Concsiously Going Green Everyday

Consciously Going Green Everyday at Rey’s

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Going green isn’t just a fad anymore, it’s a lifestyle choice, it’s our ethical and moral duty and a part of who we are as a society.  Just imagine how the world would change for the better if everyone did one ‘green’ conscious thing a day?! That’s what we’re looking to do within our own company.  Rey’s Cleaners has a vision for how we as a dry cleaning company can be more eco-conscious.

Rey’s Cleaners understands the growing social consciousness toward the environment and we are doing our best everyday to aid in this worldwide effort.  It is for this reason that Rey’s has begun to do more and more cleaning using the more environmentally friendly solutions of Wet-Cleaning and using a green cleaning solvent called System K4.  Although we have continued to utilize the traditional cleaning solvent of Perc (Percholoroethylene), we also adhere and observe very strict controls on distillation and disposal that err very much on the side of caution.  Our responsibility toward the environment goes beyond technical terms and chemistry. Thus in an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, Rey’s Cleaners has adopted the following procedures in a conscientious effort to decrease our environmental footprint:

happy-earth-day-2016-1024x427

  • Recycle hangers
  • Reusable laundry bags
  • Use of the wet-cleaning method on ‘dry clean’ only garments
  • Use of biodegradable detergents
  • Use of a cooled loop cooling system in an effort to minimize usage of water
  • Conversion of all lighting to high efficiency fluorescent lighting
  • Use and proper maintenance of new, energy efficient cleaning machines in the industry
  • Poly bag recycling program for all poly bags returned to Rey’s Cleaners
  • The upgrading of our van fleet to energy efficient vans

Rest assured, Rey’s Cleaners has always and will continue to build upon our reputation for protecting our environment through preventive and ongoing changes.  If you have any suggestions as to any other changes you’d like to see in our future, please contact us: 786.235.0435 or info@reyscleaners.com.

green footprint

What’s important to keep in mind is that going green is an ever growing aspect of our lives.  Think of the difference between going on a diet versus making a healthy lifestyle change…going green, well it’s the healthy lifestyle change for our planet, our community, our families! The best part is that everyone any age can chip in, even the  drycleaners out there that use harsh chemicals.

Dry cleaning is a science – it’s not rocket science, but it does deal with chemistry on a day to day basis.  Questions about the acidity of a stain or whether it is oil based or if it is a protein and many more come up garment to garment.  There is no “ONE WAY” to clean all garments, thus there are many solutions used to remove these stains, sometimes several at the same time in order to reach the desired objective – cleaning the garment and leaving it as close to new as possible. Green living and working comes into play when operators are mindful of their space and adhere to the very stringent rules and regulations set forth to keep the environment clean.  I’m not going to lie, there are several rotten apples in this industry as there are in all industries, but the vast majority run very eco-friendly and responsible operations.  I invite you to ask your dry cleaners what they do to make a difference! You might be pleasantly surprised!

What is “Dry” Cleaning anyway?

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Ever Seen the classic Seinfeld episode about drycleaning? Well, there are actually many, but specifically the one on how we all “think this is actually possible”? You gotta see it…

So hilarious! I love watching Seinfeld and the fact that he has so many relatable comic routines based off of drycleaning is just pure awesomeness.

Let’s delve a little into this whole “dry” business and understand where the “dry” comes from as it tends to be quite misleading.  Spoiler: Yes, there are liquids “back there” just not exactly how you think.

Dry cleaning is a method of cleaning garments using non-water-based solvents in order to remove dirt, grease and other stains.  Thus, liquids are used in the dry cleaning process, but they are devoid of any H2O. So the very omition of water (H2O) makes for the “dry” in drycleaning.

The first dry cleaning firm was the firm of Jolly-Belin in the 1840s, whose founder Jean Baptiste Jolly is credited with the accidental discovery of using petroleum-type fluid to clean a greasy fabric.  The story is that Jean Baptiste Jolly, a French dye-works owner, noticed that a tablecloth in his home became cleaner when his housekeeper accidentally spilled kerosene on it.  He soon developed a service to clean other’s clothing in this manner and termed it “nettoyage a sec” or “dry cleaning” in English.

