Koalaty Cleaners Blog

WASHING MACHINES – TOP LOAD OR FRONT LOAD?

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Washing machines…one of life’s greatest answers to one of our regular chores.  Washing machines have been around for ages, however, they have come a long way, baby!  Washing clothes on a rock dates back to the stone ages (of course), the washboard was invented in 1797, and the every first washing machine with a drum was patented in 1851 by James King.

 

Aren’t you glad you don’t have to scrub your clothes on a rock or washboard, or run them through a wringer?  It seems nowadays, the biggest dilemma is what type of washing machine to buy…a top load or front load machine.  They aren’t really that different…they both get the job done, but I’ve listed a few facts you might find helpful when selecting your next washing machine.

Front loading machines:  Front loaders are typically more expensive than top load machines.  However, they are more energy and water efficient, using 24 gallons of water for one large load of clothes.

Some models of front load machines also come with a “steam” cycle.  This is a great cycle to use if you have clothes with tough stains.  Pre-treat the stain, and then wash according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Several of the reviews I have seen say this is a great thing to have with kids around; who are “stain makers”!

The biggest drawback that I have seen regarding front loading machines is the development of mold and mildew.  Click here to view a video that gives great tips on preventing this problem.

Top loading machines:  Top loaders are still great washing machines; they are less expensive than the top load machines; however, they are less water and energy efficient.  That’s not to say that they are NOT energy or water efficient, just less so.  A top loading machine uses 40 gallons of water to wash one large load of clothes.

Top loading machines don’t seem to have near the problem of mold and mildew as the front loading machines.  To clean your top loading machine, you can run the machine full of hot water, and then add 4 cups of distilled white vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda.  Allow the machine to run for about 5 minutes, then turn it off and let the water stand in the machine for about 1 hour.  Then resume the cycle and let it run its normal cycle.  This should remove any dirt or mildew smell.  Once it is finished, you might want to take a damp cloth and wipe down the inside of the machine.

If you want to find out what machines are best, click here and read a consumer report that compares several washing machines and gives their ratings.

Then if you still can’t decide, bring your laundry to Koalaty Cleaners, where we will fluff and fold it for you to your specifications!

HEY WHERE’S MY….

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How many times do you walk into your closet looking for a particular shirt or pair of jeans, only to come out and say “Hey, where’s my….”  Is it because it’s not in the closet, or is it because your closet is too cluttered and you can’t find anything?  If it’s like most people’s closets, it’s because it’s too cluttered!

By taking just a little bit of time to get your closet cleaned out and organized, you’ll be able to save yourself time and money!  How will this save you money?   Because you’ll be able to find those clothes, shoes, ties or scarves you’re looking for instead of giving up and buying new ones!

Why is your closet cluttered?  Probably because you have clothes in there that are either too large or too small and you’re holding on to them “just in case” you might be able to wear them again someday.  Also, take a look at your shoes…seriously, how many of those shoes do you continue to wear?  Chances are, not all of them!  If you have clothes or shoes that are more than 2 years old and you haven’t worn them, you need to get rid of them…they are already out of style!  And if you don’t get rid of them now, you’ll have to keep them another 18 years until they come back in style.  Who’s got that much closet space?

It’s time to get tough!  Let’s get that closet organized and save yourself time, money and headaches!  Here are a few tips to getting it together!

  1. Get several large trash bags or boxes to use for items you are going to donate or throw out
  2. Take everything out of the closet and make piles; shoes, clothes, purses, belts, etc.
  3. Take a serious look at your shoes.  If you honestly haven’t worn them in 2 years and they are in good shape, put them in the donation box.  A great way to store your shoes is either in a clear shoe box, or on a shoe rack; no more lost shoes!
  4. Take a look at each piece of clothing.  Is it in good shape, do you currently wear it.  If you do, place it in the keep pile.  If you run across things you can still wear, but need repairs, put those in a separate pile.
  5. Once you have evaluated every item and placed it in its proper pile, clear the deck…take the donation items and place them in the garage.  Take the items you are throwing out, and put them out for the garbage collection.
  6. Now, take a good look at the things you are keeping.  Hang like items together in the closet making it easy to find things…jeans together, slacks together, shirts, blouses, skirts, etc.
  7. Use good quality hangers designed for specific items of clothing.  The wrong hanger can ruin your clothing. (See previous blog “Just Hanging Around”)
  8. A great way to keep up with your accessories is to use a hanger for ties, belts and scarves, or also store those in clear plastic boxes.
  9. Purses – The 2 year rule applies there too.  If you’re not carrying those purses, get rid of them.  Protect your purses by storing them in cotton storage bags or clear plastic boxes.
  10. Store your off season clothing in another closet, or separate section until needed.

