By Wally Makowsky | Feb 25, 2011
I recently washed a down comforter. However, it was not completely dry when we put it in a plastic bag, in which the customer kept the comforter for about a month. As you may expect, the comforter has developed mildew. How do I clean the mildew from this item?
I recommend using hydrogen peroxide. Mix a 1 percent solution in warm to hot water, and let it soak overnight. You may have to repeat this process two or three times. You also can try soaking the comforter in ammonia and hot water.
Mildew can be a real problem. However, as long as the stain is a yellowish-greenish color, you might be successful at removing it. Unfortunately, once mildew impregnates the molecules of the item and gets to the “black” stage, it becomes almost impossible to get out.
What types of cleaning products and other items are required for me to have what you would consider a fully stocked wash-dry-fold arsenal for my attendants?
Basically, to start a wash-dry-fold service, you need bagging supplies – plastic bags and cloth bags. You also need hangers for shirts and other garments, as well as safety pins to attach your invoices to the bundles. I would also recommend a general ledger to keep track of your orders and, of course, a scale.
As for cleaning products you should have all of the normal soaps, detergents and bleaches required for day-to-day laundering. As for spotting items, the only ones that I would recommend are a blood protein remover and a grease remover, such as Laundry Wetspo. I wouldn’t go much beyond those items, with regard to spot removal. You don’t want to assemble a huge array of spotters, because then you need to train your attendants in how to use each specific spot treatment; this might become too labor-intensive and cost-prohibitive, considering what most laundry owners charge per pound for their wash-dry-fold services.
I had a customer who came in with a bundle of clothes covered in coal dust. The dust didn’t come out with a regular wash. Is there a special method to remove coal dust?
Coal (and concrete) dust is really tough to get out unless you treat it specifically. I would use a very neutral detergent, with a high level of surfactant. Multiple washings with a high-surfactant detergent will gradually lift the dust from the fabric, allowing it to rinse out.
If the dust is very fine, you can sometimes use a paint/oil/grease remover for laundry applications to turn the dust into a tar-like substance that will wash out more easily. Use a special pre-treater like Laundry Wetspo and wash the garments as usual. Whichever method you use, don’t dry the garments until you are certain that the dust is completely gone.
My customers occasionally use too much soap, which will cause my machines to over-suds badly. I have extremely soft water. What can I use to cut the suds?
You can use fabric softener, which is probably the best agent for cutting down on suds. You can use any type of liquid fabric softener. Simply fill a squeeze bottle halfway with softener. Fill the rest of the bottle with warm water, shake it well, and it is ready to use.