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Consumer Tips


Spring Cleaning Help!

Q. During my spring cleaning, I washed my couch cushion cover it is now too small, totally off color, and crumbly on the inside when I got it out of the laundry. What happened?

A. The fabric covering for stuffed furniture and cushions is known as upholstery. The covers on the cushions usually have a zipper, giving rise to the myth that the cushions can be taken out and the cover can be cleaned, much like a pillow case to a bed set. This is not true–in fact, the zipper was put on for the convenience of the manufacturer. Most manufacturers do not expect the cover to be removed from the cushion during use or cleaning.

One should never remove cushion covers for separate drycleaning or washing. Any tumble cleaning method can destroy the back and shrink or otherwise damage the upholstery fabric. There are several different cleaning methods from spot cleaning to a light rub that can work on upholstery. Since each fabric is different and the correct method is not obviously apparent, the best thing to do is take the item to us with the cushion inside the casing. We will take care of the rest!


Caring for Rainwear

As those April showers head our way, months-long-forsaken raincoats are being pulled out of the closet to be used once again. But raincoats aren't just for spring anymore, they are multi functional garments that protect you from the rain, keep you warm on cool days, and can even be worn with evening wear.

Raincoats come in a variety of fabrics including brushed cotton, water-repellent wool gabardines, blends of polyester and rayon, cotton and wool, and even coated velvet's. The traditional yellow raincoat is no longer the norm as prints, plaids, vibrant colors, subdued colors, even combinations of designs and colors appear on the scene. In addition, raincoats today frequently sport trims of fur, suede, corduroy or other decorative fabrics.

Many cloth combinations are used in making raincoats, and these fabrics are often treated with water repellent finishes. The water repellent finish is different from the waterproofing previously described. Water repellent finishes usually have a degree of permanency that will withstand several drycleanings. In some cases, however, the water repellent finish breaks down, sometimes during the third or even later cleanings.


How do you Clean Baseball Caps

Whether youíre a big leaguer or in little league, baseball caps are bound to get dirty during the course of the game. The combination of sweat, dirt, and grass will see to that.

The preferred method of care is simply to hand wash the cap with a mild dish detergent, rinse it, and let it air dry. Machine washing on a gentle cycle may be another option, but this tends to be rough on the brim of the hat. The brim usually contains cardboard and can bend, distort or even tear from the agitation of the machine.

The plastic, adjustable hooks on the back of the hat may also pose a problem since they tend to melt at higher drying temperatures. Some designers have replaced these plastic hooks with a metal sliding hook that does not melt during washing. A plastic cap form that fits in and around the cap to hold its shape may also be available. The form allows you to wash the cap in an ordinary dishwasher while preventing the brim from getting bent or distorted during the wash cycle. Be sure to choose a dishwashing detergent that does not contain chlorine bleach.

Before attempting to clean any cap, test for colorfastness by applying a small amount of detergent and water to an inconspicuous area, then blot it with a white cloth. If any traces of dye appear on the cloth it may not be safe to clean the cap.

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