Make Your Winter Clothes Last Longer

Winter is a time when you are all bundled up head to toe in a variety of layers, materials and accessories.  These clothing items are precious and need special cleaning care, to stay warm, waterproof and in great condition for many years to come.

Here are the special cleaning instructions for this large variety of items to keep your winter clothes all-elements ready.

WINTER SWEATER CARE

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Our glorious winter sweaters are one of our most treasured pieces of our wardrobe. They’re soft, fluffy and keep us warm and cozy all season long. This is a tough job, though, and our sweaters start to show signs of wear much earlier than we’d like. Keep these tips in mind to get the most life out of your winter sweaters. And when it comes time to clean them, you can count on your local Kitsilano dry cleaning alternative to take precious care of them.

Take Care of Those Sweater Pills

Sweater pills are a pill in and of themselves. They’re those little fuzzballs that accumulate on your sweaters making them look old and worn. Friction, such as your purse or bag rubbing against your sweater, causes these ugly pills. You can’t necessarily prevent pilling, as it’s called, but you can easily rid your sweaters of them when you see them develop.

There are a variety of methods you can employ to remove sweater pills. One of the most basic tools you can use is a simple razor blade. Gently scrape the pills off your sweater like you’re lightly shaving it. You can also try a battery-operated lint shaver, a sweater comb or a sweater pumice stone. Regularly removing your sweater pills is an easy, cheap process that keeps your sweaters looking their best all season long.

Increase Time Between Washes

You don’t want to overwash your sweaters, as the washing process does break down the fabrics over time. But also, your body’s natural oils, your perfume, deodorant and sweat also build up on the fabric and cause it to break down. So, if you wash your sweater too much, it can wear down, and if you wash it too little, your body wears it down. It would seem that you and your sweater have reached an impasse, so where do you go from here?

One great solution to this conundrum is to wear a light tee-shirt under your sweaters. Tank tops can help certain areas of your sweaters too, but they don’t protect your sweater’s pits like a tee-shirt does. A thin, washable tee-shirt serves as a barrier between your skin and your sweater, making it less likely that your skin’s components will harm the fabric. Over time, you may notice that your tee’s looking a little worn and thin, but your sweater will be just as pristine as always.

Store it Away for Next Season

Yes, storage plays a huge factor in the longevity of your sweaters. If you store your sweaters at the end of each winter without washing them, the oils and buildup, as previously mentioned, will eat away at your sweater’s fibers even as its laying in your dresser drawers. Always wash your sweaters before you put them away for the season to ensure they are fresh and clean when you reach for them again next winter.

Take Care of Your Sweaters at Kitsilano Dry Cleaners

When it is time for your sweaters to have a good wash, bring them to your local Kitsilano dry cleaning alternative at West Boulevard Cleaners. Our eco-friendly dry-cleaning alternative will keep your sweaters looking as fresh and new as the day you bought them, with no residual chemical smell.

EASY AND EXCELLENT SKI COAT CARE

February is on average one of the coldest and wettest months in Vancouver. All of that precipitation and cold weather can only mean one thing – great skiing. This year has already gotten off to a great start if you are a skier and over the course of the next few weeks, it will only be getting better up on the slopes. However, to fully enjoy a great day on the hill, you must be warm enough. Proper warmth starts with a proper ski jacket and the proper maintenance of that jacket off the slopes.

Choosing the Right Jacket for the Job

There are so many different types of brands and types of ski jackets available on the market right now, it may be hard to decide what jacket is right for you. Because Vancouver gets a mixed bag of snow and rain during the winter, you will want a jacket that has some type of waterproofing or is at least water resistant. You will also want a jacket that is breathable because the temperatures can fluctuate quite quickly on the local slopes.

Pre-Washing Instructions

Once you have chosen your perfect ski jacket, you will want to take proper care of it to ensure it sees many ski seasons. Just like any article of clothing, ski jackets will get dirty over time. You will not need to wash your jacket after each day on the slopes, but make sure to wash your jacket a few times during the ski season.

Clean Those Pockets

Before washing your jacket, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure that your jacket does not get ruined during the wash process. The first is to make sure to empty out the contents from the pockets. This may include receipts, lunch bags or goggle bags. These items can stain the inside of your pockets, break down the breathability and water resistance of your jacket or just make a mess of your washing machine.

Remove all Wash Obstacles

Make sure to remove all lift passes and tickets and make sure that the zippers are done up on the jacket. Also remove any liners (some jackets come with an internal and removable liner) and make sure to fasten the Velcro and buttons. You do not want anything on your jacket getting caught or ripped during the spin cycle. You can always reattach lift passes, tickets or liners after you have properly dried your jacket. If you need more info on this subject, we would be happy to chat with you more. If you would like West Boulevard Cleaners to pick up and clean your ski jackets please drop us a line.

