March 5, 2013
Do you have a few towels with what looks like “bleach stains”? What about discoloration under the arms, or on the collars and cuffs of your dress shirt?
If you’re noticing spots, holes and fading on your clothing and linens, it could be from your clothing coming into contact with common household bathroom products.
Common products found in most household bathrooms may be acid or alkaline, and many contain bleaching agents. Some products contain alcohol-based products, which can discolor dyes on silk and acetate fabrics as well as other materials. Below is a list of common personal and household products that may be the culprit for the spots, holes and fading.
Products that contain ACID include moisturizers, skin care products, hand sanitizer, hand lotions, deodorant, tanning products and sun block; callus removers, eye and nose drops, bubble bath, hair conditioner, fade creams, cough syrup and children’s liquid medicines; joint pain creams and lotions, & perfumes.
Products that contain ALKALINE include shampoo, toothpaste, soap, depilatories, disinfectants, ammonia, hair dye, Drano®, Windex®, Fantastic®, Soft Scrub®, Tilex®, Comet®, some bubble bath and bath gel, shave cream, & some deodorants.
Products that can contain BLEACH include toothpaste, teeth whitening kits, acne medications, some moisturizers, hair lightening products, household cleaning and sanitizing products, mildew removers, Tilex® shower spray, & Comet®
Products that contain ALCOHOL include Rubbing alcohol, perfume and cologne, body sprays, facial toners and astringents.
If your pajamas, clothes, washcloths, towels, or other fabrics contact one of these products, faint staining or a water-ring may be noted, and in some cases, immediate discoloration may occur.
If you notice a spill on your clothing or linens, clean fabrics as soon as possible to prevent damage. The longer it sits on the fabric, the more damage will occur. There is a greater chance that color loss – or even holes – will develop if you wait to launder the items.
To prevent future clothing damage, we suggest you apply lotions, creams, perfumes and hair products and allow them to dry prior to getting dressed. Wash your hands after handling products – before you accidentally brush them across your clothing or towel.
When you bring your clothing to us, take the time to point out any areas of concern and please be specific about what you think may have caused the spot. The more information we have from you, the better we can try to treat the problem. And, we’ll discuss with you thoroughly the expectation before trying any remedy to the fabric.
October 30, 2012
Remember seeing the baking soda box in the fridge as a kid? Maybe you have one in your freezer or refridgerator now because you learned it’s an excellent way to keep away any unpleasant odors. But, did you know there are many more great uses for baking soda when it comes to cleaning & deoderizing?
Wanna boost your laundry detergents cleaning power or keep your sponges fresh longer? Do you have stubborn stains or dirty lawn furniture? We’ve got the baking soda solution for all of the above plus many more we think you’ll like.
1. Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to laundry can boost your detergents cleaning capabilities. Add to the rinse cycle to to refresh sheets and towels and help get linens extra clean and fluffy.
2. Sponges soaked in baking soda and hot water will stay fresher longer.
3. Give the coffeemaker a thorough scrub with ¼ baking soda to 1 quart water.
4. Sprinkle a handful of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwashing machine to absorb food odors before your next load.
5. Cut the grease and foods left on your tableware by adding 2 big tablespoons of baking soda to your regular dish detergent.
6. For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, then add hot water. Let soak overnight; the dried on food will come loose much more easily.
7. Diluting 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of water makes a gentle, natural rinse for fruits and veggies. Scrub with a vegetable brush or clean sponge before rinsing.
8. Apply baking soda to a clean damp sponge to wipe down kitchen and bathroom surfaces, the interior and exterior of your microwave and your Tupperware.
9. Get bathroom and tile floors sparkling with a mix of ½ cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water – mop and rinse.
10. Shake a bit of baking soda over the carpet before you vacuum to get out any lingering odors.
11. To avoid clogged drains, pour 1/4 cup baking soda down weekly. Rinse through with hot water.
12. To clean silver, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Rub the paste onto each item, then rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
13. Children’s toys can be cleaned using 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart warm water.
14. To remove grease stains, either add baking soda to the wash load or pre-treat the stains with a baking soda paste.
15. To remove stubborn stains from most surfaces in the bathroom or kitchen, use a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water). Apply, let stand, then scrub or wipe clean.
16. To remove tea stains on teapots, soak stained teapot in ¼ cup baking soda and 1 quart warm water overnight before washing.
17. To remove scuff marks or grease spills from the floor, sprinkle with baking soda and then wipe with a warm, damp cloth. This is even safe for no-wax floors!
