ESQUIRE FINE CLEANERS
TIPS TO HELP PROTECT YOUR GARMENTS
The information developed for this guidance was taken largely from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. It is important to note that the information is still developing as world health officials learn more about this strain of virus. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust any guidance as needed.
Coviden 19 Stats
- The virus is transmitted from person to person by exposure to large respiratory drops, by sneezing and possibly coughing, by direct contact, and by direct contact. The infection itself takes place in the respiratory tract.The recommendation at this point is to take the same precautions as a flu outbreak. Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer and when sneezing do not cover your mouth and nose with your hand but sneeze into the crook of your arm. Use tissues as frequently as possible and discard.
- At this point based on knowledge from other viruses such as SARS, it is believed that the life cycle of the Coronavirus outside the body is very short: it is estimated to be less than 20 minutes. Exception to the rule: linen that is contaminated with feces or bodily fluids may remain infected for up to 24 hours.
Cleaning Garments from Customers
AT THIS TIME. The CDC advises that the drycleaning process, which includes cleaning and pressing, is effective on most viruses.
As is true with other viruses, laundering in hot water, 160 degrees F and with chlorine bleach is the most effective method for sanitizing laundry. If hot water and chlorine bleach are not safe for the items then laundering with a disinfectant product is an option. The CDC states the laundering with detergent alone is an effective method.
Dry Cleaning also follows the same process as Laundering, although the temperature in some cases is higher then laundry killing all viruses.
Use common sense and remain safe.
The Starch/Shirt Relationship
Starch and sizings are laundry additives that can increase the firmness of fabrics, particularly dress shirts. A study conducted by the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, the Association of Professional Drycleaners showed starch and sizings can both protect and harm shirts at the same time.
Shirts undergo two types of abrasions. One type is called flat abrasion, and it refers to the abrasion that occurs when the shirt rubs against any other surface. The other type, flex abrasion, refers to the stretching of the fibers when the wearer bends an elbow, or otherwise stretches the material.
Starch adds protection to shirts, enabling them to withstand higher degrees of flat abrasion. However, since starch stiffens the fibers and makes them less flexible, it reduces the degree of flex abrasion a shirt can withstand.
Tensile strength is the measure of how well fabrics and fibers resist breaking under tension. Evaluation by DLI’s Textile Testing laboratory found that shirts with medium starch and no starch had similar tensile strength. Variances in tensile strength were evident between shirts with no starch and shirts with heavy starch.
After 10 laundering cycles, the tensile strength results on the shirts with no starch was 29% higher than the results on the shirts with heavy starch. Even after 25 and 50 cycles, there was still about a 20% difference between the two groups of shirts.
Heavy starch and sizing can decrease the tensile strength of fabrics not by degrading the material directly, but by increasing its rigidity.
The major function of starch is to add body or stiffness to a fabric which in turn will produce little flexibility. This lack of flexibility causes the fabric to snap when tested rather than stretch, which decreases the fabric’s tensile strength. Starched and sized shirts were laundered to remove the starch and tensile strength was retested. The results indicated a significant increase (30%) in tensile strength after starch removal.
The life expectancy of a shirt is shortened by the use of starches and sizings by reducing its ability to bend, stretch, and straighten during use, according to the DLI study. Balancing out those negatives are the bonuses of having better whiteness retention, a crisper look, and increased resistance to staining.
Keeping Blankets Looking & Feeling Great
Blankets are essential items in every home. Blanket composition ranges from synthetic to natural fibers; from non-woven to woven fabrics; and from neutral colors to exotic prints.
Caring for (non-electric) Blankets
At some point in time, most blankets will need to be cleaned. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning blankets. Although the Federal Trade Commission does not require care labels on blankets, care instructions are usually provided on a permanent label or temporary hang tag. In most cases, blankets should be machine washed on a gentle cycle in cold to warm water and line dried or tumble dried low.
Most blankets can also be drycleaned (except for electric blankets, which can be damaged by drycleaning).
Wool is Special
Wool blankets can be either of a woven or knit fabric construction and require special precautions when cleaning. Hot water or high drying temperatures may cause wool blankets to shrink and feel harsh and stiff. If the care label suggests, machine wash only in cold water on a gentle cycle with mild detergent, and line dry or tumble dry low.
Even though you may follow the recommended care instructions, some wool blankets may still experience shrinkage.
Industry standards for shrinkage in blankets allow as much as six percent after five washings. For example, a wool blanket that is 81 x 108 inches in size can shrink as much as 4 1/2 inches in one direction and 6 1/2 inches in the other direction, resulting in a blanket that is 76 1/2 x 101 1/2 inches in size.
Q. Does frequent drycleaning shorten the life of a garment?
A On the contrary, frequent cleaning prolongs the life of a garment. Not only do stains set with age, making the garment unwearable, but ground-in dirt and soil act as an abrasive, like sandpaper, causing rapid wear of fibers. Also, insects are attracted to soils such as food, beverages, feces, perspiration, and oils from hair on the clothes and will cause further damage.
Research was conducted by the Department of Clothing and Textiles at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in cooperation with the School of Textiles at North Carolina State System, which was developed in Japan. The research showed that the various drycleaning processes have no negative effect on the properties of wool in men’s suiting fabrics.
Common Sense Rules for Summertime Storage
Now that winter is over, it’s time to store away all those winter clothes until next season. Follow these simple rules to keep your winter fashions looking good season after season.
– •Wash and dryclean everything before storage. Some stains that are now invisible may darken with age. Dirt and food are also invitations to insects.
– • Make all necessary repairs—sew sagging hemlines, replace missing buttons, and fix split seams— before cleaning and storing for the season.
– •Store all items in a cool, well-ventilated area. Hot attics, damp basements, and garages are to be avoided.
– •Store away from natural and artificial light. A cool, dark closet is a good location for storage. Store woolens in cedar chests or other airtight containers. Second choices for storage are cloth or canvas bags and cardboard boxes. If you store your garments in a closet, drape a cloth sheet over your clothes to protect them from dust and light. Do not store leathers, furs, and woolens in plastic. Plastic encourages moisture, which can create mildew.
– •Pack airtight containers (other than cedar chests) with mothballs suspended above or separate from the clothes—never place mothballs directly on the clothes. Cedar blocks or chips also discourage moths.
– •To decrease wrinkles in sweaters, fold them and wrap in white tissue paper before storing. If you hang your sweaters, fold over the cross bar to avoid shoulder stretches. Down, like all winter clothing, should be cleaned (either washed or drycleaned according to the care label) before storage. Down should be stored loosely to allow for air circulation.
– •Furs should be stored on a well-padded hanger in a cool, dark place.
We hope you find this informative
Esquire Fine Cleaners
Esquire Fine Cleaners is Houston’s premier drycleaning establishment. It was founded in 1937. Our commitment to quality is second to none.
Esquire Fine Cleaners is a proud member of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (www.DLIonline.org).