EASY AND EXCELLENT SKI COAT CARE CONTINUED

El Nino has delivered an epic ski season. After a tough year on the slopes last year, the local Vancouver mountains are having what can only be described as monumental. The weather has stayed cool enough to allow all that precipitation to turn into a great snowpack. If you have not yet been out to enjoy a day on the local slopes, you need to make the time.

In order to stay warm and dry on the slopes you need great winter gear that will last you season after season. Here is the second part of how to properly care for your ski jacket.

Proper Wash Instructions – The Washing Process

It is safe to wash your ski jacket in your washing machine. Once you have completed the pre-wash checklist mentioned above, load your ski jacket in the washing machine and set the water temperature to warm. Cold water may not remove the dirt and grime from your jacket and too hot of a setting may damage the waterproofing.

Make sure to allow your jacket to run through the full wash and rinse cycle and remember, wash ski jackets separately from all other garments as they require different detergent. It is also advisable that you do not wash more than two ski jackets or similar outdoor garments (ski pants) at a time to avoid overcrowding and to ensure that your ski jacket is thoroughly cleaned.

Detergent

Choosing the right detergent for your ski jacket is a very important step. Most standard detergents on the market today contain too many harsh chemicals and additives. These chemicals will break down the composition of your jacket which will in turn directly affect your jacket’s waterproof capabilities and how breathable your jacket is.

Never fear – There are many detergents on the market that are specifically designed to help prolong the life and the durability of your ski jacket. These include detergents that will help with the waterproofing and the breathability of the jacket. They are available at any type of outdoor store and are highly recommended for your ski jacket. Follow the directions on the detergent label for wash instructions.

Proper Wash Instructions – The Drying Process

The drying process is just as important of a step as the washing process. Once your jacket has reached the end of the wash cycle, pull it out and quickly inspect it to make sure that no zippers have come unfastened. Place your jacket in the dryer and tumble dry over medium heat. Do not use high heat as the heat may damage the waterproof membrane on your jacket. Also, do not let your jacket air dry as it may never thoroughly dry and instead mildew.

As you can see it is very finicky, washing and drying your ski jacket, and there are many opportunities for you to permanently damage your winter gear. For these reasons, it is best to bring them in to the experts that know exactly what they are doing. A good ski jacket is a must if you want to enjoy a day of skiing, however, can be expensive and because of the price point you will want to do your best to keep it working and looking like new.

We would love to help you care for your jacket. We are the best dry cleaner in Kitsilano and we specialize in environmentally friendly ways of keeping your ski garments looking like new.

PROPER WOOL CARE

Winter Wool

Now that the rains have arrived and the winter season is in full swing, it is time to adjust your wardrobe accordingly. Time to trade in your fall attire for some warmer clothing that will keep you comfortable, dry and cozy this winter. There may be no better material than wool to keep you insulated from the damp, cold winter weather that Vancouver is famous for. Here are some tips to help you care for your wool garments.

Why Wool?

Wool has been a winter standard for quite a long time because of its properties. Wool is a great insulator and is also a great wicker. That means that wool can absorb up to 30 percent of its weight in moisture and not feel clammy or damp. Because of this quality, wool can keep you warm even when wet. Wool is also an extremely versatile material and is quite resistant to wear and tear.

Wool garments do not soil easily and are extremely lightweight. It also does not wrinkle easily and is extremely durable. Wool is very elastic by nature and will stretch instead of tearing or ripping like other materials. Besides being very versatile, wool is also a natural product. Because of this feature, wool is hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial and absorbs not only water but also odour. These features make wool very durable and quite a long-lasting material. Wool is a very popular choice when it comes to winter wear.

Proper Storage and Handling

Wool is a season-oriented material. Rarely will you be reaching for a wool sweater in the summer months. Because wool is so weather specific, it is important to properly store and care for it when it is not in use. If you do not properly store your wool over the summer months, you may be surprised to find it full of holes.

Before putting your wool away, make sure to thoroughly wash it to remove any stains and remove any bug threats. Also make sure to keep your drawers and closet spaces clean. Sweaters and other shirts should not be left hanging for long periods of time as this may misshape and stretch out the neck. Instead, neatly fold these items to prevent any type of agitation of the material. Finally, it is advised that you store your wool in an airtight container. These steps will ensure that your wool will be ready for the winter months.

