Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Everybody Ought to Know About Lignin and Wedding Gown Preservation

I've said in the past that the paperboard boxes used in our wedding gown preservation process are lignin-free and acid-free, but what does this really mean?

Sally Conant, the Director of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists puts it this way, "Lignin is a naturally occurring substance in trees and other plants.  It is acidic.  When paper or paperboard is made from wood pulp, more acid is added to the mix to facilitate the paper-making process.  A neutralizer can be added to the mix to bring the pH to neutral, but the neutralizer is water-soluble, and the paper or paperboard can re-acidify if it gets wet or is stored in a damp area.  Acid-free means all acidic content has been removed from the mix, and the final product cannot re-acidify because it contained no acid from the beginning."

Put another way, pH neutral boxes (not what we use) can re-acidify due to moisture in the air or contact with water. Acid-free paperboard boxes cannot acidify on their own because they contain no acids. Why is this important to preserving your wedding gown? Acidic preservation chests will cause your dress to yellow over time. Acid-free chests are one tool we use to properly preserve your wedding dress in order to stand the test of time.

Photo Credit: Dallas Krentzel (flickr)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Janet Davis Cleaners named a Top Dry Cleaner in Metro-Detroit

We're proud to share that we were named in the 2014 StyleLine Editors Choice Metro Detroit Shopping & Services Guide as one the best dry cleaners in Metro-Detroit for the 3rd year in a row! We'd like to thank all of our customers (past & present) for helping us to make this possible.

 Detroit's Best Dry Cleaners in Store or At Your Door
Professional Dry Cleaners and Shirt Laundry
Are you looking for a new dry cleaners? Are you looking for a dry cleaners that won't ruin your clothes and who returns your clothes ready to wear? We're in Berkley (near Royal Oak, MI) and Bloomfield (near Birmingham, MI). Also, ask up about our complimentary dry cleaning pickup & delivery service. 248-543-0340 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How To Keeps Your Whites from Turning Dingy & Grey in the Laundry

Wearing white - how to keep whites white when doing laundry
Keeping your whites white when doing laundry at home can be a real challenge. I'm going to help dispel some myths and give some useful tips to keep your white garments looking their best!

Sort loads by color. Darks, lights, and whites. By washing white items alone in the laundry, you will prevent other colors from bleeding onto your precious whites. Slowly over time, when you mix loads, those other colors will bleed onto the whites and turn them into a dingy grey color. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure here.

Use warm water and detergent in each load. Modern laundry detergents have enzymes in them that work best in warm water. Let the washing machine do its job in keeping your clothes clean, bright and white.

Don't put a garment with a stain on it into the dryer. The heat will set the stain, sometimes permanently. Take a quick look at each item before you throw it into the dryer.

Pre-treat spots and stains you don't think will come out on their own.

Never use chlorine bleach on your whites. Actually, never use chlorine bleach on any clothes. It turns white items yellow (it can actually burn the fibers) and it turns dark items white. Instead use oxyclean. If yellow or light brown stains remain after washing, do an oxyclean soak (follow the directions on the package). We soak a few white items every day to keep them looking great.

Wash your whites before they are heavily soiled. It's much easier to remove a little bit of dirt each time you clean than it is to remove a lot ground in dirt all at once.

If you follow all of these tips, you will keep your whites looking great for a long time. Unfortunately  some things will slowly turn grey no matter what you do. This is because they weren't white to begin with. Clothing manufacturers sometimes use optical brighteners to make some things look white. It's basically a trick to the human eye because the optical brighteners wash out over time and the garments return to their natural color - usually a dingy white. We use a commercial wet cleaning system that has optical brighteners built in which keeps them from washing out in the first place

Photo Credit: What I Wore

Dry Cleaning Delivery Service. Have your clothes cleaned by professionals without ever leaving your home.
Home Pick-up & Delivery
Don't trust yourself with your whites? Let us take care of them. Janet Davis Cleaners offers free dry cleaning pick-up and delivery service within many areas of Metro-Detroit. Plus, if  mention this blog article, and you signup online, we'll give you $10 off your first delivery. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pressing or Steaming Your Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress Steaming or Pressing
Do you need to have your wedding gown steamed or pressed before your wedding? The answer is probably not.