Vintage Laundry Photo

In the early years of dry cleaning, dry cleaners used gasoline and kerosene and other petroleum-based solvents to clean clothes, but concerns over flammability soon marked a change in the industry.  William Joseph Stoddard, a dry cleaner from Atlanta, developed a slightly less flammable alternative called Stoddard solvent.  Unfortunately, these highly flammable petroleum solvents led to many fires and explosions, which in turn resulted in the heavy regulation of dry cleaners.

By the mid 1930s the drycleaning industry adopted tetrachloroethylene or percholoroethylene, which is colloquially called “perc”.  This solvent has proved to be the ideal solvent as far as it being stable, nonflammable, and a gentle yet powerful cleaning solvent for removing stains from garments.

Technology has afforded the drycleaning industry with immense progress in the efforts of “going green” and moving away from the widely used Perc solvent.  Solvents known as K4 & Green Earth as well as creating a “wet” cleaning (using H2O) for dry clean only garments without shrinkage or damage.

Perc continues to be widely used though because it’s just so darn effective.  It removes grease and other non-water-soluble stains very easily and leaves garments feeling super soft.

The mark of a responsible and eco-conscious drycleaner that uses Percholoroethylene is to check their dry clean machines, specifically where one should see the clean Perc solvent about to be injected into the cleaning cycle.  Clean, properly cared for Perc should look like champagne, NOT dark and sludgy looking.  So challenge your drycleaner and ask for a tour of their drycleaning plant and ask what solvent(s) they use to clean and where it is so you can take a look-see.

If it is a dark color or pitch black, bring this up to the owner and/or management because they’re unfortunately reusing their solvent over and over again and not filtering it properly (and probably not disposing of it properly either).  You may be sending your clothes to be cleaned in dirty solvent.  Yuck! So yes, ask your drycleaner to take a look at their dryclean machines there is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing “what’s under the hood.”

5 Tintorerias de Miami que sobresalen

In the News: Rey’s Cleaners Chosen as One of Miami’s Dry Cleaners that Excels!

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Rey’s Cleaners was recently in the news at one of our favorite local media sources: El Nuevo Herald. We were chosen as one of five dry cleaners in Miami that excels! ( 5 Tintorerías que Sobresalen )

Here’s an excerpt of the original article:

Con más de tres décadas de establecida, esta tintorería operada y administrada familiarmente comenzó en un local con 8 empleados y hoy día cuenta con más de 70 ubicados en diferentes establecimientos de los condados de Miami-Dade, Broward y Palm Beach. Desde su fundación, Rey Cleaners ha ofrecido un servicio completo de cuidado a la ropa, especializándose en prendas de vestir de calidad, alta costura y de extremo cuidado. Ha obtenido múltiples e importantes premios de la industria, lo cual es una garantía para el cliente. Brinda servicio de recogida y entrega a domicilio. (2619 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables. 305-443-0839)

Translation:
Having been established for more than three decades, this family owned and operated dry cleaners [Rey’s Cleaners] began in a small locale with 8 employees. Today, it employs more than 70 people in different brick & mortar stores servicing Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach. Since it was founded, Rey’s Cleaners has offered complete fabricare services specializing in high fashion, high couture and heirloom garments. It has earned multiple important awards within the dry cleaning industry, which in turn is a guarantee for its clientele. [Rey’s] offers complimentary pick up and delivery service to your home or office. (Flagship store: 2619 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables. 305-443-0839)
A big thank you to Natacha Herrera and El Nuevo Herald for selecting Rey’s Cleaners as one of your top dry cleaning choices in Miami, FL!
How to Care for Your Body-Con, Bandage Dress

Caring for the Body-Con, Bandage, Fitted Dress

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Since the inception of the iconic Herve Leger body sculpting bandage dress in 1985, we have seen an explosion of brands try to capture the strong feminine silhouette through the Body-Con dress over the years. It’s no wonder as this sensual silhouette embodies an empowered sense of femininity, sensuality & strength.

One has to be quite careful on how to care for these garments as the form fitting fibers of spandex and nylon need tender loving fabricare. Spandex allows for the garment to expand and contract, contouring the body of the wearer snugly. Many ladies try their best not to stain their bandage dresses in order to wear them two or three more time prior to cleaning.

