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How Dry Cleaning Helps Maintain Your Accessories: Ties, Scarves and Hats

We often hear that our choice in accessories can make or break an outfit. With that in mind, how we launder our accessories is a major force in maintaining their appearance in order to prolong their lives.

Mens Tie

Here are some tips on how to maintain some of your favorite accessories:

Ties

For men, ties are a statement piece, they work to make boring work-wear pop. Ties can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common material is silk. Silk is a delicate fabric that can be damaged by exposure to chemicals and heat. Cleaning your silk tie too often can weaken silk fibers. To avoid damage, silk ties should be laundered on an as-needed basis. More importantly, by a professional who can determine the exact material composition of your tie and determine how it would be best cleaned. Due to this, in the case of a stain on a tie, blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth in order to remove excess substance, and leave the stain removal to Sandy’s Cleaners. Improperly washing your silk tie can leave it damaged or misshapen.

Scarves

Scarves are no longer reserved for winter, and as an accessory that can make any basic outfit trendy, they come in a variety of weights and materials. Two popular materials are cashmere and silk.  As in the case of silk ties, silk scarves can be easily damaged and misshapen by improper cleaning practices. However, cashmere can be equally as tricky.

Cashmere is a type of wool and as such should never be exposed to hot water, as it will cause a cashmere scarf to shrink. Furthermore, cashmere is easily misshapen, especially during the cleaning process when the cashmere becomes heavy when wet. Therefore, something as simple as handling a wet cashmere scarf can stretch it out and cause it to lose its shape. With such delicate handling requirements, its best to leave cleaning your cashmere scarves up to the professionals and let us launder your delicate cashmere.  Not only can we ensure that your cashmere scarves are handled properly, but they are also shaped and reshaped appropriately during and after the cleaning process.

Hats

Hats are an accessory that can be functional or trendy. Either way, fit is important and improper cleaning could misshape or damage a hat and affect its fit. Hats also come in a variety of not-so-obvious materials, often using more than one, that can include cotton, wool and leather. As in the case of cotton and wool, a major issue in attempting to wash a hat at home could be shrinking or stretching the material and damaging the brim. In the case with leather, leather can crack if mistreated. Because of this, instead of risking irreparable damage, bring your hats to us and we will determine which cleaning process is best for the hat to ensure that it maintains its shape.

If you’re ever unsure whether an accessory should be dry cleaned, don’t risk damaging the item and call us, we would be happy to offer our expertise! Dry cleaners are well-equipped to handle any out-of-the-ordinary items and with six locations throughout the Charleston area, including Goose Creek, Daniel Island and Summerville, a Sandy’s Cleaners is just around the corner from wherever you call home!

The Truth About At-Home Dry Cleaning Kits

We see at-home dry cleaning kits advertised everywhere as a time and cost-effective way to wash your delicate “dry clean only” fabrics at home, but are they really comparable to professional dry cleaning services?

at home dry cleaning

Although at-home dry cleaning kits claim to follow the same  basic steps as a professional dry cleaner by treating stains and cleaning the clothes, you may spend more money  and time attempting to dry clean at-home, to only find that the at-home kit is not able to stack up to the results of your professional dry cleaner.  Here’s why:

  • Treating the Stain: Although at-home stain removers can be beneficial in treating stains, the kind of stain remover included in these at-home dry cleaning kits are the same kind you can buy separately over-the-counter and therefore are not unique to the dry-cleaning process. Although these types of stain removers are useful on water-based stains, they are unable to treat oil-based stains. Furthermore, by improperly treating a stain, you could do damage to the fabric. This is when it would be more beneficial to go to a professional dry cleaner, who can determine what type of agent needs to be used to remove your particular stain.

