Can I Gently Machine Wash Clothes that Say “Hand Wash Only?”
Is the Half-Time Show Sharp?
We are well into the football season and while many fans may be cheering for the football players are you enjoying the half-time show? Here are some tips to keeping your musical star looking great.
Band uniforms are very expensive and generally require professional cleaning. They are usually wool or a wool/synthetic blend, and are susceptible to damage from perspiration and rubbing under the armpits during marching. Wearing a t-shirt underneath helps absorb some of the perspiration. Other common band uniform stains are ink, food, sugar drinks, grass, and mud—which shouldn’t be terribly surprising considering all the pep rallies and football games band members must attend.
The uniforms should be cleaned as soon as possible after each use (usually between football games) in order to prevent any stains from setting and to avoid attracting insects, which especially prey on wool fibers.
No matter what, follow the care label and remember that we’re here to help with difficult stains or any items that need professional attention.
A Pain in the Necktie
Even though many workplaces have casual dress codes, neckties for men are still a big part of their wardrobe. Ties can be a powerful or fun fashion statement and pose a cleaning problem. The fabric used for ties is cut diagonally to the weave, or “on the bias,” so it makes a neat knot when worn around the neck.
Unfortunately, this type of cut is easily distorted or stretched, causing puckering and fullness. In many instances, sizing or finishes are used during manufacturing to stabilize fabrics. If the finish is removed in cleaning, the fabric will lose its shape and stability. In the case of ties, this makes it nearly impossible to return the necktie to a wearable condition.
Sometimes a tie doubles as a bib and collects a variety of stains. Most tie stains require water to remove them. In many cases, the dyes are also affected by water, leading to problems when it comes time to tackle a tough stain. Attempts to remove the stains will likely disturb the dyes.
The several layers used to make neckties prevent quick drying of any particular area. The typical solution is to take the tie apart to work on only one layer at a time, but this can also cause distortions because of the bias cut.
So, let us take care of your ties and you can take care of your business.
Customer Question: The care label on a
sweater indicates it is hand washable. Can I wash it in a machine on a delicate cycle?
A There is some risk involved in using any care process not recommended by the manufacturer. Hand washing involves manual removal of soils with water, detergent, and a gentle squeezing action. A care label that calls for machine washing, in a delicate or gentle cycle, indicates the garment can be cleaned with water, detergent or soap, slow agitation, and reduced time in a washing machine.
Hand washing is a restrictive care process that minimizes the amount of abrasion a garment receives in cleaning. If hand washable garments are machine washed in a gentle cycle, agitation may be further minimized by putting the item in a net bag.
Beware – even this procedure is in violation of the care label instruction, and places responsibility for damages on the launderer rather than the manufacturer.