STARCREST Cleaners - Bright Ideas in Dry Cleaning
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Care Tips & FAQ's
Q: Is club soda really an effective treatment for stains?
A: Club soda is a popular remedy suggested by hostesses and flight attendants. There’s no magic in those bubbles, as Club soda is just water and CO2. There is danger in applying club soda to certain fabrics, as water can shrink, felt or warp clothes that are made for dry cleaning. It also can cause dies to bleed, possibly causing an even bigger problem.

Q: Can alcohol be used to remove stains?
A: Alcohol is a solvent, and can be effective on certain stains, but if not used properly can alter dyes and discolor fabrics.

Many deodorants, after-shave lotions, and colognes contain alcohol that can cause discoloration or dye loss in fabrics. Check the ingredients in the products you use, as the fabric damage from alcohol in these products is often irreversible.

Q: Can milk be used to take out ink and blood?
A: Contrary to popular myth, ink and blood are easier to remove than milk. Once you have introduced milk to the stain, you have created a much more complicated stain to remove. Don’t ever use milk as a stain remover.

Q: Can lemon juice be used to remove rust stains?
A: Although sometimes effective, lemon juice is acidic and can cause oxidation and discoloration that might not be noticeable at first, but might yellow or brown over time.

Q: Can ice be used to remove chewing gum?
A: This may work in limited cases (for example, removing gum from a carpet). But it’s a lot safer to remove the gum by having it dry cleaned. Gum dissolves easily in the dry cleaning process with complete safety to the fabric vs. hacking at the frozen gum.

When you chip away at the frozen gum, you are very likely to cause damage to the fabric. So you fix one problem (the gum) and cause another irreversible problem (scuffs, abrasions, and holes) in the fabric.

Q: Can I use nail polish remover to remove stains?
A: Nail polish remover can be effective for removing make-up and other types of stains. But this is also very dangerous! Nail polish removers often contain acetone, which can dissolve certain types of fabrics such as acetate or rayon.

Be sure you know what kinds of fabrics, decorations, etc. you are applying the nail polish remover to and use caution. Nail polish remover may also dissolve prints or decorations on fabrics. Be sure to test before applying to a highly visible area.

Q: Is it true that Dry cleaning is bad for your clothes?
A: Dry cleaning is good for your clothes (especially finer fabrics). Why?
Many stains are invisible, such as perfume, cologne, perspiration, sugar, and even dust. Drycleaning not only removes stains, but body salts and oils which cause fabric deterioration.

If these stains (body oils, etc.) are not removed, they will oxidize over time and become visible and permanent. If you really like your clothes, you must have them cleaned before the damage becomes irreversible.

People think, “I won’t have the clothes cleaned, because cleaning them might damage the clothes that I love so much.” But proper care by a trained specialist in cleaning fine/expensive garments will avoid the damage that neglect (not cleaning the clothes) will definitely cause.

The bottom-line is, if you love your clothes have them cleaned. Neglecting them will cause them to virtually self-destruct in your closet, as the stains and body oils oxidize and become permanent.

Q: Is it ok for me to hand wash my delicates? I’m afraid to take them to the dry cleaners.
A: It depends. Hand washing can shrink your clothes just like you had thrown them into your washer.

Controlling the water temperature and mechanical action is essential to maintaining the original shape of a garment. Good dry cleaners have the equipment and skill to block an item to its original shape. They know which garments and fabrics need special treatment. They have learned through experience and can avoid the problems you will encounter when attempting to care for your clothes at home.

Hand washing can also set stains that your dry cleaner might be able to remove. Soap can set certain stains and make it harder or impossible to remove. Stains are more likely to be removed if treated appropriately before cleaning.

Q: Can hair spray be used to remove ink stains?
A: Hair spray can contain chemicals that will dissolve certain inks. However, hair spray also contains alcohol and other ingredients with properties that can be dangerous to many dyes and fabrics.

Also, the hair spray may cause the ink to spread and then cause a larger more complex stain as the hair spray dries.

The bottom-line is many ink stains can be effectively removed if treated properly. It doesn’t make sense to make the ink stain larger, more complex and risk damaging the dyes/fabrics when the stain could be effectively removed when treated by someone who is trained, experienced, and has the equipment/solutions to safely remove the stain.


