• Michael Moon

Extending The Life of Your Household Items

Sometimes we forget about household items that blend into our homes so much they become a part of the scenery. These items collect dust and dirt and can become damaged, faded or discolored in their inactivity. Since we see them everyday, gradual changes come about without our noticing. Guest room items are often overlooked, as many comforters on guest room beds sit in direct sunlight and are rarely noticed. Draperies, upholstery, rugs, and pillows all fade into the background.

Trained fabric care professionals like us have the knowledge and equipment to care for your household items so you can enjoy them even longer. Here are some tips you can use to get the most out your household items.

Comforters Comforters rarely become soiled as they rest atop other blankets and bed coverings. Sooner or later they will acquire a stain or collect enough dust to warrant cleaning. Comforters left in direct sunlight can fade in some areas due to photodegradation - sometimes becoming more evident after cleaning when surface dirt and grime are removed. Although we can process your comforters and quilts to get the dust and grime out of them safely, we do not have a means to return the color to these sun faded items.

Handmade quilts are especially susceptible to dye bleeding since the fabric components of the quilt vary. We test these when we believe that bleeding may occur and notify you if we believe cleaning will be a problem.

Blankets Blankets are available in many fibers and construction types, including wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester, and polyurethane. A blanket's construction plays a direct role in its thermal qualities and should be cleaned to protect its ability to contain heat. Our team is skilled in the methods of cleaning blankets to preserve their heat-retaining qualities and appearance.

Decorative Pillows Upholstery fabrics used for furniture are usually used to cover decorative pillows. Occasionally, pillows are also made to match draperies or other home furnishings. Most of these items are not supposed to be cleaned unless the manufacturer recommends a procedure. Do not remove the stuffing from cushions for cleaning.

Drapes Drapes can hang for years between cleanings. Often, exposure to sunlight and changing temperatures lead to fabric damage in drapes. In time, soil and dust in the room, as well as outside atmospheric dirt and gasses from industry, automobiles, and construction, may soil the drapes. Many of these soils can be removed through careful cleaning practices. Some environmental factors, however, may cause irreversible changes to the item.

Water stains appear when moisture from condensation on the window, humidity or spilled liquids causes the soils to disperse, leaving a stained area. Moisture may also be responsible for displacing drapery sizing: after the moisture evaporates, a ring or streak may become noticeable.

You may notice discoloration from sunlight which tears down certain chemicals in fibers. This would lead to some areas becoming visibly lighter than other areas - an effect usually accentuated after cleaning when the surface layer of dirt and grime is removed. Another thing we often hear about are white drapes that have yellowed noticeably in certain areas. Most fibers have a natural tendency to slowly oxidize and yellow from aging and atmospheric exposure. Any drapery material used to cover a window is exposed to both direct and indirect light, thus quickening the oxidation process.

The best way to prevent excessive damage or fading is to rotate a few different sets of drapes, blankets or comforters periodically, or with the seasons. Keep furniture out of direct light to minimize fading and in the case of drapes, have a layer of lining to protect the item from direct sunlight. This major piece of advice will not only brighten the look of your home as you change the items, but will also ensure that you get the most mileage out of your household items.