 

  • Washing the Clothing: The at-home kits include a dryer bag that simulates the process of dry cleaning that you place your clothing and a dryer-activated cloth in after treating any stains. The secret is in the dryer cloths, which are a combination of a small amount of water, fragrance and an emulsifying agent. The heat from the dryer creates a steam from the cloth that is able to infuse the clothing with fragrance, giving your garments a fresh smell and temporarily de-wrinkling them. However, this process is not actually cleaning the garment as professional dry cleaning does; it is simply fluffing the clothing and making them smell good.

 

  • Finishing: Finishing is the one step that is unable to be replicated by at-home dry cleaning kits. Your professional cleaner will inspect your clothing after dry cleaning, checking for stains that were left behind, missing buttons and ripped seams, and making repairs accordingly. They may also put your clothes in another bath to help reshape them and steam press your garments to get out wrinkles. There is no comparison when it comes to finishing touches, a professional dry cleaner does it best.

 

Although at-home dry cleaning kits may be enticing, they simply cannot replicate professional dry cleaning methods. Give us a chance to prove our expertise and give us a call!

Fire Damage and Water Damage Restoration

No one wants to encounter accidents that leave their homes and possessions potentially destroyed, but the facts are that accidents do happen. Fortunately, being educated on what to do after an accident that leaves your clothes and upholstery damaged by fire or water can increase the chances of recovering your belongings.

water

Fire Damage

After a fire, you may feel discouraged going through your belongings; however, fire damage is repairable for many clothing and upholstered items as long as they weren’t severely scorched. Two common types of damage done to belongings after a fire are visible soot damage and invisible odor damage.

Soot is an oily substance that smears and stains easily. To avoid irreparable damage, it is best to call in professionals for household soot removal, and bring your clothing and other items, such as drapery and bedding, to us for a professional cleaning.

Odor removal can also be tricky. Depending on what was burned, plastic or wood, depends on the composition of the odor and therefore how a cleaning product will react to the odor molecules. Furthermore, attempting to clean an item that has not been properly deodorized can further set in the odor. Because of this, it is best to leave the deodorizing and cleaning to us.

But, here are some steps you can take before the professionals come in to optimize their results:

  • Cover clean items- Covering undamaged items is an important step both before and during the cleaning and restoring process to contain the mess. This can be done with plastic sheets.
  • Dry items- After a fire you could find your possessions doused in water. Before the professionals step in, you want to try and get your possessions as dry as possible. This can be done by hanging upholstery and clothes, setting up fans and dehumidifiers, and opening up windows for ventilation.
  • Change your furnace filter- Changing your furnace filter daily until you see it free of soot can prevent redistributing soot particles throughout your home, which can cause further damage.
  • Create a buffer between your furniture and your floor- Placing aluminum foil or wood blocks under your furniture can prevent staining, mold, and mildew.

Water Damage

Just as fire brings both visible and invisible damage, the main agent in water damage is invisible bacteria. Improper handling of contaminated items, as well as improper removal of the bacteria in clothing and upholstery, can not only cause damage to your property, but also to yourself. Because of this, it is best to leave water damage restoration up to the professionals. But before you bring us your clothing and linens, here are some steps you can take to protect your possessions and yourself:

  • Think about the water source- If the water source that caused the damage is from a sink or bathtub, the water is going to be fairly clean compared to sewage water or flood waters from the ground, and steps must be taken accordingly.
  • Sort clothing- Sort clothing according to color, material, and how heavily they are soiled. If any clothing is caked in mud, hose the garment off and hang-dry away from heat and sunlight prior to cleaning. Do not bag the clothing or leave it in a pile. Bacteria will begin to grow within hours and this will only make the damage worse. Most importantly, be aware of what clothing has been handled and where they were placed. All people and surfaces that handled the garments are susceptible to nasty bacteria and must be cleaned afterward.
  • Bring clothing and linens to a professional dry cleaner- Bringing your garments to us ASAP will reduce the time that bacteria have to grow and spread, preventing further damage. Also be sure to let us know the garments were in a flood, or something similar, so that we can take the necessary steps to treat the garments.

