeared”, you still have sugar and other chemicals that hide. Once they oxidize, it’s common for them to turn a yellowish/brown color. As mentioned above, the longer a stain goes untreated, the harder it is to remove. So even if it comes to our attention during the dry cleaning process, we still can have our experts
work on it rather than having it sit all year and turn into a much worse stain.

A huge mistake many of our customers make is storing items in the plastic you receive your garments back in. Storing your garments in plastic can cause discoloration if left for too long!
We suggest promptly removing the plastic bag when you get home.

Our favorite tip when tucking your clothes away is instead of using moth balls, try the skin of your favorite citrus.
They need to be changed periodically but you completely avoid the moth ball smell and instead are greeted by a citrus scent.

lemon-peel

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Diamond Awards 2014

Congratulations to our Treasured Garment Restoration team for winning the
Mpls St Paul Magazines Diamond Award for Outstanding Bridal Preservation
This is a huge honor for us and we would like to thank everyone that voted for us!

“The expertise with which this eco-friendly company cleans your gown was not lost on our panel of judges. Their museum-quality preservation process and impressive customer services were an added bonus. Said one judge: “Brides can rest easy knowing that their precious gown is in good hands.”

See other winners of the Diamond Awards here and visit our Treasured Garment Restoration
page to click through a gallery of other preservations we’ve done in the past.


Diamond Award Judges Choice Diamond Award People Choice

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120 Years of Cleaning Service

This year celebrates our 120th year in business. As one of the oldest cleaners in the Midwest, help us celebrate!
We have a rich history of serving customers using top of the line methods to ensure a great product.

white_way_early_1900s
Pictured above is out ELK location in St. Paul. Which was once owned by
White Way Cleaners until St Croix Cleaners acquired them in 2010.

Though we don’t deliver garments by horse and buggy anymore, we do pride ourselves
on the 120 years of experience we have gained.

Until the 1930s the dry cleaning process was limited to large central plants with delivery routes into all parts of the city. In 1935 the grandson of the original founder of Despatch developed the concept of the “package plant” or neighborhood dry cleaning store. He is credited nationally as the originator of the dry cleaning store concept. The first one in the country was a White Way, which he opened in south Minneapolis.

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Holiday Countdown

 

 10 days to go and counting until Christmas! It’s not to late to get last minute cleaning in.

We clean all of your unique holiday items from Tree Skirts, Stockings, to even Santa Suits!
Pictured below is a recent Holiday item we’ve cleaned.

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Feel free to speak with your local Customer Service Representative
about any of your cleaning needs regarding holiday apparel.
We want you and your home to look your very best this year and to start the New Year off right.

Here is a picture of Santa visiting our production facility last year.

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Happy Veteran’s Day

Our experts at Treasured Garment Restoration (our specialty cleaning division) have been very honored over the years to clean, restore and preserve some amazing vintage military uniforms.  Here are just a few:

Mary Larson – 1940’s Navy Uniform:

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Above you can see the before and after photos of her military uniform.  She also provided us with a photo of her during her service.  She was featured on Fox9 last spring for her service to our country.  You can watch the segment here.

Korean War Uniform – Cleaned & Preserved:

Korean War Uniform

WWII Veteran Uniform in Preservation Box:

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To see even more pictures of the vintage military uniforms we’ve cleaned, see the rest of the blog post on Treasured Garment’s website here.

Thank you to all those who serve!

 

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Steps to Re-designing a Vintage Wedding Gown

This is such a popular topic recently, that we’ve decided to reblog one of our favorite posts – “8 Steps to Re-designing Your Mother’s Vintage Wedding Dress”.  Enjoy!

So you’ve received the heirloom wedding dress from your mother and have thought about wearing it.  But wait.. it doesn’t fit!  Or perhaps the style is just a bit out-of-date for your liking? Don’t completely turn down the dress yet – you might still be able to wear it, and make it your own!

Many brides these days are turning to vintage wedding dresses from their mother or grandmother.  It’s become a big trend over the last few years, and only continues to increase!  Think about it – wearing a special gown that embodies the strength, wisdom and compassion of the women in your family down the aisle on one of the biggest days of your life
.  But where do you even start if this is something you just *might* be thinking about?