Here’s the low-down on how these dryclean only dresses should be treated:

  • Sweet Sweat must come off!

You may have painstakingly watched every morsel and drink to make sure your dress wasn’t stained, however all you need is an epic night out dancing to fill your dress with your natural glow. Well, let’s just call it what it is, sweat. Fortunately & unfortunately our bodies naturally cool us down with secretions that are mostly composed of water and, depending on our unique body’s composition, different levels of minerals, lactate & urea. Now really, do you want this building up on your gorgeous dress? If you do allows this buildup to occur, the areas most affected will start to feel more rigid affecting the elasticity of the fibers and it can also lead to color loss with time.

  • Point out stains to your drycleaner.

Every meticulous drycleaner should pre- & post-inspect every garment during the cleaning process.  At Rey’s Cleaners we have multiple points of inspection, but it always helps to know what exactly stained your garment. This helps the specialist to work more efficiently and helps your garment receive the proper treatment.

  • Drycleaning vs Wetcleaning

Although the care label says Dry-Clean Only, you may consider using a highly trained specialist’s Wetcleaning method.  This doesn’t mean laundry, heaven forbid! Wetcleaning is a method of drycleaning that uses water has it’s base instead of the usual drycleaning solvents (that are devoid of water – hmmm, this will have to be explained more thoroughly in another post, this whole what is drycleaning/wetcleaning thing.) Point being, water is a much better base to clean a garment in if the main stains are only mostly water soluble, like sweat or perspiration are.

  • NO HEAT PLEASE!

Spandex & Nylon are NOT favorable to high heat.  If put in a dryer their elastic fibers may break or in the very least cause them to weaken so that the next time they’re put through the hot tumbling mechanical action of a relentless dryer they snap. Spandex & Nylon also create a very high degree of shine if they’re put under an iron that is way too hot.  The best way to dry a bandage dress is to lay it on a breathable surface (We use a series of suspended net bags as dryer shelves.) and allow the garment to naturally dry. When it comes to ironing a body-con dress, the heat must be low and an ironing towel should be used to reduce shine.  Extreme amounts of steam should also be avoided as this can cause irreparable damage to the elastic fibers.

One of the most infuriating things about nylon and spandex is its evidence of deterioration. Case in point, the snapped spandex/nylon fibers on this gorgeous black bandage dress.

In the mesh, you can see how small spandex and nylon fibers have snapped.
In the mesh, you can see how small spandex and nylon fibers have snapped.

Why, oh why, must this happen? If you love garments with a bit of stretch, you are probably no stranger to this phenomenon. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, it’s wear and tear that we spandex lovers are experiencing.
What has happened to this dress is that it’s nylon & spandex fibers have stretched and relaxed. In relaxing from their inherent elasticity they’ve become brittle and snapped. Not unlike an elastic rubber band that has reached its breaking point due to deterioration as well.

A snapped rubber band is very similar to what snapped spandex fibers look like, just on a much larger scale.
A snapped rubber band is very similar to what snapped spandex fibers look like, just on a much larger scale.

(Spandex, however, is much more durable than rubber so it has a longer wear life than rubber made fibers.) The wear life of a spandex garment can also be shortened due to repeated wearing and contact with one’s perspiration, body oils, etc. The mechanical action of cleaning, whether through dry cleaning or wet cleaning, can also cause some loss of elasticity and stretching. When this happens all at once, one can see how the fibers of the garment snap and cause little fibers to protrude from the weave of the fabric.

So how can one prolong the life of their beloved spandex garments? With garments whose care label instructs to “Professionally Dry Clean,” please send these to the dry cleaner and point out the stains that you know of for pretreatment. At Rey’s Cleaners, we will hand clean the spandex garment and allow it to air dry, laying down upon a breathable surface. This will help minimize agitation of the spandex and nylon fabric.
If you are caring for a garment with spandex or nylon yourself, make sure to clean the garment gently by hand with lukewarm water and with a very mild detergent. Do not put the garment inside your washing machine and do not wring the garment out. Also, do not place in an area where the sun or any harsh lighting will aggravate the fiber content of the garment.