Simplify Your Life

If you are in doubt or need your wool professionally cleaned, we are a premier Kitsilano dry cleaning outlet that would love to help you out. We provide an eco-friendly cleaning approach that will keep your wool looking like new. We offer friendly advice and service as well as free pick-up and delivery and would love to help you care for your wool garments.

 WOOL CARE PART 2

Keep Your Wool Looking Good


Proper storage and handling is an important part in keeping your wool looking good. It is also extremely important to carefully wash and dry your wool garments. Proper washing and drying will ensure that you will get many years out of your versatile and durable wool products. Here is a guide to proper washing and drying techniques for your wool garments.

Proper Care Instructions

When it comes to the washing and drying cycles for your woolen garments, special care is extremely important to prevent your wool from shrinking or losing its shape. Most wool items will have their required washing and drying instructions on their tag. If for some reason there are no washing or drying instructions, make sure to wash your wool in cool or warm water, not in hot water.

Cold Is Best

It is highly recommended to wash your woolens in cold water so that they do not agitate. Agitated wool fibers can quickly shrink or lose their shape. Agitation can also happen in the drying process or if you choose to hang your wool sweaters, instead of lying them flat after they have been washed. Unfortunately, stretched wool does not go back to its original form.

Wash with Alike Colors

Wool garments can be washed with other types of materials such as cotton and like all clothes, wool should be washed with similar colours. Allow your wool clothing to complete the wash cycle as the spin cycle is very important because it will get most of the water out of your wool garments.

No Dryers Please

Once your wool clothes have completed their wash cycle, remove them from the washing machine. Remember, do not put your wool clothes in the dryer as this will agitate the wool fibers and shrink your favorite sweater. Instead, gently place them flat and allow them to air dry at room temperature. If additional drying is needed, place your clothes on a towel and gently roll them up and press them a few times.

Wear Many Times

Because of the nature of wool, wool clothing does not need to be washed near as often as other clothing items that are made out of cotton, for instance. Wool does not soil near as quickly as man-made fabrics. Instead of washing your wool clothing after each and every use, instead, hang it or set it out to air dry for 24 hours before wearing it again.

Extra Special Care

If for any reason you feel that your wool garments are too delicate to wash or are in need of some extra special care, we are a premier Kitsilano dry cleaning outlet that would love to help you with your woolen garment care. It is important to properly care for your wool clothes and with our knowledge and expertise, we can help you to keep your wool looking new for many winters to come. We look forward to seeing you!

CLEANING CARE FOR YOUR GLOVES AND MITTS

As we continue through another West Coast winter, other key garments that may need to be washed are your winter gloves or mitts. Your mitts and gloves may be one of the most neglected but most useful winter garments you own. Unfortunately, over time without proper care, your mitts or gloves may not only get stinky, but they may start to lose their water resistance and breathability. Here are some tips to keep your winter gloves in tip top shape.

Pre-Wash Care

Before putting your gloves in the washing machine for a much-needed wash, it is a good idea to do a little bit of pre-wash care. If your gloves have liners in them, it is advised that you take them out. This will ensure that both your shell and the liners are properly and thoroughly cleaned. Also make sure that the Velcro and zippers are properly fastened to prevent your gloves from catching and tearing during the wash cycle.

The Wash Cycle

Once you have properly secured your gloves, it is now time to put your gloves in the washing machine. Make sure to use a gentle wash cycle and use warm water only, unless otherwise stated on your gloves wash instructions. You may also want to place your gloves in a mesh bag to ensure that they do not get caught in the washing machine.

Choosing the Right Detergent

The type of detergent you choose is also very important. Most detergents contain too many chemicals and can damage your glove’s fabric. Instead, use a mild detergent that is made specifically for glove or mitt care. These detergents will not strip away the waterproofing or permeability of your glove or mitt.

The Dry Cycle

How you dry your gloves is just as important as how you wash them. If you do not properly dry your gloves they will begin to mold, mildew and smell. Be careful if you put your gloves in the dryer as the heat can damage the outside membrane. If you choose to hang your gloves or mitts, do so from the fingertips to prevent water from collecting in the fingers. Regardless of how you chose to dry your gloves, store them someplace warm and make sure they are thoroughly dry before using them again.

If you would rather have your mitts or gloves professionally cleaned and dried, we would love to help. We are the premier Kitsilano dry cleaner and offer a green and safe alternative to traditional dry-cleaning methods. This means that we can get your gloves or mitts looking and feeling like new without any harsh chemicals or additives. Stop by to see how we can get those gloves winter ready! We look forward to seeing you this winter!