I spilled a drink and some food down the front of my expensive silk suit. What should I do?
I know this is difficult, but do as little as possible. If a silk item is rubbed WHILE IT IS WET, you may actually cause permanent damage. All silk has an almost un-noticeable nap to it. If the nap is rubbed while it is wet, it will most likely be permanently distorted or flattened. After the food or spill is rubbed and eventually dries, the stain may become invisible, and the damage may not actually be noticed. However, the next time this item is cleaned by a professional dry cleaner, the overall nap will again take shape, while the area that was rubbed will remain flat. This change in nap will reflect light differently than the rest of the item, and will look as though there is color loss. The cleaner did not cause this damage. However, since the damage is not noticed until after the item is cleaned, the cleaner is usually blamed for removing the color in an attempt to remove the stain. The color isn’t actually gone. It just appears that way due to the different light reflection. Although it may be difficult at times, do as little as possible whenever you notice any type of stain or spot on a “dry clean only” fabric. Home remedies can cause permanent damage.
Contact our professional dry cleaning staff to assist with stain removal from your valuables. We will even pick up and drop off your items for FREE!
I had an ink pen explode all over my leather coat (or any item for that matter). What should I do?
Although there are many home remedies that may appear to work under some conditions, I would again recommend that you do nothing. Call the professionals at A-One and ask their opinion, or bring the item in. There are so many variables when it comes to removing ink. The steps a cleaner may take may vary due to the fabric content or the dye used in processing the fabric. The one thing to keep in mind is that the dye used to process the fabric is, in most cases, not that much different than the dye in an ink pen. If you get too aggressive in removing the ink, there may be a good chance that you will also remove the dye. In some leather or suede items, the dye may be able to be re-applied, but the area will most likely be a little lighter shade due to the fact that the surface dye has been removed in that area. If the fabric is a white cotton, more aggressive measures can obviously be taken than if the fabric is a red cotton. Red dyes are notorious for being problematic. Talk to your cleaner before any attempts are made. This may be considered a restoration project and would not be priced the same as a normal cleaning would. In fact, there could be a lot of time spent on attempting to remove the stain, and most dry cleaners will charge regardless of the outcome. Some dry cleaners may even want to charge up front for this service just to be sure that there is no misunderstanding after the work is done.
I fear I have neglected my draperies. They have not been cleaned in 5 years, and I am not sure whether I should have them cleaned or not. Is there any way I can tell if they can still be safely cleaned?
We recommend cleaning your draperies every 1-1/2 years. However, if you have put this off for an unusually long period of time, there are some things you can do to get an idea if they can withstand a cleaning or not. The biggest enemy to your drapery’s strength is the exposure to the sun and other direct light. The test most drapery professionals use is to go the areas most directly exposed to this source, and lightly pinch the fabric between their fingers. If there is damage, this area will be dried out, and the fabric will begin to split. Don’t be too aggressive or you may make a noticeable tear in the fabric. This test should be performed throughout the entire drape. Make sure you check the drape and the lining. In some instances the lining is extremely tender, yet the drape is perfectly fine. If the decision is made to clean this item and the lining falls apart, we can remove the linings and you will still be able to use the draperies.
You can NEVER be 100% positive that the draperies can withstand a cleaning. When the drape is cleaned, it becomes saturated with solvent, and tumbles in the machine just as if it were being washed in a washing machine. They are then tumbled dry. In most cases the cleaning cycle on these types of items are shortened to reduce the mechanical action. However, even this reduced action may cause weak fibers to separate.
You should also be aware that drapery manufacturers do NOT guarantee shrinkage up to 2%. If shrinkage does occur, it can be corrected in some cases. Frequent cleaning is the key. This will slow down the drying-out process and add years to the life of all of your window treatments.