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Deodorant stains.

Notice a white buildup under shirt arms?  Reader’s Digest offers a few tricks to remove antiperspirant residue on cotton and poly-blend garments. An hour soak in white vinegar can loosen stains and odors. Lightly scrub the stained areas, then launder as usual. A baking soda paste, left in place from 20 minutes to overnight, helps lift stubborn stains too.  Stains embed with time, so the sooner you treat and wash, the better your chances. As always, for best results, let us expertly launder your shirts. 

Sorting for success

Sorting laundry into darks, lights and colors is just the first step. Darks include anything with deep-color dyes like black, red, navy, brown or dark gray. The lights are all whites and pastels. Color includes pink, lavendar, orange, yellow, light blue and green. Multiple colors in a print? Choose for the dominant color unless there’s any worry of bleed. Now, remove delicates that need hand washing and lint-givers like towels and rugs. And separate heavily soiled, stained, sweaty or smelly items for a separate washing. After checking care and fiber labels for the same water temperature and dry time. Pretreat stains before washing. Good preparation makes your clothes last longer, reduces do-overs and gives your washing process and products the best chance to do their cleaning best.

Loading laundry

Before you start a load of laundry, check buttons, pockets and zippers. Fasten buttons on jackets, knits and pants, zip zippers and secure drawstrings with a safety pin. Remove fabric belts and wash separately. For dark garments like jeans, turn inside out to preserve color. Stick delicates and small items in a mesh laundry bag to protect from tumbling damage. Now carefully measure detergent for load size, soil level and machine. If you’re using pods, place in machine before loading. Close the machine, check the settings and start ‘er up.

Winter hazard warning.

Deicing products, like salt, are a welcome relief from slippery sidewalks and driveways. But when salty slush and water splash on your clothes, the chemical solution can pull color, leave rings and create permanent stains on your winter clothing and shoes. Before your snow-spattered trousers, skirt or outerwear show the signs of damage, bring them in for prompt cleaning or laundry.

Do you know about these simple household tips?

Static Electricity, which worsens in the winter, can be improved:

  • By misting the “electrified” fabric with a bit of water
  • By wetting your hands and lightly wiping the affected areas
  • By applying a light mist of anti-static spray

Diluted vinegar is an acid-based cleaner that can do good and bad things:

  • White vinegar can clean and disinfect bathroom fixtures and trims
  • It can help “neutralize” alkaline products such as ammonia and mild bleaches
  • Vinegar can also actually “etch” or “dull” polished limestone and travertine

In a pinch, household fabrics with sheen or a shine can be safely pressed:

  • By using a fabric steamer
  • By placing a teflon cover over the face of your iron
  • By placing a press cloth or a thin fabric between the iron and the garment

Rust marks on cement, shower curtains and metal objects can be removed:

  • By applying a product called “Magica” to the affected area
  • By being patient and allowing Magica to “seep” into the affected area
  • By using a toothbrush to remove heavier rust deposits