If you purchased your gown and had your alterations done at the same place, chances are they pressed or steamed the gown for you before you picked it up. Regardless of how you acquired your dress, ask your seamstress to be sure.

If you need to travel with your dress before the wedding, you will want to steam and or press your dress at your destination before your wedding day.

Quick Fixes for Pesky Wrinkles

To relax most wrinkles hang your gown on the bathroom door, turn the shower to hot, close the door, and let the shower run until the room is filled with steam. Don’t let the water from the shower reach your dress.

Invest in a portable hand steamer you can use whenever you travel. Guard against spotting water-sensitive fabrics such as silk by wrapping the head of the steamer in a small towel. Some hotels provide hand steamers for guest use in each room.

Professional Pressing

Of course, the easiest solution to the wrinkle problem is to have your gown professionally pressed once you arrive at your destination.Try visiting for a recommendation of a professional cleaner in your destination city. It's best to arrange this a month or so before you plan to arrive.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cleaning Your Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding

Everything you need to know about cleaning your wedding gown before you get married.

Model Wearing Wedding Dress
There are a lot of reasons you may need to clean your wedding gown before you tie the knot. There are always risks involved when cleaning bridal gowns, so if it's not dirty, don't clean it. If your dress is dirty, then don't fret, the chances of something happening to your dress if you choose the right place to clean it are extraordinarily low.

When To Clean Your Gown Before You Wear It

There's no need to come unraveled if you have a new gown and something happened. We once cleaned a wedding dress after dog peed on a silk wedding gown less than 24 hours before the bride was leaving (it was an out of town affair). We had the dress looking as a good as new just in time. That was an extreme case, but it should illustrate what can be done.

If you purchased a sample gown, chances are you'll want to get it cleaned before you wear it. Even if the gown looks clean, keep in mind that anywhere from a few to a few dozen people have tried that gown on before you purchased it.

Most vendors that sell will sell you a pre-worn (used) wedding gown require that it be cleaned first. This doesn't mean it was cleaned well. Look for dirt at the hemline (unless you are significantly shorter than the previous wearer). Open the hem with your hand and lay it flat to get a true sense of how dirty or clean it is. Also look at the bust area and near the under arm area. If there are any areas on concern, you will want to have those taken care of now, not later.

Maybe you are going to wear a dress that your mother or grandmother wore. Or maybe you found an amazing dress at a vintage shop. If you are going to be married in a vintage gown, you will most definitely want your gown cleaned first. In fact, what you want is a wedding gown restoration service.

Wedding Gown Restoration

Wedding dress restoration is the art and science of taking an old wedding gown and returning it to a condition that is as close to new as possible. There are a lot of factors that go into a successful restoration, most of them happening before the dress is ever brought in for service. The care and storage of the gown over the years largely determine the final product. Only the best wedding dress dry cleaners will even attempt this process. If the technician is experienced, it is a very safe process.

Before Alterations or After?

There a a few risks involved anytime you clean a wedding dress. Because of this, you'll want to clean your gown as early in wedding planning process as possible and before any alterations are made to the gown.

Choosing A Wedding Dress Cleaning Specialist

You will always want to use a wedding dress dry cleaners that specializes in cleaning wedding gowns. Most places only see a handful of gowns per year. Those are the ones to avoid when you need to clean your cherished gown before your wedding. You will want to select a dry cleaners that cleaners wedding dresses every day.

There are a lot of options when it comes to cleaning your wedding gown, but I would suggest using a local dry cleaners that specializes in wedding gowns.

You can use google. Just search for "[your town] wedding gown cleaners". You will get a lot of results, but it is a good start. You can also check the wedding sites like the knot and wedding wire. A better solution online it to check with The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. They will likely have a specialist in your area.