Oh the efforts we undergo to care for our treasured items! Please let us know if you have any questions at all regarding care of any item that has spandex & nylon, could be your body-con dress, maybe your favorite pair of stretch jeans or maybe any blouse or top that fits you just so.  We want to help you keep it looking & feeling its best!

 

Storing Vintage and Heirloom garments at home

How to Care for Your Vintage or Heirloom Garments at Home

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We have seen so many fascinating pieces come through our doors at Rey’s Cleaners to be cared for.  Many are items that were tucked away at the back of a loved one’s closet that have yellowed with age or deteriorated under the arms or whose beading fell apart in several areas. Other garments are treasured, one of a kind finds at a local thrift store that have similar issues but just really need a little TLC to bring back to life.

This gown for instance was a wedding gown found in one of our client’s mother’s closet.  It was her grandmother’s and as you can see it had yellowed with age tucked away out of sight.

Heirloom Wedding Gown Before Restoration
This beloved vintage wedding gown was forgotten in time and desperately needed some tender loving fabricare.

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Wedding Gown Preservation- Preserving Your Memories for a Lifetime

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A wedding gown is a symbol for many things- love, commitment, personal growth… However, it also stands for the memories that you share with the person you love, and the beginning of new memories in your new life with your soulmate. That’s why it’s important to preserve your wedding gown, and thus those special memories, in order to create a long-lasting symbol of everlasting happiness by treating and

maintaining the quality of your wedding apparel. After all, your gown deserves a happy ending too,
right?

Wedding Gown Cleaning Techniques

From traditional ballgowns to elegant mermaid and modern mini dresses, maintaining the emotional atmosphere of that special day takes time and energy- as well as quality resources and products. One of the problems that many wedding gowns face is the worsening of unseen champagne and sugar stains that are left embedded into the many folds and sequins of your favorite dress, which slowly oxidize and
turn yellow or brown over time if left untreated.

Many gown specialists will use the wet cleaning method to treat your gown, which consists of simply wet washing the gown by hand utilizing gentle cleaning agents that address all stains seen and unseen. However, Rey’s tends to prefer the more vigorous, effective, yet safe traditional dry-cleaning method:

  1. Gowns are inspected to select the best cleaning agents and dry-cleaning methods specific to your wedding gown or apparel.
  2. Stains are pre-treated by one of our Master Dry Cleaners with solvents that powerfully removes stains while nourishing fabrics in a lovely sheen.
  3. A post-cleaning inspection is done to assure all stains are removed.
  4. Your wedding gown is then hand-packaged in an acid- and lignon-free preservation box. This allows the gown to breathe and adjust to fluctuations in outside temperature.
  5. Preservation is finished by wrapping your wedding gown in a cotton dust cover and securing it with a ribbon for long-term storage.

What You Can Do

At Rey’s, your wedding gowns are handled by qualified professionals who have decades of experience behind their belts. However, there are still some things you can do before and after letting us treat your wedding garment to ensure that the integrity of your wedding gown remains as pristine as it did when you walked down the aisle to your new life:

  • Do not wrap the dress in plastic. This helps seal in moisture and promotes mold and mildew.
  • Hang your dress on plastic or padded hangers that can withstand the weight of your dress. This prevents the dress and fabric weave from stretching or distortion.
  • Keep your dress in a dark, cool environment, with a humidity of no more than 50%.

Don’t wait until your stains begin to set in and ruin the dress that changed your life- contact us now to preserve your precious memories for you and your future family!