Does your closet look like this?

Wouldn’t it be great if it looked like this? Customize your closet like this one by California Closets.

Once you get your closet organized, the only thing you’ll be looking for is your car keys……

Written by koalatycleaners

May 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

JUST HANGING AROUND

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Did you see the movie “Mommie Dearest”?  Well, if you did, I’m sure you remember Joan Crawford’s deep affection for wire coat hangers!  Actually she despised them…and I have to tell you I agree.

Basic wire hangers have a temporary use, and that is to get your clothes home from the store or dry cleaners.  After that, you don’t want to leave them on those hangers very long as they will cause your garments to “crease” on the shoulders and collars of shirts, and at the knees on slacks.  As soon as you get your clothes home from the dry cleaners, you should remove them from the plastic bag, and hang your clothes on better hangers.

The Container Store is a great source for hangers of all types.  They carry everything from light weight plastic hangers to heavy duty wooden hangers.  Once you’ve made the initial investment, these hangers will last forever and will protect your clothing and keep it looking great!  Below are some of my favorites:

These hardwood hangers are great for blouses, shirts, slacks and skirts. If you are limited on space you can double up items on the second and third hangers, using them for a shirt/blouse AND slacks or skirts.

These “break resistant” plastic hangers are great as well. You can use the notched hanger to hold tank tops or items of clothing with thin straps.

Padded hangers are great for sweaters, shawl collars and jackets.

These heavy duty plastic hangers are great for jeans. You can also hang belts on the hook. Plastic hangers come in various sizes and are great for your kids’ clothing!

Do you ever have a hard time keeping up with your belts? This hanger will help you keep those items in one place.

Keep your scarves tangle and wrinkle free with this terrific hanger.

Cedar hangers are a great way to store your clothing in its “off season”…they keep your clothing in great shape and repel moths!

What do you do with those wire hangers?  Koalaty Cleaners and most dry cleaners will take them back and recycle them.

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY

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I know lately you’ve been hearing a lot about Earth Day.  Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22nd.  If you’re not familiar with Earth Day I’ll fill you in…

Earth Day is a day to promote awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.  It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries around the world every year.

At Koalaty Cleaners we use an environmentally friendly cleaning process and we don’t use “perc”, which is a very toxic chemical used in the dry cleaning industry.  We also recycle our plastic dry cleaning bags and metal hangers.  You can help with this effort by bringing in your bags and hangers along with your laundry/dry cleaning and we’ll take care of the rest!

Other ways you can protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint are:

  • Participate in your community’s local recycling program, i.e., aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic containers and paper items.
  • Many cities have a recycling program for “organic” materials such as your grass clippings and tree branches, etc.  The city will collect these items and turn them into compost and mulch, which you can in turn pick up from the city and use in your garden and flower beds.
  • Adjust your washing machine’s water level to the appropriate size load; don’t set on high, when you only have 4 or 5 items in the washer
  • Use environmentally friendly laundry detergents
  • Purchase clothing made from natural fibers such as bamboo, cotton and even hemp.
  • Start your own compost program at home
  • Turn off lights and electronic equipments when not in use
  • Consolidate trips when running errands, thus cutting back on your gasoline consumption
  • Park your car and ride your bicycle, walk, or ride public transportation

Celebrate Earth Day by consciously doing something “environmentally friendly”!  Whatever you choose to do, know that every little bit helps to preserve the Earth.  Whether you do a little or a lot, it all helps!

SWIM WEAR CARE

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It’s time to get those bathing suits out and get ready to hit the beach or pool!  I know you ladies put in a lot of time and effort to select just the perfect suit (or two), and they can be quite expensive these days.  You want that suit to look great, fit great and last a few seasons!  How do you do that, you ask?

Well, bathing suits are mostly made from synthetic materials such as polyester, Lycra and spandex.  These materials are easily broken down over time by chlorine, salt, sand, tanning oils and body oils, so proper and timely cleaning is very important! In addition to normal wear and tear on a bathing suit, the way you clean it can also cause harm.

Here are some tips to keep that suit looking fresh, fitting great and lasting a few seasons!