You can ask your friends that were recently married. Some will have good things to say, and some will have bad stories.

You can also get a recommendation from the bridal salon where you purchased your gown. They wont recommend just anybody. In fact they probably use a local dry cleaners to clean their stock gowns when they have an issue.

If you use just one of these methods, I would stick to asking the place where you purchased your gown. If you didn't buy locally, I would both ask around and check online.

Armed with this information, cleaning your wedding gown before your wedding shouldn't be so scary, provided you actually need it done. Just remember to find a local wedding gown cleaning specialist that has experience. 

Photo Credit: Maegan

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Putting Your Wedding Gown on Display

There is a new trend among those who preserve their wedding gowns. Some brides are re-defining what to do with their wedding dress after the wedding. Instead of packing it away in a closet or under the bed, they are putting their cherished gown on display. Here are a couple examples.

The Bridal Armoire Company

Bridal Armoire, Wedding Gown Display Case
At nearly $15,000 this is the ultimate way to showcase your gown. This is a piece of furniture meant to sit in your living room or entrance hall.

If you are going to have your own version made, make sure the case has glass that will protect your gown from the UV rays that will damage your dress. Please make sure you have the dress professionally cleaned before you put your wedding dress in a case like this - unless you want to watch your gown yellow over time.

Custom Framing

Adrienne Maloof, Wedding Gown Display, Wedding Gown Frame
Another way to showcase your gown, is to place it on the wall. In September of 2011, Adrienne Maloof tweeted a photo of her wedding gown in a frame. Here Adrienne shown sitting in front of her gown on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (airs on Bravo).

Again, you're going to want to use glass that blocks the harmful UV rays if you have your own version made.
What other types of bridal displays have you seen? Would you frame your gown? Talk about it in the comment section!

Photo Credit:
Photo 1: The Bridal Armoire Company
Photo 2: Bravo TV

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Top Fall Stains and How to Remove Them

How to remove ketchup, mustard, grass, dirt & pumpkin
It's fall!
It's fall, and that means we've got lots going on here in Michigan.You can go your favorite college sports game, go to you kids sporting event, rake leaves, carve pumpkins, and much more. Now, what do all of these things have in common? They leave stains in your clothes - but that doesn't mean they have to be permanent. The top stains we see in the fall are Ketchup, Mustard, Grass, Dirt, and Pumpkin.

What you need:
Good Laundry Detergent
Scissors (just kidding!)
Access to washing machine

Washing Procedure
1. You will need to separate colors and read your care labels before you start.
2. Pre-treat any of these stains with a bit of laundry detergent mixed with a bit of water (1:1 is good) and then rub in with the back of a spoon. This puts the soap where its needed most without damaging the fibers in the garment.
3. Wait 15-30 minutes after pre-treating to let the detergent soak in.
4. Wash like you normally would.
5. Inspect before you dry. Never put an item in the dryer that still has a stain. Either continue working on it wet or allow to hang dry.

The above process will remove 80% of the fall stains you are working on. The magic here is pre-treating. For those "20%" stains, keep working (except for dirt stains, for dirt skip to step 9):
6. Mix a solution of water and vinegar (10 parts water to 1 part vinegar).
7. Test for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area.
8. Soak the garment for an hour or so, then wash again.

That should remove half of the remaining stains. If the stain persists, keep going:
9. Soak in Oxyclean (read the directions).

Using this guide, you should be able to remove 95% of fall stains at home. 5% of stains will never come out. Remember to always read the care label first. If you are uncomfortable doing any of the above steps or if you lack the necessary tools, bring your items to a professional dry cleaners for proper care.

Detroit's Best Dry Cleaners in Store or At Your Door
Professional Dry Cleaners and Shirt Laundry
Bring your fall mustard, ketchup, grass, dirt & pumpkins stains to us. We're in Berkley (near Royal Oak, MI) and Bloomfield (near Birmingham, MI). Also, ask up about our complimentary dry cleaning pickup & delivery service. 248-543-0340

Photo Credit: Oakley Originals