We’ve put together 8 Simple Steps to Redesigning Your Mother’s Vintage Dress to give you a better idea of what the process looks like!  The entire process can vary in the time it will take to fully complete your dress, and really depends on the amount of changes you are wanting to make, but it’s a good idea to start around 9-12 months out.

1. Is There a Possibility?

The first step is to bring the vintage gown to us so that we can determine whether there is even a possibility for you to redesign and wear it!  We’ll examine the fabric, beading, lace, examine any stains, and how it has been handled and preserved through the years (ie, was it placed in a box, or in a pile on the floor of a closet?). Depending on the gown’s age, we may need to work with our vintage restoration department to clean and restore it before working with it.  Sometimes the entire gown can be worn, other times, only parts of the gown or certain fabrics are able to be used for your gown.

2. Let Our Designer Get to Know YOU!

Darcy, our Wedding Gown Designer, would love to learn more about you, your likes, dislikes, things you are drawn to, so that she can get a better idea of what you might like.  This step usually includes sending Darcy pictures of other dresses you like – whether it’s parts of a dress (ie. the neckline, or a certain type of beading).  It can also help to share a Pinterest board with Darcy and some of your overall ideas for the wedding, pictures of architecture or places, or any beautiful images that you really feel drawn to!  Darcy is then able to draw a few sketches and come up with some ideas for transforming the gown into something you would love.

3. Meeting #1 – Talk Design and Take Measurements

Next, you’ll set up a second meeting with Darcy to see what she has come up with.  She’ll usually have a few ideas and options for how she thinks you would love the gown to look.  You can then edit the designs from there and talk more about your preferences.  During this meeting, Darcy will take your measurements as well.

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4. Show Actual Changes on the Vintage Dress

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Once the final design is agreed upon, Darcy will use your measurements to mark up the vintage dress to show where changes will be made.  This could include safety pins, bits of fabric, or ribbon to show the changes.  At this time, the dress will be altered a little to fit your earlier measurements – this could mean the dress might get cut in certain areas, but not always.

 

 

 

 

5. Meeting #2 – First Fitting

You’ll set up another meeting with Darcy to come in and see the dress as it is marked up.  You will try on the dress to make sure the measurements are accurate and that everything is lined up in the correct locations.  This is the moment when you can begin to really visualize and see the dress becoming YOUR dress!

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6. Sewing

This is where Darcy begins to sew your gown – to place lace or fabric in different places, and to fit the dress perfectly for you.  Throughout this period, she may be in contact with you for minor tweaks or other measurements.  This is your dress, and you want it to be fabulous!

7. Final Fitting

At your final meeting with Darcy, you get to see the final result!  You are able to try on your dress, make sure it fits, and to show it off to all your best girlfriends!  If there are any minor tweaks to be made, we make sure to leave a little time to complete them.

8. It’s Wedding Time!

Once your gown is complete, we press it to perfection, and give it to you for your big day!  You are going to look beautiful!

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Quick Fix For Chap Stick Stains

Ever forget to check and miss that chap stick
that’s hidden at the bottom of the pocket before putting your clothes in the washer or dryer?
We’ve seen more than our fair share of stains due to grease and chap stick come through our doors.
Some of these stains can be taken care of right at home! They often look similar to the image shown below. The fabric will appear darker and splotchy.

Chapstick
For a quick fix at home, try laying a piece of cardboard or paper bag under the stain and using a hot iron, go over the stain. The cardboard or paper will act like a sponge and absorb the grease or wax (depending on the brand). Its best to catch the stain before putting it in the dryer because the heat can cause the stain to set.

When all else fails bring it to us and our team will work on the stain!

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Grass Stains

In honor of the world coming together in the world cup games in Brazil, we thought we might remind you on how to remove the notorious grass stain.

Grass contains chlorophyll which is the substance that makes plants green. The green is what you see on the surface of this stain. Bleach can work great on white items however use caution with this because sitting in bleach too long can cause damage to the fabric. If the garment is not able to withstand bleach, try soaking it in a solution of water and detergent, then gently brush or dab the area. Be sure not to rub the stain because that may cause the stain to spread. After, wash the item. Before drying it be sure to check the stain is gone. Drying a stain such as this can cause the stain to set and make it very difficult to get out.

The quicker you deal with the stain, the better chance you have of getting it out.

When all else fails and the stain is a bit stubborn to get out at home. Bring it to us and our experts can work on getting the stain out.

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