True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

On the internet, everyone's an expert (part one)

Girl at computerI'll admit it. My internet surfing interests are relatively focused: dry cleaning, wet cleaning, fabricare, garment care, fashion trends, fabrics, etc.

After all, operating a true quality cleaner and catering to the needs of clients with bespoke, made-to-measure, high fashion, designer, specialty and couture garments is much more than a full time endeavor.

Given this relatively narrow focus, I'm constantly amazed at the mountains of "advice" flying around the internet when it comes to removing stains, spots and odors from garments and household textiles. And I'm constantly amazed at the ignorance inherent in such advice when it comes to the specific combination of stain, stain type, fabric color, fabric type and dye type (see my previous post, Stain mishaps. Do's and Don'ts).

Just consider these two internet gems for a moment ...

One source claims that you can avoid dry cleaning your "dry clean only" garments until the end of the season. And the trick? Pour vodka into a spritz bottle and spray all areas that smell. Then let the garment air out or steam with a clothes steamer. And the rationale? Your body deposits bacteria onto your clothes and vodka safely kills the bacteria that causes the odor.

And the advice doesn't only come from ordinary Joes (or Josephines).

Shannon Lush is an Australian cleaning "guru" whose weekly radio program attracts a huge following and whose collection of cleaning tips have spawned two best sellers, Spotless and Speedcleaning.

Lush offers the following advice on cleaning a grubby winter coat: place the coat in a pillowcase filled with unprocessed wheat bran and a small amount of white vinegar; tie up the pillowcase and shake. According to Lush, wheat germ leaches out the dirt and smells, and cleans just as well as professional dry cleaning.

I kid you not!

Obviously, I have a bias: I'm not looking to remove mustard from blue jeans using something I might find in a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. Such as bicarbonate of soda, oil of cloves, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, ammonia or bleach.

My (free) advice? Beware of free advice. And take everything you read about garment and household textile care on the internet with a grain of salt. Or a spritz of vodka. Or a pillowcase of wheat bran. In many cases that free advice is worth what it costs.

How can I help you?


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