If you have any questions regarding how Sandy’s Cleaners can help you with fire or water restoration, contact us at any one of our six locations!

What is Dry Cleaning?

We all have those items in our closet that say “Dry Clean Only” and we rush to the cleaners in fear that we may damage our beloved outfit, but does everyone actually know what happens at the dry cleaners that’s different from an at-home cleaning?

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A general misconception is that dry cleaning is actually dry, using no liquid. But there are actually three types of “dry” cleaning that take place when you bring your garments to the cleaner.

  • Dry Cleaning- Although many cleaning processes are referred to as “dry cleaning,” there is an actual process referred to by cleaners as dry cleaning. Unlike at-home washing, dry cleaning gets its name because water is not used during the cleaning process. However, other solvents are used to saturate the clothes in a way that gets the garments just as wet as water. When you bring your clothes to a cleaner they are first inspected for stains, and a spot removal process is used in order to loosen soil and debris so that washing is effective. Next, clothes are put into a large washer with non-water based solvents. Clothes are then re-inspected for any flaws. This method is generally regarded as safer on clothing because not all fabrics react well to water and a tedious process is upheld to ensure that clothes are not damaged in the process.

 

  • Wet Cleaning- Wet cleaning is a professional cleaning process that uses water as the solvent to clean garments. Similar to at-home cleaning methods, water is combined with a detergent; however, the detergents are less harsh than similar at-home soaps. Furthermore, with the combination of gentler soaps and advanced washers with highly customizable wash cycles, wet-cleaning ensures that your clothing is well cared for. Although wet-cleaning is appropriate for many cleaning conundrums, this process is still best for water-based stains, still making the dry-cleaning processes necessary.

 

  • Spot Cleaning- Spot cleaning is a process that only treats a spot or stain instead of the entire garment. Sometimes spot cleaning is necessary due to a fragile garment that has intricate embellishments that may not be able to withstand the dry cleaning or wet cleaning process; however, this is rare. During spot cleaning, the garment is placed on a board that resembles an ironing board and then the garment is subjected to steam, cleaning products, and a vacuum or air drying.

 

So, next time you’re at Sandy’s Cleaners, ask us how we process your garments and we will gladly walk you through our procedures!

How to Care for Specialty Fabrics

With temperatures finally rising in the Lowcountry, it’s time to put away the heavy clothing and don your lighter fashions. Here are some tips to extend the lives of your specialty fabrics so that you can stay fresh and cool all summer long.

Delicates

Chiffon is light and sheer, making it perfect for summertime parties. Unfortunately, its ultra-delicate construction makes it prone to damage when it gets wet. Because of this, it’s important to take care while cleaning the garment. Pay special attention to the care instructions on the tag as some chiffon must be hand-washed, while other times it can be washed on the delicate cycle with cold water. Most importantly, do not apply heat for drying. Your chiffon garments do best when they are hanged to dry. Due to the delicacy of the material, in case of a stain do not wet or wipe the stain, these problems are best left up to your dry cleaner.

Linen is definitely a summer special; unfortunately, it is infamous for wrinkling. Because of this, wringing or twisting of the fabric during the washing process will only exaggerate the wrinkling. Make sure not to overload the washer so there’s lots of room for your linen garment, and set your washer to a lukewarm or cold cycle. For best results, dry the garment on low heat and pull it out while it is still damp and iron it. Most importantly, do not fold the garment, always hang linen. In case of a stain, if the stain is water-based blotting the stain with a mild detergent can help to remove it. For an oil-based stain it is best to seek the professional help of your dry cleaner.

