Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cry Me a River and Sweat Me an Ocean

My favorite all time song "Cry Me A River." Heck, there isn't a girl alive who didn't want to tell an ex-boyfriend "Cry me a River." Particularly ,when he broke her heart. Sadly, few us of ever get the chance. So we end up crying the river. And that leads to mascara rolling down our face and stinging our eyes.

I can't help with eye stinging but removing the mascara and make -up from your clothes-That I can handle. Just remember , even though the make up is easily removed from your skin with soap and water it isn't so easy from clothes. Make-up has oils and we all know oil and water don't mix. So before throwing any garment with make-up in the wash - you must remove it first. If your make-up and mascara are water-proof - don't add water to remove. That will require a professional.

Now sweat me an ocean- yep here in South Texas we all sweat an ocean. August is always the hottest month. So while you are uncomfortable and pouring out oceans - your clothes are also taking a beating. What? Isn't it bad enough that you are a walking salt lick? But that salt also damages your clothing.

So,my wet and wild friends what kind of damage can your bodily ocean do to clothes ? Lots!

Sometimes yellow,tan, or brown stains ,streaks or rings appear after dry cleaning ,laundering or just after a period of time in use or storage. They appear in areas that may become damp with perspiration during wear( underarms, neck, back and waistband - and since this is South Texas dang near all over). OK here is the gross part - all perspiration ( oh let's just call it sweat) contains fats ,oils ,cholesterol , and other substances exuded from the glands onto the skin. YUCK!!!! All these substances oxidize over time and turn fabric yellow or brown. So while the sweat is fresh it needs to be removed. Let your dry cleaner know if the garment is dry clean only ... dry cleaning alone will not remove perspiration.

Cellulose will develop weak areas and tears. Cellulose fibers are cotton,ramie,rayon, and linen ( to name a few). Sometimes, but not always, staining is noted in the weak area. This is usually underarm areas of shirts. You may notice a ring,streak,splotch, or light area. This means the fibers are already damaged and will weaken sooner than it should. Antiperspirants that remain on the fabric for a period of time cause this damage. Antiperspirants are acid -based chemicals and may also contain aluminum chlorides. These chemicals can form hydro cellulose (chemical degradation) on garments contain cellulose fibers). many times the damage is noted until the agitation of cleaning separates and tears the weakened fibers. So, am i saying don't use antiperspirant? HEAVENS -NO!!!! Sorry but let's face it - no one likes the stinky guy. So what do you do? Have the garment cleaned as soon as you can after contact. Try switching to a pH neutral deodorant instead of an acidic antiperspirant.

Silk -lovely delicate silk. Silk can develop yellow or rust colored stains. Silk may just develop holes or tears. Why? Well , chloride salts of any type will progressively weaken silk yarns. Chloride salts are found in perspiration and deodorant. Chloride salts are also found in many foods,beverages,skin lotions and medicines. Even table salt and salt water are chloride salts. ICKY- but you know that you are $5 of chemicals and loads of salt. So when the liquid (your sweat) dries, the moisture evaporates but the salt residue remains in the fabric and begins the chemical degradation of the silk. So what do you do? Clean immediately to remove the chloride salt. If you want most fabric stores sell dress shields to prevent the moisture from reaching the silk. Just remember, the longer the salts remain on the fabric, the greater the chance of garment damage.

So now you know- you are one of your clothes worst enemies. Yep, so while you sweat an ocean and complain about the heat don't forget the poor shirt on your back. Otherwise, you'll be crying a river over lots of damaged garments.