  1. If possible, immediately after coming out of the ocean, pool or hot tub, rinse off with clear water.  Removing chlorine and salt as soon as possible will extend the wear of your suit.
  2. Of course always check the care label on the garment before washing.  With modern washing machines, these days washing suits on delicate is usually fine.
  3. Be sure to wash on cold water, delicate cycle, with a very mild detergent such as Woolite.
  4. If you choose to, you can wash the suit in the sink by hand, with mild detergent.  Wring gently.
  5. Use a liquid detergent instead of a powder, to reduce abrasion on the suit.
  6. NEVER use bleach on a swim suit.
  7. NEVER put a bathing suit in the dryer.  The heat from the dryer will break down the fabric.  Lay it on a towel or hang it up to air dry.

With just a little TLC you can keep that bathing suit looking great and stretch your investment into a few seasons!

KEEP YOUR COOL

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The weather is warming up already here in Texas, and we are just around the corner from summer!  We tend to have a very short spring, so getting geared up NOW for summer is essential!

I’m often asked what fabrics are best for hot weather.  Of course, we all know to stay away from dark colors as much as possible because they absorb heat…go with white or light pastels which will reflect the heat and sun.  Go for lighter weight fabrics for ventilation.  As far as fabric types, I’ve listed a few of my favorites and explain why they are good choices for summer, especially in hot climates.

Cotton – Cotton’s a natural fabric, breathes, wicks away moisture and is easy to clean.  Cotton comes in a wide variety of styles and weights, anywhere from sheer, gauzy type fabrics to heavy denim.  Cotton garments of course have to be pressed, but if you get a blend of cotton/bamboo, or even cotton and polyester (cotton being the dominant component) you’ll be able to avoid the ironing.

Bamboo – It’s also a natural fiber, great at wicking away moisture and keeping you cool.  Bamboo feels much like silk, and is very soft and versatile.  There are cotton/bamboo blended fabrics which hold up great for summer as well.  Bamboo is also very easy to clean.  Many designers are using bamboo for work out clothing as opposed to spandex because of its great ability to keep you dry and cool.

Linen – Linen is a great summer fabric, as it is breathable, soft, and absorbs moisture quickly.    Like cotton, linen comes in a variety of weights and is used for everything from lightweight blouses to heavier weight jackets.  Linen’s biggest drawback is the fact that it needs to be ironed.  To minimize the need for ironing you could select a cotton/linen blend which is a very luxurious fabric and is great for summer.

Try to stay away from synthetic fabrics such as polyester, spandex or nylon as much as possible.  These fabrics do not breathe or absorb moisture. Save these fabrics for your swim wear.

BACK TO NATURE

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Spring is officially here, and with that comes lots of outdoor activities; camping trips, yard work, kids playing outdoors and picnics.  Along with those outdoor activities come stains such as mud and grass stains, just to name a few.  Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when treating those stains before it’s too late:

GRASS STAINS


  1. Never use ammonia, degreaser or alkaline detergents because they will permanently set the stain.
  2. Use a liquid or powder detergent that contains enzymes and a stain remover such as bleach.  Mix detergent with water and soak the stained area for 10 – 15 minutes, then scrub!  Rinse with cold water and wash normally.  If the stain isn’t completely gone, repeat but DO NOT place in the clothes dryer until the stain is removed.  Otherwise it will “set” the stain.
  3. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol – wet a sponge with alcohol and scrub the stained area.  Rinse and let it air dry.  Repeat if the stain isn’t completely gone.  Once it is, wash normally.
  4. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide – mix equal parts bleach and peroxide and mix three parts of cold water. Pour on the stained area and let it soak for about an hour.  Rinse and wash as normal.
  5. Shout – Shout is an excellent product.  Apply directly to the stained area, rubbing it in well as you apply.  Let stand about 10 minutes, wash normally.
  6. On all of the treatments above, check to see if stain is gone before drying in clothes dryer.  If it’s not, the heat from the dryer will permanently set the stain.
  7. Dry clean only – if your item is dry clean only, do not attempt to remove the stain yourself.  Take to your favorite dry cleaner, and point it out to them.

MUD STAINS


  1. First, allow the stained clothing to dry.
  2. Brush over the stained area with a stiff brush and remove as much dried mud as possible.
  3. Soak in a mixture of laundry detergent and cold water for about 15 minutes.  Remove from water and scrub the stained area again with the stiff brush.  Rinse, and repeat if necessary.
  4. Once you’ve removed all you can by soaking and scrubbing, wash normally.  Check the stained area prior to drying in the clothes dryer to avoid setting the stain.
  5. Shout is also good for removing mud from clothing.  Rub on the stained area, let stand for about 10 minutes and wash normally.

Always remember, your dry cleaner is your best source for information on how to properly remove stains and to clean your clothing and linens.  We’re just a phone call away!