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Do Laundry Detergents Expire?

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With the opportunities that stores, especially the so-called “big box” stores, provide to save money on quantities for items such as laundry detergents, the question quickly becomes, “Do laundry detergents expire?” After all, buying a large quantity at one time does save money, but if it goes bad or loses its effectiveness, what’s the use of saving money on it?

Well, for those enquiring minds who want to know, laundry detergents don’t spoil or “go bad” in the classical sense of the term. They can, however, lose their effectiveness. And as far as maintaining their form, that’s a different matter entirely.

Laundry detergents come in three general forms, liquid, powder, and individual use packets. Their differences are excellent when they are chosen for how we like to wash clothes, but the way they react over time is much different. And while almost all detergents have a “best when used by” date, that time frame should be used as a ballpark figure and not a hard and fast rule to get rid of it. Any detergent product should not be used if it appears in a form different than when purchased, but as a rule of thumb, don’t use them after nine months to a year after the use date.

Powdered Detergents. Powdered detergents tend to break down significantly over time. This is especially true when they are exposed to moisture. Moisture causes powdered detergents to clump and get lumpy.

If this happens to your detergent, but it is still within the use date, just give the container a good shake to break up the lumps. Once powdered detergents get old they tend to leave deposits on your clothes. And unless you plan to start some kind of fashion trend, best to throw out these products.

Liquid Detergents. Liquid detergents have a long shelf life unless they are exposed to extremes of temperatures. When this happens, they get lumpy and should not be used.

Single Use Products. For convenience, single use products are great. There’s no measuring or mess, and the polyvinyl film is made to dissolve quickly once wet, but therein presents a problem. Just as is the case with other laundry products, the use by date should be watched, but if the polyvinyl films get wet, they will stick together and become practically useless. If this happens, it’s best to throw them out.

Bleaches. Bleaches, no matter whether they are liquid or powder, should be thrown out within six months after their use by date.

The Laundry Center always uses the freshest and safest laundry detergents to make sure your clothes come out smelling fresh and looking clean.

How to wash expensive laundry on your own

LaundryThere is no excuse for damaging your most expensive garments while doing laundry. In fact, with a little following of instruction, you can always save your expensive clothing from the damages associated with poor laundry processes. And thankfully, handling your laundry at home, especially where costly garments are concerned, doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Follow these tips and you’ll be safe:(a) Start by reading the labelEvery cloth comes with a special tag that gives instructions on what should be done and what shouldn’t be done with the cloth during a laundry service. For instance, the tag will say something like ”dry clean only”, and that is exactly what you should do. On the other hand, if it says ”dry clean”, you can generally wash with hands safely.If the tag indicates an ”X”, then it means you should keep it away from anything spinning regardless of the temperature. Lastly, ”air dry only” means the garment should sit in the air to dry, and not otherwise.

(b) Learn to use your hands instead of the laundry machine

Hand-washing is a basic skill that everyone must learn. It starts with a simple basin filled with a mixture of lukewarm water and mild detergent. Once the cloth is submerged, you should gently swish from side to side for 5 minutes roughly. Don’t be vigorous with scrubbing, even if you spot a stain. There should also be enough water sluicing around the fabric as the washing goes on.

(c) Treat stains immediately

The moment your expensive garments catch stains, they should be pre-treated immediately. This will prevent the stain from working its way into the deeper fabric of the garment. And when you wash such a cloth, the stain will instantly come out, even with a short, effective wash.

If you’re dealing with organic stains, i.e. stains coming from blood, fat, proteins etc, you should use lukewarm or cold water. But if the stain is inorganic (stains coming from oil or dirt), you should use warm water.

The right way to do this is to dab the water from behind the stain surface, then set the cloth face-down on something like a paper towel. This way, the stain will naturally leech away from the fabric.

(d) Soaking is never harmful when done right

If the garment is dirty and stained at the same time, you can soak it for a few hours under room temperature. Soaking means immersing in water and giving the cloth some time so the stain can grow weaker. Any treatment that will be applied afterwards will make the stain disappear quickly.

(e) Drying in the air

Most delicate clothing, whether hand-washed or machine washed will need natural air to dry rather than being tumbled in a hot air drier. If the cloth is too delicate, lay it flat outside instead of hanging on a cloth line. Also, make sure you turn it over every half an hour to ensure uniform drying.

With those tips, you can comfortably and safely wash your expensive garments. However, if you’re still not sure, it doesn’t always harm to use our NYC laundry pickup and delivery service. We offer the best laundry service around, so don’t hesitate to have your most expensive clothing washed professionally.


Cleaning Your Clothes: Which Detergent is the Best?

“Rub a Dub, Dub, Three Men in a Tub” might make for a charming nursery rhyme, but when it comes to real life, there’s a lot of room for doubt about how clean their clothes got. When it comes to cleaning clothes, you have a lot more control than you think. As any mom can testify (at least those from the Leave it to Beaver era) the detergent makes all the difference in the world. Making a pick from this list of the most popular brands might not lead your neighbors to calling you Mrs. Cleaver, but at least you won’t have Eddie Haskel to contend with.

All. All is considered one of the smallest but mightiest detergents on the market with an 11 percent market share. Not only is this concentrated formula available in two sizes, 64 and 32 ozs., but it’s also available in a variety of scents to keep everybody happy.

Arm & Hammer. This is another concentrated formula that’s available in two sizes as well as two fragrances. Arm & Hammer owns an 8.25 percent market share.

Cheer. Cheer, a Proctor & Gamble product, is another one that has several formulations that keep everybody happy, high efficiency as well as standard. Colors are well taken care of with this formula with two different types for these alone.

Gain. Gain is another Proctor & