Summer Cleaning Tips You Can Use At Home

Summer comes with a lot of difficult stains. The Drycleaning and Laundry Institute lets you know what method you should use at home and when you need to bring it into the professionals.

Bleaching:

Bleaching is a last resort if the stain does not respond to either dry-side or wetside measures. Ordinary three percent hydrogen peroxide bleach, available at grocery and drug stores, is the easiest to use. But test the bleach first on an unexposed seam or a sample of the material. Pour some bleach on the sample piece of fabric. Wait five minutes for a reaction. Many white fabrics contain an optical brightener that will turn yellow when bleached. Very bright-colored fabrics may contain optical brightening agents as well; a bleach may cause these colors to become dull.

 

Rust Stains:

Rust stains should be approached with great care. Rust removers are sold at grocery stores. Use them only on washable garments or fabrics so they can be laundered immediately afterward. Laundering will rinse out the rust remover. If it is not removed, it can burn the skin. Do not use a rust remover on any fabric containing metallic threads.

 

Tough Stains:

Some stains don’t lend themselves to home methods. Most medicine stains, fingernail polish, adhesives, and paint are difficult to remove and should be taken to a professional cleaner.

 

Don’t Wait:

All stains should be removed before they have time to set. Time or heat can set stains. Even a professional cleaner will have trouble getting the stain out if he or she doesn’t receive the garment soon after the stain occurred.

 

Delicate Fabrics:

Do not attempt home stain removal on leather, suede, furs, vinyl, fabrics that are heavily sized like taffeta and organdy, nets, satins, and those with colors that bleed easily.

 

Invisible Stains:

Many fruit juices and drinks disappear into the fabric and leave no visible stain, though the sugars are deposited there. Drycleaning fluid doesn’t dissolve them. Heat browns them causing a stain that doesn’t come out. If you spill juice or soda on a fabric, flush it out immediately with water – even though the stain is invisible. For more specific advice, ask us, we’re always happy to help.

Visit St Croix Cleaners for information on all of your dry cleaning needs.

 

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Spring Cleaning- What You Need To Know

Put your snow blower away and kick off your boots: Spring is here!

Spring always feels like it couldn’t come soon enough- but the spring cleaning always manages to sneak up on you. Don’t rack your brain about what to clean and how often- we have the answers to your spring cleaning questions!

Bedding:

  • We all hopefully spend at least 7 hours in bed every night- which means you should be cleaning your sheets often. It’s recommended to clean your sheets and pillowcases in hot water WEEKLY. Having your items cleaned in hot water helps remove mites and bacteria that can sneak in.
  • Comforters and mattress covers don’t have as much direct contact with your skin so both should be dry cleaned MONTHLY. Let us take care of cleaning the extra bulk so you don’t have to!

Winter Wear:

  • Clean your winter wear BEFORE storing items away. Sweaters and sweatshirts should be cleaned and then stored folded in a drawer. Items like winter coats should be on a shoulder-saver hanger in a hall closet to allow room to breathe. Dry clean your winter sweaters, suits, and coats before storing them to alleviate food stains that can turn orange over the summer in your closet and attract insects who destroy fibers that lead to holes.
  • Don’t forget about your boots! Bring your boots to St Croix Cleaners so our specialty Treasured Garment Restoration team can clean salt stains to remove bacteria that cause odor. Whether your boots are fine leather or comfortable UGG boots– we’ll have them clean and smelling fresh for when you take them back out in the fall.

Winter Storage:

 

  • DO NOT store items in vacuum-sealed bags. Natural fibers (like wool) and your favorite fluffy coat need air to maintain their structure and keep the optimal shape. It can take items as long to un-compress as time stored.
  • INSTEAD store your items in closets or drawers. You can deodorize a closet naturally by storing a box of baking soda in your closet, using bamboo charcoal bags on your hangers or adding dryer sheets to closet shelves or clothing pockets. If you’re looking for a kitchen DIY you can also add dried lemon or orange peels in a bag to your closet to keep it smelling fresh.

 

Let us protect your clothing so you can store your favorite pieces properly through the warmer months. For more information on our locations and dry cleaning services visit StCroixCleaners.com.

 

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Why You Need To Clean Your Luggage

The holidays include wheeling luggage through airports, throwing them in the back of cars then putting them back in the hall closet or under the bed. Luggage takes a beating, and it’s important to keep clean after big trips. If you have soft-sided luggage, St Croix Cleaners can clean it for you starting at only $69.99 plus taxes for a carry-on size! (effective February 2019; prices subject to change). See our dramatic “before and after” below!

 

Why do you need to clean your luggage?

Not only does its look better, but cleaning your suitcase keeps the bag from deteriorating, making pricey luggage last longer. Dirt and oils you get on your soft-sided luggage can cause fabrics and technical coatings to deteriorate over time. And all the gravel and dirty streets you wheeled your luggage through? That could cause the wheels to harden and cause more issues in the future. We also clean the fine leather on your luggage and keep it shining. Get $10 off your luggage cleaning now through 2/28/19!

What are some bigger issues that can happen with luggage?

Cleaning your luggage helps fight against mold. Those crumbs or spills in your bag from travel can create tough mold and have a foul smell. We clean the suitcases both inside and out!

How often should you get luggage cleaned? 

That depends on how much you use your luggage. If you’re a frequent traveler we recommend cleaning your luggage once a year. We also offer a $10 service to waterproof your bag so it stays clean and dry! Visit any of the 16 St Croix Cleaners’ locations for more information.

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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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