Velvet: The Seasonless Classic

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While velvet is one of winter’s fashion favorites, the soft smooth fabric can
also be worn as a seasonless classic. Even crushed velvets and velvet
garments with decorative trim are now made stretchy and light for hot spring
and summer weather.
What is velvet?
General velvet is made on a special “double action” loom that weaves two layers of fabric at the same time. One of the threads is fed into a foundation fabric, and then the two layers are cut apart as they come off the loom to create the soft face of the velvet known as the pile. This piling effect gives velvet its characteristic smooth touch, and also lends to
the usage of the word “velvety” for suave, comfortable surfaces.
Pile length and fiber type may vary in length, and can even characterize the type of velvet. True velvet is usually made of rayon, acetate, silk, or a blend of these fibers, and typically has a short, closely-woven pile. Finishes are often applied to velvets to maintain pile durability and protect the fabric.
How to keep your velvets fit for royalty
All velvet fabrics can experience a variety of problems that can result in a
distortion of its original design and a loss of fabric softness, such as flattening and matting, pilling, tufting, and shrinkage. Therefore, it is important to maintain your velvet garments with the following steps:
  • Clean velvet garments immediately after each use.
  • Preserve your velvet garments in a well-ventilated closet. If you are looking to store velvet garments, make sure that it is in a climate-controlled storage space such as the one we offer.
  • Shake excess dampness from your velvet garment and allow It to dry. Do not blot or apply any pressure to damp areas as that can distort the fabric.
  • Do not iron your velvets. Instead, hang it in your bathroom and steam the garment to remove any unwanted wrinkle

While these steps may help prevent further damage when accidents such as spillage occur, some tough stains may need a professional touch to fully remove the blemish and restore the velvet fabric’s smooth surface you love. If you do get a stain on a velvet garment, our stain removal experts are ready to help. e will even pick up and drop off your garment from and to your home or office at no extra charge. Give Rey’s Cleaners a call today.

Less laundry, more time for the things you love.

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The apprehension on “laundry day,” when you have fa
mily-sized loads of laundry that must be collected,
washed, dried, and folded, and appears to take so l
ong that it consumes your whole day. You want to
read your new favorite novel, or go on summer excur
sions with the family, and spend more time on
doing the things you love to do. But alas, the endl
ess monotony of wash, dry, fold, repeat calls to you
from the laundry room.
Thankfully, we know how you can turn “laundry day”
into “laundry hour” with some great tips on how
to handle loads of laundry in an easier and more ef
ficient way. The following will allow you to invest
more time enveloped in your hobbies and focusing on
yourself rather than focusing on hampers of
unfolded clothes:
  1. Evaluate your laundry schedule. Choose a schedule that works for you: either do it more often with smaller loads, or less often with larger loads
  2. Learn how to wash everything properly. Learn the meanings of the symbols on the care label and sort clothes according to their washing instructions and color.
  3. Organize clothes with multiple hampers. It will save you time picking out whites from colors in a mixed load.
  4. Wash all lingerie and socks as a separate load. Instead of getting small items of clothing mixed up in mounds of larger ones, separate them and expedite the folding process.
  5. Fold faster. Learn the proper way to fold all of your garments. Try the Japanese T-shirt folding method (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNr1oLhZ0zs) for an easy guide.
  6. Fill drawers from front to back. Don’t stack them vertically! A horizontal alignment creates fora more organized, easy-to-grab drawer that’s effort less to create.
  7. Multitask! If you become so bored you can’t continue, try doing something else while completing laundry, like watching TV, listening to an audiobook, or talking on the phone.
The final most important thing, of course, is motivation! Get yourself motivated to do the laundry by visualizing the state of your room after your laundry is done, with organized rows of clean clothes and a more open positive atmosphere. Another thing you can do to limit the amount of laundry is to go through all of your clothing, one by one, and ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Does this item ofclothing really make me happy?” If the answer is ever “No,” then toss it in a giveaway pile that you can bring to a local charity or goodwill.
Of course, for those clothes that you need to be spotless and professionally cared for, we will handle all of the laundry process for you! Bring your clothes to Rey’s Deluxe Dry Cleaning and we will help you save time so you can get on with your busy life and do the things you love to do.

Go GREEN: Recycle hangers – we do!

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You probably already know the importance of recycling- it reduces waste, conserves resources, saves energy, and helps protect the environment that creates our home Planet Earth. However, what to recycle can sometimes be a hassle: looking at the numbers on the bottom of plastic items, figuring out whether your metal trash should be thrown away or sent to the recycling plant. We’re here to help you figure out at least one item that many people tend to throw away and not think twice about- hangers.

Why Recycle?