18. To help remove spills, blot as much as possible. Then clean as you normally would. When finished, sprinkle with baking soda. Vacuum. This will decrease the chance that some of the spilled item will remain in the carpet and cause unpleasant odors later.
19. Remove crayon stains and other marks on walls and furniture by sprinkling a bit of baking soda onto a damp sponge and applying directly to walls and furniture.
20. Sprinkle baking soda inside shoes to soak up sweat and odors; to the bottom of the laundry hamper to keep the hamper from smelling between emptyings; directly on gym bags to deodorize; and over the recycling bin and its contents to drive away the stink.
21. After you’ve cleaned a spill off your upholstery and the area is completely dry, sprinkle the spot with baking soda, let sit for 15 minutes, and vacuum to neutralize any odors.
22. To remove stale smells from food containers, rinse out with hot water and baking soda. If the smell persists, let the container soak overnight in the baking soda and water mixture.
23. To remove scents from a carpet, sprinkle with baking soda. Let stand for at least fifteen minutes, then vacuum. Repeat as needed.
24. Leave a box open in a corner of your closet to mitigate lingering smells.
25. To quickly clean pets and remove “wet dog” odor, sprinkle with baking soda and brush out their fur.
26. Baking soda in the litter-box will help prevent odors.
27. If there is a smoker in the house, put baking soda in the bottom of each ashtray to keep away some of the stale smoke smell.
28. To deodorize baby bottles, fill bottle with warm water and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Shake, rinse, and clean thoroughly.
CLEAN & ENHANCE PERSONAL PRODUCTS
29. Hairbrushes and combs can be cleaned in a baking soda solution.
30. To help get out residue from styling products, sprinkle a little baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo.
31. Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, or 3 parts baking soda to gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean.
32. Let retainers and dentures soak in a glass full of warm water and 2 teaspoons baking soda to clean.
33. Dust baking soda onto stuffed animals to clean, let it sit for 15 minutes, then dust off.
34. Before you store patio furniture for the season, scrub lawn chairs with baking soda and a wet sponge. You can also sprinkle baking soda underneath cushions every so often to keep them fresh.
35. Wipe camping and fishing gear down with a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart water.
36. For tough, greasy stains on grills, scrub with a wire brush and a paste made of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part warm water, then rinse well.
37. To get gunk and mildew off pool toys, use ¼ cup baking soda with 1 quart warm water and wipe down plastic and vinyl pool toys.
38. To remove grease and oil stains in the garage, dump some baking soda directly onto the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
39. Wash your car by mixing ¼ cup baking soda in 1 quart warm water. Use the solution to clean chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats and floor mats without scratches.
40. To control crabgrass, lightly wet crabgrass then sprinkle with baking soda every day for a week.
These 40 just scratch the surface of the versatility of baking soda when it comes to cleaning and deodorizing. You can also incorporate baking soda into your toiletries such as toothpaste, face wash and body care. Maybe we’ll cover that another day. In the meantime, who’s going to buy some baking soda today? Can you think of other ways to use baking soda in your every day cleaning practices?
Classic Cleaners is always looking for more ways to go “Green”. Check out our sister site for information about our “Green” efforts!
August 29, 2012
Being in the professional cleaning business, it’s probably no surprise that we’re interested in ALL things clean, not just your clothing, households and accessories. As another season comes to an end, it’s a great time to survey your home and clean items you’ve neglected for way too long. Your clothes are cleaned, fresh and pressed – now let’s get down to business on some of those household items!
With the help of HGTV Magazine, we’ve created part 3 of how often you should clean:
Behind the Stove – A free standing range should be pulled out and cleaned behind at least once a year. This will allow you to clean all the grease, crumbs and dropped food properly. Check your owners manual if you have a gas model because you’ll want to turn off the valve and unhook the line. Use a stiff bristled cleaning brush on the back of the stove, the wall, and the floor to remove crunchy debris. Mix a paste of equal parts baking soda and warm water and with a cotton cloth, scrub the wall, the stove exterior and the floor in a circular motion. Wipe with a damp cloth then spray with a kitchen surface cleaner.
Shower Head – To remove lime and calcium deposits that block spray holes and reduce the shower’s flow, you’ll want to clean your shower head once or twice a year. Unscrew the shower head and place it face down in a bowl filled with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Let it soak for a few hours. Use a toothbrush to remove any remaining mineral deposits. Rinse the head in clean water, then reattach.
