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Birmingham Alabama Laundry Tips

Here at Dry Clean City of Vestavia Hills we strive to keep our customers informed about the best ways to care for their wardrobes and household items. Our customers, in the Birmingham Alabama area, will benefit from reading the article below that was posted in USA Today May 2016:


How old-fashioned laundry habits are ruining your machine, fabrics

Always read the label and choose washer settings carefully


Fashions have changed over the years, but research shows that most Americans cling to laundry habits as outdated as bell-bottom jeans and poodle skirts. Need specifics? Plenty of folks pay to dry-clean machine-washable clothes, most consumers ignore a washer’s specialty cycles, and nearly everyone uses too much laundry detergent.

But there’s good news: Modern washing machines have what it takes to fix those bad habits.

dirty laundry in basket





By mandate of the Federal Trade Commission, all clothing sold in the U.S. must include a care label, and its recommendations must be backed up by research. Since today’s fabrics are more complex than ever, you should really pay attention.

Consumers might not realize that cloth may be woven from multiple types of fibers, and each may react differently to water, chemicals or heat. Take cotton-polyester blends: “The different fiber in the same fabric will shrink differently, and that will destroy the shape or the appearance of the fabric,” said Subhas Ghosh, professor at Eastern Michigan University’s Textiles Research and Training Institute

Sometimes, following instructions means abandoning tradition.

“There is a misperception that washing machines will damage wool products and possibly lead to shrinkage of the garments,” said Cathryn Lee, business manager for wool industry trade group Woolmark. She says advances in washer technology and wool processing mean many wool garments can be safely machine-washed.

dirty laundry






Research from a leading appliance brand shows that 84% of consumers use the Normal cycle to wash most clothes, ignoring cycles designed for specific fabrics and stains. That’s a shame, since modern washers can adapt to different loads, and choosing the wrong settings can hurt garments.

Whirlpool’s Color Last option, for instance, relies on cold water and reduced agitation to keep dark colors from fading. Some new Samsung washers even have cycles for gym clothes and waterproof items. In general, these specialty settings can help extend the life of your clothes and keep them looking better longer. They exist in dryers, too. There, a Normal cycle might get as hot as150 degrees F, but a delicates setting could run as cool as 100 degrees F. Most high-end dryers also have a steam-clean option for items that can’t be machine-washed, like baseball caps, shoes, and stuffed animals.

clean laundry stack




“Many consumers believe across many different product categories that using more product is automatically better,” said Nancy Bock, senior vice president of the American Cleaning Institute.

It turns out that the opposite is true. “Using too much detergent can make your clothes stiff and dingy,” she said. It can build up on clothes, leaving a residue that attracts dirt and fades colors. Over time, a thick film may also build up on the inside of your washer, which is why many washers now include a self-clean cycle.

Excessive detergent usage is especially problematic in high-efficiency machines, which are designed to use less water and more concentrated soap. Electrolux’s new LuxCare washer with Smart-Boost even premixes water and detergent for improved coverage.

Still, too much detergent can overwhelm even the most advanced washer. If you see white stains on your clothes after a wash, it’s a sure sign of leftover detergent.

Put your clothes back in for a rinse-only cycle, and use less soap next time.Washers and detergents have changed a lot over the years, so consumers should trust written instructions over their instincts.“There is a simple solution,” Bock said. “Always read the label and follow the directions.” 84% of people use the Normal cycle to wash most clothes, ignoring cycles designed for specific fabrics and stains.

recycle symbol





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