Newsletter & Blog
How the plastic bag ban affects dry cleaners
Posted: Monday July 1, 2019
By March 2020, most single-use plastic bags will be banned in NYS. New York is only the 2ndstate to ban bags, after California which banned bags in 2016.
So – will the ban affect garment bags at cleaners? As of right now, no. Plastic garment bags are exempt from the ban. However, you may have noticed the reusable garment bags that we've had for years. Why are we using reusable bags if plastic garment bags will still be allowed? We believe it's our responsibility to be at the cutting edge of eco-friendly cleaning. We want to offer our customers the choice and eventually we hope to phase out single-use plastic at Urban Valet.
Almost 10 years ago, we introduced reusable garment bags to the WNY market. We were the first cleaners to bring this product to the area and it continues to be a popular choice among our customers. Not only are the bags the more environmentally-friendly option, they multi-task as a laundry bag and hanging hamper. Our bags are made of recyclable, water-resistant, breathable materials. More importantly, they help reduce the millions of pounds of plastic waste that enter our landfills each year.
5 Signs That We Care
Posted: Friday May 31, 2019
1. We check your pockets... and return your belongings
Everyone knows you should check pockets before cleaning your clothes. With us, its a win-win situation. We check all pockets to ensure there aren't any items like gum, lipstick or pens going into our machines to damage your clothes. In turn, we tend to find some important items in the process. Sure we find the usual spare change, gum wrappers and old receipts. But sometimes we come across ID tags, keys, cash and other valuables. Everything gets returned in one of our orange paper bags with your cleaning. If its a valuable item, or one we think you may be searching for, we contact you right away.
2. Buttons are checked and replaced, without you even knowing
Did you know we have a whole team dedicated to inspecting your clothes before they are bagged and ready? They're dedicated to checking for every missed stain, button or wrinkle. And instead of calling you to interrupt your day when a button is missing or broken, we just fix it – free of charge.
3. Communication, not assumption, is our goal
As with any line of work, there are times we need further clarification on notes sent in with cleaning. So you want your pants hemmed – did you want them cleaned and pressed also? Just pressed? Instead of assuming we know the answer, we contact you.
4. We treat stains, even when you didn't tell us they were there
We appreciate getting a heads up on stains – not only that they exist, but what they are. There are many different approaches to removing stains based on the type – oil, blood, food etc. So getting as much information as possible is great. But – we know sometimes you forget, or maybe didn't even realize a stain was there. That's why our intake team inspects your clothes and marks any stains. Then our final inspection team does the same!
5. Mistakes can happen, and we have a plan in place when they do
No one is perfect, including us. In the rare circumstance that we damage an item, we have a clear process to compensate for any damages.
Why Clean Your Rugs?
Posted: Wednesday May 1, 2019
How long did it take you to pick out the perfect area rug for your living room? Nursery? Finished basement? If you're a savvy shopper you probably shopped around, compared online and finally purchased an investment piece for your home. So why skimp on taking care of it?
Vacuuming and spot treatments alone will not prolong the life of your rugs. In fact, most experts recommend a professional deep cleaning at least twice a year. Here are some reasons you may want to consider our professional area rug cleaning.
They've lost that loving feeling
Did you choose your area rugs because they were soft and felt good to walk on? You may have noticed that over time, this changes. Many times, this is due to hair, dirt and other particles that build up on the fibers and mattes them down. A professional cleaning should restore some of the rugs softness (depending on wear).
Remove bacteria and allergens
Dust, pet hair, skin particles, dirt and more build up over time.You may have an expensive vacuum that promises to remove allergens – and it likely does help. But to truly remove the most particles, professional cleaning is your best bet.
That stain is not gone
Every area rug has a stain or 10. Pets? Kids? Neighbors? Your area rugs are there to protect your flooring underneath so they take the most beating. You may have removed the surface stains with an in-home treatment. However the entire stain hasn't been removed, including the backing or matting underneath. Why does this matter if you can't see it? Stained fibers actually trap more dirt than normal, leading to increased wear over time. Plus, it can attract bugs and mites that feed off leftover stains.
