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5 Life Pro Tips of the Week – Part 201

Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.

1. If you want to learn a new language, figure out the 100 most frequently used words and start with them. Those words make-up about 50% of everyday speech, and should be a very solid basis.

2. Here is the list of items you should never bring to a dry cleaner.

DOWN JACKETS – Down items are expensive. It could cost $40 to have a down coat cleaned. Down items have to be washed by themselves, lest they spill feathers onto other items, so that’s why they’re so expensive, to ensure profit from the isolated load. Down coats are rarely dry-cleaned, but laundered, and then hung to dry overnight, and then placed in a dryer for a few minutes to plump out the feathers, and good to go. Down items are not pressed. You could wash a down jacket yourself, hang it to dry and get the same processing

COMFORTERS – Never bring a comforter to a dry cleaner unless it specifically says “dry-clean only.” Dry cleaner owners won’t dry clean a comforter unless they have to, because it’s cheaper to launder. Comforters can range from $39.99 or higher and you’re getting less quality than you would at a laundromat. Comforters are rarely ever spotted for stains, and they’re laundered in a basic commercial wash machine with a standard-setting, hung to dry overnight to save on drying time, then placed in the commercial dryer, and then finished. If your comforter had any bad odor before you brought it in, it probably is still going to have that odor. You’re better off paying $5 at a laundromat and choosing your own cycle and spin settings.

SPOT-CLEAN ONLY DRESSES – Many customers don’t check or understand their care labels, and dry cleaners love that. Some formal dresses are “spot-clean only”, which means, it can’t be washed in a conventional way. It might fancy sequins glued to the fabric, which dry cleaning will melt and damage the dress. Dry cleaning is oil-based and will melt glue and plastic. Dry cleaners may charge you up to $30-50 due to the fanciness of the dress when they can’t even clean it. They may go over the spots and individually spot and treat them, or, at best, hand washes the item by soaking it in cold water, and hang drying overnight, nothing you can’t do at home. Again, with the fancy sequins, the item typically can’t be pressed.

WEDDING DRESSES – Wedding dressed could cost up to $200 even though they are dry cleaned the same way as a $6 pair of pants, but, if you bring a wedding dress, NEVER opt for the preservation box. Dresses are more if you get the preservation box, which adds $50 or more to the cost but dry cleaners DO NOT press wedding dresses that get placed in the box, which is typically there for an indefinite period. By the time the customers open it 3 years later to notice it isn’t pressed, it’s too late to take back to the cleaners for a redo. So you’re paying more money for the dress WITHOUT the pressing. You get more for your money if you buy the preservation box elsewhere, and put it in there yourself after you get your dress cleaned and pressed.

LEATHER: Leather is the most expensive item to clean, around $50 for a coat, but dry cleaners rarely ever do leather on-premises but send it out to a third party leather cleaner. So you’re paying more than what the dry cleaner pays to have it cleaned. Also, there is no special Leather dry cleaning method. Leather is simply lightly spot cleaned with a dish-soap leather formula and then hung to air dry in a moisture-free environment overnight. You’re essentially just paying for the labor charge. To save money, you could lightly go over the jacket yourself with Dawn soap, water, and a microfiber towel.

WORTH IT:

MEN’S BUTTON-UP SHIRTS – Men’s shirts only cost around $1.25-$2 a shirt, They’re laundered by the bulk and then heat-pressed on their own machine in less than 20 seconds. Dry cleaners don’t make their money off of this, so it’s a great value to the customer.

WOOL PEACOATS – Wool peacoat are notorious for getting lint on them, and they’re dry-cleaned only. Counter employees will often remove the lint by scraping and shaving the fabric so it looks much nicer at pick-up.

D/C Only items – suits, silk shirts, cashmere sweaters, etc.

Oil/grease spill – Dry cleaning is oil-based and will absorb oils on fabric such as food, yellow body perspiration, motor oil, that water can’t get. If you get oil on your fabric, it’s worth it to request dry cleaning at a dry cleaner. It’s especially great for removing the yellow body oil stains around the armpit and collar areas.

Also, want to add the benefit of opting for”press only.” Baseball/hockey jerseys cannot be dry-cleaned as it will melt the logos. They are laundered. However, they do look nice when pressed. So you could save money by washing items like jerseys and Polo golf shirts yourself and then bringing them in for “press only” if its the pressing you like and save a few euros off the price.

Bottom line: To get the most of your money, if you drop something off at the dry cleaners, make sure it can benefit from the professional-grade pressing. If your item cannot be pressed, you are often paying more for an item you could be doing yourself.

3. If you have to inform someone their loved one was in an accident but they’re ok, the first thing you say is that their loved one is ok. Don’t make them wait to hear the condition of the person.

4. If you are frying a turkey this week turn off the propane at the tank before dropping the bird in the oil, then re-light your flame after the bird is in to prevent flash splash over fires.

Be safe. Happy Thanksgiving week fellow Americans.

5. If you’re making a salad for yourself, put the harder toppings on the bottom. It’s not much for the presentation, but it’s easier to stab through lettuce into a crouton than through a crouton into lettuce.

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