spray spotters

Originally posted – Aug 13, 2014

I do a lot of drop-off laundry at my store and was looking for a good spray spotter. Do you have any recommendations?

Yes, I would get Liquid Wisk. This product is good on food stains, some inks and some light oils. It is probably one of the easier products to purchase, because it’s available at most supermarkets or grocery stores.

For general spotting, I would recommend that you mix one part water with one part Liquid Wisk into a spray bottle. This will make a very effective spotter for most wash-dry-fold applications.

Another option is a product called Streetex Spray Spotter, which you can purchase from most drycleaning supply distributors.

One of my customers recently complained that the comforters she dried in my dryers came out with rust stains or burn marks. What can I do?

First of all, you have to distinguish between a burn mark, a rust stain and something completely unrelated. Typically, if the comforter stains are spotty, they’re either from feathers releasing oils or other impurities in the fill. Sometimes it can be something that was picked up on a folding table. Basically, a spotted stain doesn’t fit the rust or the burn category.

Typically, a burn mark will be isolated to a certain part of the item. It’s usually located on one side or the other, and it’s generally caused by a dryer that is overloaded and linted up. In such cases, the dryer heat, rather than maxing out at 180 or 185 degrees, supersedes that level. The metal gets very hot and burns the item.

However, if the mark is a light film over the entire comforter, it’s probably rust coming off the front of the dryer. The galvanized plating on most dryer drums has a finite life expectancy of somewhere between 12 to 20 years. Of course, that life span is based on the amount of volume your store has. The more tumbles, the more abrasion and, in turn, the less galvanizing you have.

I suggest you check the dryer to see if the galvanizing is off. If so, at that point, you have one of two choices. You can remove the drum and have it re-plated, or you can buy a new drum. If you are considering purchasing new drums, I would think about stainless steel drums, which never have that problem.

In the meantime, there are some tricks to help your avoid further rust stains. For instance, you can throw towels in every morning and go through a cycle or two to get the rust off. By the way, this type of problem is more prevalent during warm, humid days, especially in the coastal areas where you have salty air.

As for your customer’s comforters, if the stains are indeed rust, you can use an iron-removing sour, which you can get from any distributor, to help clear up those marks.

Can you please tell me the best way to remove the odor of human and/or animal urine?

If you have a drycleaning supplier in your area, ask if they sell an “odor neutralizer.” This is more of a commercial type of product, and it can be a little bit stronger. What’s more, some of them need to be applied directly to the affected area, while some of them can be added into the regular wash cycle.

However, be sure not to purchase an “odor masking agent”by mistake. There is a difference between the two types of products.

If you don’t have access to a drycleaning supplier near you, purchase a product called Febreze. Use eight ounces of it in a 20-pound washer, mixed in with your detergent. Run the garments through a normal wash cycle in warm water, not hot. You may need to repeat this process two or three times to get the odor out completely.

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