If you are interested in our area rug cleaning and have any questions, feel free to call us or speak with a service representative at your next visit. Pricing is based on square feet, and the style of rug. Pickup and delivery is available.
Storing Sweaters Until Next Fall
Posted: Monday April 1, 2019
Spring is coming and we will be breaking out the T-Shirts and shorts soon! With the change of seasons, means a change of wardrobe. It's easy to want to just throw your sweaters and other winter items to the back of your closet. But following a few simple steps for correct storage will help preserve them for years to come!
You barely wore some of your sweaters... so why not just have them cleaned next Fall before you wear them again, right? Wrong. The number one thing to do before storing your wool, angora,or cashmere pieces is to clean them. Moths, silverfish and other wonderful creatures feed off sweat and stains. Storing even slightly dirty items can attract them. Worse – they lay their eggs near their feeding grounds and their young feed too – causing irreplaceable damage.
Many of your sweaters can be washed at home and laid flat to dry. However – they often become misshapen during even the most gentle residential wash cycle. Professional cleaning will ensure your pieces are stain-free and properly finished with de-pilling if needed.
To fold or not to fold
If you are blessed with a large closet, you may be tempted to keep your Fall/Winter clothes hanging until next year. For many sturdy pieces, this is fine. However – there are some sweaters and shirts that are best stored in the folded state. If you do prefer to keep them hung, consider folding them over a pant hanger (as we do at Urban), rather than hanging them on a shirt hanger. This will help ensure they do not pull and become misshapen.
How to store
There are many ways to store your winter clothes. The key is to keep them in a cool, dry container with air circulation. Cedar chests have long been a tradition and work well. Make sure to check your chest each year for holes or areas where pests can enter. Plastic totes are popular and useful – as long as your clothes are fully dry before storing. Placing folded sweaters in pillow cases before storage on a shelf works well also. This allows air circulation but deters pests since many can't eat through the cotton barrier. No matter how you choose to store your winter clothes, you can add a sachet of lavender or eucalyptus to repel pests.
Our annual Prom Dress Drive is back for its 10th year! Need a dress? Join us at our two shopping dates April 5-6.
Posted: Monday February 25, 2019
Once again we have joined with Legislator Lynne Dixon to collect new and gently used dresses now through March 21st. All dresses will be professionally cleaned and pressed by us for FREE and ready for our shopping event in April! See the flier below for complete details.
5 Reasons to Bring Your Clothing to Us (even those that aren't “dry-clean only”)
Posted: Monday February 25, 2019
1. Top-Notch Stain Removal
It doesn't matter if you drop a leaf of Caesar salad on your favorite suit or even just a coveted T-shirt... either way, it can be super annoying! Stains have complexity and luckily, so does our stain removal department. In fact, our most senior stain expert has more than 2 decades of experience tackling these menacing spots! Washing alone won't cure all stains, especially those caused by oils and grease. So, it's important to get your stained items to a cleaner you trust - and the sooner the better!
2. It's All In the Details
Do you separate colors, lights and darks? Tumble dry vs line dry? Warm vs cold? What about checking pockets and closing zippers? Probably not – but we do! We pay attention to your fabrics and their care labels and clean accordingly.
3. Finish Like A Pro
Did you know there are specific pieces of sophisticated equipment to press shirt cuffs and collars, blouses and jackets, even pants? Even if you don't have a lot of clothes that require dry cleaning, you probably have a bunch that would look a whole lot better with some pressing. Yes, it’s a tedious job, especially with a hand iron. Luckily, we have the finishing equipment and experienced pressers to do the job. Of course, before we consider your clothes perfect to wear, we have a final inspection team to touch up any final blemishes, double check stains & make sure all of your buttons are in-tact.
4. Silks, Sequins and Suits, Oh My!
If you have investment pieces that require dry cleaning or hand cleaning, you need to have a trusted cleaner like UV. Why spend all that money on a beautiful silk blouse or custom wool suit if you aren't going to take care of it properly? Our professional cleaning processes ensure that your special items receive the care they deserve and help to preserve the rich colors and prolong the life of the piece.
5. Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to…
Ohhh.. ever present laundry, how you challenge us... So tedious, so time consuming! Well, now consider Urban Valet your solution. We’ll equip you with our specially designed Wash & Fold nylon laundry bags, and then all you have to do is stuff them full and put them on your porch. Presto. In a few days your laundry will be washed, neatly folded and returned to you – ready to put away. Let UV put some time back in your day for the things that really matter!
8 Tips to Help Your Clothes Last Longer
Posted: Monday January 28, 2019
If you're like most of us, you have your favorite clothing pieces that you wear again and again. Maybe they're the perfect fit? Maybe your favorite colors? Whatever the case, you want to keep them looking their best for as long as possible. Unfortunately, that's not as easy as wash, dry, fold and repeat. Here are tips from our cleaning experts on how to help your clothes last the longest!
1 - Sort your laundry
This seems like a “no brainer” since it's usually the first thing we are taught when learning to do laundry. But time usually trumps all and therefore you find yourself throwing in all your wash without paying attention. It starts by separating colors (lights and darks) but goes a step further. What about fabrics? Line dry or tumble dry? Sorting based on these factors is also important. It's best to wash your heavier items (jeans, towels etc) apart from your delicates (blouses, sweaters etc).
2 - Inspect and treat stains
We could do a whole article on stains (and we will), but for now here are the basics. If you can't treat stains immediately, try to set those pieces aside so that you can pretreat them before adding them to the wash. It is also important to inspect those pieces before drying, as it will be much harder to treat once dried on high heat. And lastly – if it's an oil stain (think salad dressing) no amount of washing is going to help – bring it to Urban Valet.
3 - Read fabric labels
Believe it or not, fabric labels were put there for a reason – to follow them! Again, time is the issue here. But when you buy new clothes make sure to read the label before you clean it for the first time and then make a mental note for the future. Wash in cold? Delicate cyle? Line dry? These are all important instructions to take the best care of that piece. Ignore it and you'll get color loss, shrinkage and more.
4 - Button & zip closures
Make a habit of closing zippers and buttons before you add your clothes to your hamper. This greatly decreases the chance of something snagging and causing tears.
5 - Check pockets
We have ALL been there. You're moving stuff from washer to dryer and you realize you left a stack of tissues in a pocket! Or worse – gum, chapstick, pens? Checking your pockets is one of the fastest and easiest ways to prevent laundry issues. Plus – it saves not only the clothing item that had its pockets full, but everything else in the wash. Reminder – double check your kids pockets as these have some of the most interesting items!
6 - Use a mesh bag for delicates
Picking up a couple of mesh laundry bags is a great idea not only for your delicates, but for keeping socks and baby items together. When your delicates are in a mesh bag, they have a extra layer of protection and aren't subjected to as much friction in the washer.
7 - Use the right amount of detergent
Have you ever pulled out your clothes from the washer only to see white lines on your darker items? This is usually caused by too much detergent, or overloading the machine (see last tip below). More detergent is not always better. Try your next load of wash with half the amount of detergent you normally use – then inspect the outcome. You'll be surprised that you still get great results and save money in the process.
8 - Don't overload your machines
We know, we know – again you don't have a lot of time so you cram as much as possible in the washer. This is not good for your clothes, or your washer. When you overload your machine, the clothes rub together more causing friction and rips/tears. The water isn't able to rinse as well, often leading to detergent marks left on the clothes. And of course over time if your washer is constantly overloaded, your machine will not last as long.
So – now we know we are going to sort our laundry, pretreat stains, wash by care label, button and zip all closures, check all pockets, put delicates in a mesh bag, use the correct amount of detergent and don't overload the machine. Phew! - That's tiring!
THAT's why we are here! At Urban Valet, we not only take care of your “dry clean only” pieces, we can handle all your wash and fold laundry, as well as delicates, line dry items and more. If time is your issue (and let's face it, it is) why not allow us to take one thing off your to do list?
If you like what we do and you value looking and feeling your best, we suggest that you sign up for our newsletter today!