Silk can be seen as the primary fabric of a piece of clothing or as an accent in the form of an overlay. Sometimes it’s even mixed with chiffon to create a blend. Either way, it is by far one of the most delicate fabrics. Sunlight, sweat, or chemicals (like those in hairspray or sunscreen), can weaken silk fibers and leave spots. In order to prevent unnecessary damage, silk garments should be the last thing you put on as to not get ruined in the make-up process. Furthermore, washing a silk item too frequently can also ruin the garment. Because of this, we recommend a silk garment always be taken to the dry cleaner for proper care.

To avoid any unnecessary damage to a specialty fabric, read all care instructions on the garment’s tag – if it says “Dry Clean Only,” give Sandy’s Cleaners a call!

Have you ever accidentally washed or dried a delicate fabric? Share your stories in the comments!

Preserving Your Wedding Dress

As we enter the busy wedding season here in Charleston, SC, what could be more important than looking great for that special day? Often times, special care is paid to a wedding dress before the big event, but what about after? As wedding dresses are a token to commemorate a life-long commitment for many brides, it’s important to know how to preserve the life of your wedding dress.

Wedding Dress

After-Wear: So you’ve partied the night away at your reception…what’s next?

  • Dry clean your dress ASAP. Even if your dress does not appear soiled substances such as sweat and alcohol dry clear and deteriorate, age, and discolor the fabric of your dress as time passes.
  • With your honeymoon awaiting you maybe in a rush to be on your way, so if you’re unable to have your dress cleaned immediately, temporarily store your dress in a 100 percent cotton garment bag so the fabric can breathe, and on a padded hanger to prevent tugging on the fabric and dye transfer from hangers made of other materials.

Permanent Storage: You’ve had your dress dry-cleaned, now what?

  • Wrap it up. Wrapping your dress in an acid-free paper will prevent dye transfer from any materials that your dress may find itself next to.
  • Store it flat or folded. Hanging a dress for long-time storage can cause the fabric to stretch.
  • Temperature matters. Keep your dress in an area where the temperature is moderate and away from sunlight, as this will help with fabric discoloration and deterioration.
  • Don’t over-handle. Although it can be helpful to take your dress out of storage every once in a while to breathe, over-handling can cause aging.

Most importantly, if you have any concerns, give your nearest Sandy’s Dry Cleaners a call. We are the experts and should be able to help you with any questions or concerns.

 

Storing Winter Clothes

Laundry Bag

With the first days of spring behind us, we’re hoping for warmer weather that will allow us to bust out our spring and summer wardrobes! However, making room for all of your summer clothes must take first priority. That’s right, that means storing your winter clothes – aka cashmere sweaters and winter coats!

As an essential spring cleaning duty, this wardrobe transition isn’t one to overthink. What items should you be packing away? We suggest the following:

  • cashmere sweaters

  • heavy pants, shirts and suits

  • winter coats

  • scarves, gloves, mittens and hats

  • wool socks

  • fur items

  • long underwear or long johns

  • winter boots

Preparation: Making Your Clothes Storage-Ready

After gathering all items going into storage, you must make sure each item is clean. When you pull these items back out next winter, you want them looking (and smelling) fabulous. Cleaning will help retain freshness and repel insects.

Separate the items that are able to be washed from those that need special care – it’s best to have your dry cleaner take care of those items for the best storage practices. When it comes to special items, such as fur coats, lightly spray them with Febreeze and give it a light brushing, but be careful not to over saturate.

Taking the risk of not cleaning each item could lead to your clothing being greeted by moths, beetles, ants, silverfish and cockroaches once fall returns. Avoid starch and fabric softener on items you’re storing; these tend to attract insects more.

If you think any items are already infiltrated by insects, place them into freezer bags and freeze them for 48 hours, take them out and defrost for 24 hours, then refreeze for another 48 hours to kill any lingering insects.

Storing: Proper Containers, Folding and Hanging

Once you have decided what items to store and made sure they are all clean, the next step is to make sure you’re prepared with all of the proper storage utilities. Garbage bags and cardboard boxes are the least expensive, but offer the lowest amount of protection for your clothes. Bags can easily be punctured and aren’t ideal for keeping clothes properly folded. Plastic containers are recommended if moisture or pests are a concern. If you aren’t doing any traveling this summer, storing your items in your luggage is a great way to protect them without buying new containers.