Made in the 1800’s exclusively for protecting the delicate fabrics of women’s skirts, hangers have become an indispensable and innumerable household item. Danny Schraeger, CEO of Mountain Valley Recycling in Tennessee, predicts that most overseas garments coming into the United States are packaged with coat hangers, resulting in an estimated 30 to 40 billion coat hangers being imported each year. With this many hangers stretched end to end, we could create an 8 million mile bridge that couldtake us far beyond the orbit of the moon!

To make matters worse, a majority of clothes hangers are made from wood, wire, and plastic, making it difficult to determine which type of hanger will be accepted by a recycling plant. Wood hangers are not typically recyclable, because they are usually coated with a shiny varnish that is nonrecyclable. Wire hangers, on the other hand, may be accepted no questions asked. However, it is important to check with
your local solid waste district to see whether your area does in fact accept all types of metal wire
hangers. Plastic hangers are the most difficult to recycle, as they can be made of a blend of many
nonrecyclable materials such as K-resin and polystyrene. Many of these hangers are also accompanied with a menagerie of other harmful products, including plastic and foam wrappings to help protect more expensive garments.

We’re here to tell you how you can practice the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle, for these difficult-to-handle materials.

1. Leave your hangers at your local dry cleaners when you drop off and pick up your clothing. They can reuse them for other garments and usually have a method of recycling them.

2. Make sure not to accept hangers when you pick up your clothing. Instead, leave them at your dry cleaners and use the one’s you already own at home

3. While wood hangers are not typically recyclable, they usually are combined with metal wire frames that an be recycled. The remaining wood can be used for many things, including door stops, paper weights, and even art!

4. Give up hangers to local thrift stores, as they have a large influx of used clothing that need
hangers. This helps them refrain from buying new ones and compounding the recycling problem.

5. If possible, check which materials are used on plastic hangers that you buy, and try to refrain
from buying ones made from K-resin and polystyrene.

And most important of all, entrust us with your clothing and leave your hangers at Rey’s! We understand the importance of a green earth, and want to help you keep it that way by reusing and recycling old hangers that you bring in. We’ll help you help us Go Green!

 

Can club soda REALLY clean that?

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If you’ve ever gotten stains on your clothes, furniture, or other household items, you’ve probably researched home remedies to finding a cost-effective way of cleaning up the mess yourself. In this case, you’ve most likely stumbled upon the debate over the cleaning prowess of club soda: while some say it does nothing more than make your clothes wet, a majority of these methods purport the miracle abilities of club soda to remove tea, make up, and even red and white wine stains.

But does club soda really possess these stain removal abilities? If so, what exactly can it clean, and how well? The answer lies in the science behind the fizz.

What makes club soda fizz

The fizzy bubbles in club soda are formed from a process called carbonization, which is really just the addition of carbon dioxide into water. However, when CO2

(carbon dioxide) and H2O combine, it does
more than make your drink bubbly: the two molecules combine to form H2CO3, or carbonic acid. This byproduct, as the name suggests, is an acid, which makes club sodas have a lower pH, or higher acidity, than regular water. But with an acidity between that of orange juice and apple juice, are those bubbles really that much more effective than regular water?

Carbon Dioxide vs. Water

Due to the slightly lower pH, or higher acidity, of seltzer water (pH 3-4) to plain water (pH 7), seltzer water can be used as a quick fix for most surface stains on fabric materials. However, it is not exactly the instant stain remover it is made out to be. In one experiment carried out by the Dry-cleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI), the stain removal properties of both carbonated water and plain water were
tested on ten assorted fabric items.

Sadly, the differences between the two did not show significant results: both water- and seltzer-based treatments ended up having the similar ability to quickly remove the surfaces of the stains, but not

completely remove them altogether. As stains can quickly seep into most fabrics and begin to
permanently set in, stronger acidic cleaning agents are necessary for cleaning deep into the fabrics.

The verdict?

While the quick answer is “yes,” seltzer water does provide a temporary solution to a big stain, you should begin to lose faith in seltzer water once you realize that the deeper portions of the stain remain visible after the initial treatment. In this case, you should put your trust in more effective stain removal methods like ours at Rey’s, where our Deluxe Dry leaning services effortlessly and efficiently remove set-in stains, without having to waste time on only partially effective club soda home remedies. Call us
at 786-235-0795 today!