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  • October 2012

Oct 26

Protect your Wools from BUGS!

 

With the cooler weather finally arriving this weekend, many of us will be pulling out our wool sweaters and blankets for the first time since March. Unfortunately some of us will have the unpleasant experience of discovering that our belongings are ruined… ruined by bugs. If you find mysterious holes, or “trails” of damaged fiber in your sweaters, scarves, blankets, socks, or even hats when you bring them out of storage, watch out, YOU PROBABLY HAVE BUGS!!

INSECT DAMAGE, WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

Insect damage looks like small holes in the fabric. There may be single randomly sprinkled holes, groups of different sized holes, or even layers of holes in folded fabric, In some instances the fiber damage appears as irregular “trails” or veins across the surface.  If the holes are very small or don’t penetrate all the way through the fabric, they may go unnoticed until you clean the garment.  During cleaning, holes in sweaters and other knits will become much larger as the broken fibers pull away.

WHAT CAUSED IT?

Bugs. Many insects, such as moths, silverfish, cock- roaches, and beetles, are attracted to textiles with food, beverage, and perspiration stains left on them. Insect damage is more common on wool fabrics, since these fibers are made from a protein that particularly attracts moths. Moth damage is actually caused by larvae of the hatched eggs that were laid in the fabric while in storage long before the damage appears. It may show up on just one garment in a closet or affect several garments.

CAN IT BE PREVENTED?

The best method for preventing insect damage is to frequently inspect and clean dark areas in rooms, closets, and storage containers. Wash and dry clean garments regularly and always clean just before any prolonged storage. If possible, store items in tight containers or sealed garment bags. Closed cedar closets and cedar chests can serve as insect-proof containers, although like cedar chips, mothballs, or crystals, these methods have no guaranteed mothproofing value. In order for any insect protection to be truly effective, the storage container must be tight so that insects cannot get in.

GOOD LUCK! And let me know if you have any other tips for preventing insect damage.  I’ll be happy to share them.

-Kerstin

 

 

Oct 11

Will the 40-acre dry cleaning bag save a man’s life and can we save the planet by ending the use of dry cleaning bags?

I wondered this morning if daredevil Fearless Felix Baumgartner had survived his Super Sonic Jump… turns out he postponed it because his giant ultra thin balloon may have be damaged.  Reading the the Huffington Post article, I had to laugh when they described the balloon as a “40-acre dry cleaner bag.”

 Dry cleaning bags are one of my pet peeves.  It is estimated that 300 million pounds of dry-cleaning bags end up in U.S. landfills and waterways annually.  The really sick part is that the bags are completely unnecessary.  A company called Green Garmento has created a reusable garment bag that is easy to use has the potential to end one of the environmental nightmares attributed to the dry cleaning industry: PLASTIC. 

 Made of recycled plastic, the Green Garmento bags offer the same garment protection as the plastic film bags, are more attractive, have added features (like a pocket for hangers to be returned for re-use, and most importantly, eliminate the need for disposable plastic. 

The bags are great and people are willing to change their habits, but the problem is that very few dry cleaners are willing to change their ways and implement new systems.

 Not us, EcoClean LOVES progress.

Big fans of the Green Garmento bag and the progressive company behind them, EcoClean began implementing the bags about two years ago. Since then over 1000 customers have made the switch.   That is a huge number of plastic bags that have not been introduced to the environment!  

So be a part of the solution and ask your local Austin dry cleaner to implement a reusable bag program…. Or better yet, become an EcoClean customer. Our environmental initiatives don’t stop at plastic!  Learn more on our website.

 Anyway, I’ll be relieved when the 40-acre dry cleaning bag saves Felix from himself and even happier when we save earth from the dry-cleaning bag.