Plastic, wooden or cloth boxes with lids are best for storage. Making sure your storage containers can breathe will help the air circulate and reduce mold growth and mildew stains that occur when moisture gets trapped. If you have an airtight container, consider poking a few tiny holes in the top to encourage circulation.

Folding your clothes properly also affects the way they will look next winter. Try rolling your sweaters to avoid folding lines. Lay items you aren’t hanging, such as delicates, sweaters or pants, with the heaviest on the bottom and lighter items on top. Lay them flat with acid-free tissue paper or clean white pillowcases in between each article to maintain color, then zip them up in thick plastic or canvas bags. Finally, to make the unpacking easier, storing your items in categories will help; sweaters in one box, pants in another.

Hang winter coats and suits on wooden or plastic hangers (not wire!) and cover the hangers with white pillowcases or sheets to avoid creases. Then place them in fabric garment bags, which are best for avoiding wrinkles and keeping the items in their regular shape. If hanging isn’t possible, lie the garments flat.

 

Final Steps: Add-Ins and Where to Store

When it comes to add-ins, you have several options that will keep your clothing fresh and smelling fabulous. The go-to item is mothballs to avoid infestation, but these can release pesticides that exacerbate human and pet health and can smell foul. Opt for placing lavender pouches or cedar chips inside the storage containers.

When it comes to storing shoes, stuff them with tissue paper so they don’t lose their shape. Make sure they are also clean by taking a cotton cloth or shoe brush and polish or put leather conditioner on them.

Keeping all of your stored items in a cool, clean area that is safe from water is the optimal environment to keep your clothes safe. A place away from any windows is also better for avoiding insects and moisture. The ideal storage spot is also dark, dry and relatively cool. Closets work, or spaces under the bed or stairwells. Make sure the area is freshly vacuumed and clean before placing any storage items inside.

Finally, label the outside of your storage containers for easy organization and to help quickly find items you may need.

Once you’re done with these steps and have properly stored your winter articles, the last thing to do is to pick a weekend when you have enough time to do the official wardrobe switch-over!

Do you have any other concerns or specific questions when it comes to storing your clothes? Give us a call at the location closest to you or visit our website to find out more! What do you use to keep your winter clothes fresh when they’re in storage? Comment below with any tips or tricks you use!

Find Sandy’s Cleaners Online

Social Media

Since you’re reading this post, we’re going to assume you’ve found our website – but did you know we but we can be found all over the web?!

Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you to find us! We’ve gathered a list of all the different places you can find us online. From all the ways we can better your laundry service, to our favorite laundry tips & tricks, we like to post a whole range of fun & exciting things.

We’d love to hear from you – so make sure to follow us on whichever networks you use, if not all of them!

Also, feel free to email us at either of the addresses below:

  • For Customer Care: customercare@sandyscleanersonline.com

  • For Delivery: delivery@sandyscleanersonline.com

For any questions, comment below or feel free to give us a call!

 

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Locations

Sandy's Cleaners

1580 Old Trolley Road
Summerville, SC 29485
843-871-0502

Sandy's Cleaners

234 Seven Farms Drive
Daniel Island, SC 29492
843-971-6560

Sandy's Cleaners

9500 Dorchester Rd. Suite 200
North Charleston, SC 29485
843-851-7744

Sandy's Cleaners

234 Mathis Ferry Rd,
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
843-216-1313

Sandy's Cleaners

9471 Highway 78
Ladson, SC 29456
843-797-8411

Lighthouse Cleaners

65 Sycamore Avenue #D
Charleston, SC 29407
843-556-1010

Sweetgrass Cleaners

211 Saint James Ave
Goose Creek, SC 29445
843-572-8414

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