Cleaning Tips & Helpful Information

Delicate and Household items
The expert staff at Five Star Cleaners goes above and beyond to insure your household items and delicate items are thoroughly cleaned in an eco-friendly and timely way. Some of the household items that we clean include:
• Comforters
• Duvets
• Pillows
• Blankets
• Drapes
• Linens
We also are happy to carefully clean your silk, rayon, leather and suede items.
Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning
Long before recycling was recognized as a critical step toward preserving our environment, it was practiced by the dry cleaning industry. We recycle almost everything – from used cleaning solvent to unclaimed garments!

Dry Cleaning Solvent

Dry cleaning solvent is readily reused and recycled on-site through distillation, filtration and drying. Special stills and filters remove impurities from used solvent, leaving it crystal-clear and ready to be used again. As garments are dried, solvent vapors are recaptured and condensed back to liquid form to reuse.

Polyethylene Garment Bags and Hangers

Today most dry cleaners participate in programs through their supply distributors to recycle Polyethylene (“poly”) garment bags and hangers. Often, special recycling bins are provided in the front counter area. It’s a good idea for customers to first remove all staples and tags or receipts before returning bags.

Clothing Donations
Dry cleaners even recycle clothing – taking the thousands of garments that go unclaimed each year to charitable organizations and clothing banks to be distributed to the needy. This program encourages consumers to bring in unwanted clothing and coats to Five Star Cleaners for free cleaning and repair. Once complete, we donate the items to the SAMMinistries and to the Christian Assistance Ministry.

Handling Stains
Dry cleaners have special equipment and stain removers to remove many of the toughest stains.

Don’t delay; bring in your clothes as soon as possible so that we will have the best chance of removing stains.

Often, in an emergency you can remove small, fresh stains from your washable items by home methods. We offer this guide to help you do so.

• Always check first for colorfastness. Apply the recommended stain remover to a hidden part of the fabric. Rinse out and let dry. If there is no damage, then proceed.
• Read and follow all manufacturers’ instructions. If you’re unsure, check with your dry cleaner before proceeding.

1. Ball-point ink: Using cleaning fluid, place stain face down on clean white paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to back of stain. Replace paper towels under the stain frequently. Dry thoroughly. Heavy concentrations of this stain should be brought to your dry cleaner.

2. Blood: Blot with cold water. Apply an enzyme detergent. Rinse with water. If the stain is still present, apply household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly with water.

3. Gum: Harden with an ice cube. Gently lift off any large pieces. Do not scrape with sharp objects that may damage the fabric. Wet with cleaning fluid over a clean white towel to remove final traces.

4. Mildew: Fabrics, which are badly mildewed, may be damaged beyond repair. If it is safe for the fabric, use chlorine bleach. Rinse thoroughly. Rinse with a small amount of white cider vinegar and another rinse and launder.

5. Nail Polish: Use colorless nail polish remover. Place face down on clean white paper towels. Apply nail polish remover. Replace power towels under stain frequently. Repeat until stain in removed. Never use on acetate or triacetate fibers.

6. Coffee: Blot with cold water. If the stains not removed, apply liquid synthetic detergent (from your kitchen sink). Rinse with water. If stain persists, apply white vinegar. Rinse with water.

7. Rust: Use a fabric safe rust remover following manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Rinse rust remover completely out. Best to take to a professional dry cleaner for removal.

8. Lipstick: Using cleaning fluid, place stain face down on clean white paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to back of stain. Replace paper towels frequently. Dry thoroughly. If stain is still visible, use a synthetic detergent and water.

9. Chocolate: Blot with cold water. Apply an enzyme detergent. Rinse with water. If the stain persists, apply a household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly.

10. Perspiration Stain: Use method shown for chocolate.

11. Scorch: Rinse out light scorch with cold water. For heavier scorch, treat with 3% hydrogen peroxide after testing first for color loss.

12. Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages: When fresh, blot these stains with cold water, even white wine and colorless drinks. Heat can cause colorless stains to yellow even weeks later. Spot with synthetic detergent and water. Rinse with water. If the stain persists, spot with white vinegar. Rinse with water. Finally, try a chlorine bleach or an organic bleach, if safe for fabric (test first for color fastness)

Color Failure
Stains and Spills

Stains from medicines, strong acids, the acid residue of foodstuffs and beverages, or liquid chlorine bleach, can easily damage a shirt. Spillage of a strong household product causes localized fabric weakness or color loss in the area of contact with the fabric. This type of damage may not show up until after washing, and is not unique to shirts.

Fugitive Dyes

The Care Label Rule states that the color in a garment must withstand the recommended care procedure. If the dyes in a multicolored shirt are not colorfast to water, bleeding will occur. The dye will migrate into adjacent areas during the washing process. This migration of the dye into the surrounding areas is not acceptable unless the fabric is madras (plaid or stripe that is guaranteed to bleed).

Some dyes dissolve in water and are partially removed during laundering. After the first laundering, the lightening of color may be apparent, or it may be progressive and only noticeable after several care procedures.

Perspiration and Antiperspirant Damage

Perspiration, if allowed to stay in the shirt, will eventually stain and also weaken the fabric, allowing the weakened area to be removed during washing. Aluminum chlorides found in antiperspirants will also weaken the fibers under the arm. Controlled use of antiperspirants and frequent washings immediately after wear may minimize this type of damage.

Color Fading

Occasionally, dyes on silk and rayon are not colorfast to the procedures listed in the care instructions. Articles labeled as “dry cleanable” will sometimes contain dyes that bleed extensively when dry-cleaned. Deep colors may transfer onto lighter areas. The same is true for some articles that are labeled a “washable”. Most stains are water-soluble and required special spotting techniques using moisture that are not part of normal dry-cleaning. The degree of stain removal will often be determined by the colorfastness of the dye. Sometimes, a dye is initially disturbed by the moisture of the staining substance and will not withstand the additional moisture needed to remove the stain. The stain cannot be removed without serious color failure.

Beverage Stains

Beverages such as soft drinks, wine, and mixed drinks contain sugars. A spill may be colorless and disappear when it dries, but later the sugar may cause yellow or brown stains, especially when exposed to heat. Be sure to point out such stains so that the dry cleaner can use special pre-treatments on the stain prior to dry cleaning. Sugar-based beverage stains cannot always be completely removed, especially on silk.

Chemical Damage

Some dyes, especially blues, purples and greens on silk, are sensitive to alkalis. Many facial soaps, shampoos, detergents, and even toothpastes are alkaline enough to cause color loss or change. If this happens, talk to your dry cleaner promptly about possible restoration.

Wedding Gown Preservation
Your wedding gown is worth the attention you give to its selection and care, both before and after the wedding.

Preserve your wedding gown with Five Star Wedding Gown Specialists and turn the memory of your special day into an heirloom. Perhaps someday your daughter or granddaughter will walk down the aisle wearing the same bridal gown that meant so much to you. Keep your bridal gown in the family the right way with the gown preservation service you can trust! Our thoroughness and attention to detail guarantee great results.

Visit our Wedding Gown Specialists website for more information.