Q: Is salt water an effective treatment for wine?
A: Salt water can set a wine stain. As a matter of fact, salt-water solutions are sometimes used to set dyes in fabrics. Thus, a salt solution is very likely to permanently set the stain you are attempting to remove.



Quick Facts:

Don’t rub your spots!
Don’t ever rub a spot! The fibers of many fabrics are weaker when wet (especially silk). Rubbing abrades the fabric leaving broken fibers and changing the appearance of the area rubbed. Even if the stain is removed, the fabric may have a dull or changed appearance due to the rubbing.

The best treatment is to gently blot any spill with a cloth towel or handkerchief and let dry. Fine garments should be taken to a professional dry cleaner as soon as possible.

Using pure cleaning solutions is a lot of work
To get the best cleaning, whitest whites, and fresh clean smell, the cleaning solutions need to be distilled between every load. This takes extra time and effort. Some cleaners cut corners by just filtering the dry cleaning solutions once in a while.

Let’s put it this way, do you use fresh clean water every time you take a bath or do you just filter the bathwater once in a while?

Be sure you use a drycleaner that always uses freshly distilled cleaning solutions. It’s more expensive and more work for them, but is the only way to get the cleaning results you expect.

You and your clothes are safe
Cleaners these days use techniques and equipment not available just a few years ago. The latest cleaning techniques, and solutions are highly regulated and very safe. If your cleaner is using the latest equipment for dry cleaning or wet cleaning, you do not need to be concerned about exposure to chemicals or needing to “air out” your clothes before wearing them.

Who put that spot there?
You are sure the stain was not there when you hung it up in your closet. Who stained my clothes? Often stains are invisible. Have you ever dropped a piece of salad on your lap and been frustrated because you just stained your clothes? Then later you are greatly relieved that the salad dressing stain seems to have disappeared. Over time, oil or sugar stains can oxidize and become visible. Just like an apple turns brown when left exposed to air. The heat from pressing your clothes can also make the oil or sugar stains visible. Just as butter turns brown in a heated saucepan.

The stain was there when you hung it in your closet. It was just invisible.

Who keeps breaking my buttons?
Cleaners use pads on their pressing equipment that cushions the garments as they are pressed. Over time, these pads harden and need to be replaced.

The pads are expensive though, and if you are using a discount cleaner, they may not replace the pads as often as they should.

If your cleaner is properly training their employees and properly maintaining their equipment, you should not be seeing broken buttons on your clothes.

How did that hole get there?
Holes in fabrics can be caused by many factors. Battery acid, insects, and household products can weaken fibers. The damage doesn’t become visible until the garment is cleaned and the damaged fibers are cleaned away leaving a (now visible) hole.

The weave of certain fabrics can make them more susceptible to these types of problems.

It seems as though someone is intentionally damaging your clothes. This is frustrating to both you and your cleaner because there is no indication of a problem until the hole appears, and then it’s too late. It’s not as though someone has been negligent or is too blame. These kinds of problems are just unavoidable sometimes.



WEDDING GOWN FACTS

Acid-free materials
Wedding gowns and related items should be stored in acid free materials, since the acids in many packaging materials can “scorch” the items being stored. Acid-free material means all of the acid has been removed from the paper or paperboard. Acid free materials can be contaminated from the environment, but cannot re-acidify, unlike material that is pH neutral.

Plastic storage components should be made out of a neutral plastic such as polypropylene. Other types of plastic may emit fumes that can yellow the fabric.

Your wedding gown needs to breathe
Shrink-wrapping is NOT OK for wedding gown preservation. Fabric needs to breathe. Plastic creates a closed environment that can trap moisture and allow the growth of mold. The combination of trapped moisture and the electrostatic charge caused by the plastic can also set wrinkles. It is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to press out a gown that has been shrink-wrapped.

Is satin a fabric?
Satin is a weave. Virtually every bride will tell you her gown is satin. Actually, satin is made from rayon, polyester, silk, or even cotton. It’s important to know the fabric of the gown, so that it is properly cleaned and preserved.

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