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The big brush off

No doubt, your valet or lady’s maid thoroughly brushes and airs your clothing after every wear. What to do without a staff? Brush your good clothes before putting them back in the closet. Brushing removes dust, grime and surface soil before it can penetrate. Use short, quick strokes against the grain, then finish with long smooth strokes in the opposite direction. Airing gives the garment a chance to recover before squeezing back onto the closet rod. A bonus benefit, you’ll be able to spot stains, tears or damage that need cleaning or repair.

Sweater care, lesson 2.

To make your sweater droop, sag and look most unflattering, hang it on a hanger or hook. Instead, fold and store in a drawer. If you must hang, fold in half over a cardboard-crossbar hanger (like we do). We can block your sweaters back to shape when we finish them, and our gentle cleaning prevents shrinkage. When your sweater get wrinkled, a light pressing with steam will freshen it, but be sure to use a pressing cloth to prevent adding shine to the knit.  Or better yet, bring it to us. We can even add elbow patches to worn favorites.

Sweater care, lesson one.

As the weather cools, the popularity of sweaters increases. Simple at-home care will keep your knits looking fresh. Remove lint and pet hairs by wrapping your hand with tape, sticky side out. Use your sticky hand, or a lint roller, for a clean look. Pills are removed with a pumice stone, scissors or simply shave them off with a razor. The little snags inside, pull through with a crochet hook and weave back into the sweater. Sound too tricky? Bring us your knits for expert cleaning and repair.

Switching seasons.

Before you store away your summer favorites, make sure everything’s clean and free of spills and stains. A little white wine spot or Seven-Up spill will oxidize over time, leaving a brown stain. Pack like-colored items together, and keep everything away from light and moisture. If you don’t have closet space, fold everything (with white tissue paper if you have it) and pack loosely in suitcases or acid-free cardboard cartons. (Grandma would have used a cedar-lined trunk.)

Freezing jeans?

It’s one way to save water, but it doesn’t do anything to remove the soil that adds a “worn” smell to your favorite denims. There’s been some publicity for this new home remedy, see http://goo.gl/1h5yCJ The cold may kill a few of the bacteria living inside the pants, but won’t do a thing to remove the patina on the outside. We recommend gentle washing in cold water and air-drying, at least once a season. Or if you want to preserve the just-bought selvedge look, professional dry cleaning freshens without risk of shrinkage or fading.