Door Knobs and Light Switches – Every week when you are cleaning a particular room, give the door knobs and light switches a rub down with a general household cleaner, disinfecting wipe, or water and vinegar. If you wash your hands as you should, they may not be as dirty as you think, but the more family members in a house, the more handling they are going to get. To cut back on germs, give them the once over weekly.
Computer Keyboard and Mouse - Many household surfaces have been swabed and tested under a microscope and by far, even more than a door handle, the computer keyboard and mouse wins for harboring the grossest stuff. Clean your keyboard and mouse weekly. Here’s a video showing you how.
Toilet Brush - To keep the brush in good shape and sanitized, you should clean it about once a month. Fill a bucket with 10 cups of hot water and add a cup of bleach and a squirt of dish soap. Let it soak for an hour then air dry.
* If you really don’t like the idea of a toilet brush laying around, there are disposable toilet brushes which have toilet bowl cleaner already on the brush. It’s good for one use but you can use it again on another toilet bowl (during the same day of cleaning)with toilet bowl cleaner to cut back on waste.
Make-up Brushes – Your make-up brushes harbor lots of dirt and bacteria so cleaning them regularly will keep bacteria from growing and spreading. Once a week is fine for brushes that you use with powders such as blush and eye shadows. For brushes used with liquids such as foundation or concealer, try to clean daily if possible. You can use a spray make-up brush cleaner and some tissue or a soft towel to wipe the brushes. Or, use a mild brush cleaner, gentle face wash, or shampoo. Stay clear of any harsh cleaners, hand soaps and bar soaps as it could strip your brushes. Rinse thoroughly removing all dirt and cleanser, squeeze dry and reshape. Do not stand your brushes up to dry. The water will fall into the handle, causing bacteria to grow and your brushes will become smelly. Hang them over a ledge so the air can circulate around the brush to dry thoroughly. Allowing your brushes to remain wet will allow bacteria to grow and make your brushes smell. And don’t forget to wipe out your make-up bag!
As a reminder, we professionally clean Household items such as table linens, drapes, pillows, and bedding. Check out our post on how often you should clean these items.
Bring your households to any of our 17 locations or leave them for your route driver in you are part of our free pick-up and delivery service. If you haven’t signed up for free pick up and delivery service yet, click here to get started.
June 26, 2012
We’ve talked about how to soften your scruffy towels but what about when your towels get that awful, mildewy smell? This happens when they don’t dry all the way before you use them again or if you left a forgotten load of towels in the washer for too long. You open the door to retrieve them and they smell so bad, you’re tempted to throw them out. But don’t – they can be revived. Just follow these steps.
- Wash Towels on the hottest water setting possible. You may need to turn your hot water heater up for this wash. This is heavy duty stink you gotta get rid of and it needs hot, hot water. If you have a machine with a sanitizing option, use that.
- Wash on the longest, most heavy duty cycle your washer offers. The sturdy cotton material most towels are made of can handle it. This is the type of item your “heavy duty cycle” is made for so have no fear and use it! To get rid of that horrible smell and most likely the bacteria causing the smell, the towels need a lot of agitation and the long cycle will help the process.
- Use a capful of detergent up to the top fill line. Be sure to use high-quality detergent and a lot of it.
- Use a full scoop of oxi-clean in the wash and 1/2-1 cup of white vinegar in the rinse. Just put the vinegar straight into the fabric softener dispenser. Do not use fabric softener. It will only mask the smell and the next time you use the towels to dry off, the smell will be back. If after this initial washing your towels still smell moldy, repeat the above steps before drying. Heat will set in the smell. You may have to repeat the washing steps a few times if the towels are exceptionally stinky.
- Line dry or set on a portable drying rack in direct sunlight if possible. Fresh air and hot sunshine will help further get rid of the smell. If you can’t dry them outside, dry them on the hottest setting on your dryer. Make sure they are completely dry. This advice contradicts our drying guide in our blog ”top 10 ways to ruin your clothes” but remember, you’re trying to get rid of a very difficult smell to remove. In this one situation, you want to use the hottest heat and be certain they are completely dry. If they are wet at all when you put them away, they will smell horrible again the next time you use them.
If the do-it-yourself process above sounds more than you’d like to tackle, we’ll clean your smelly towels as part of our Family Wash. Just let us know they need special attension. We use the highest-quality detergents or we can use the detergent (we retain these for you and inform you when supplies are low).
To get started, please bring your laundry to any of our 17 locations, or call 317-577-5752 to set up free delivery within our delivery area.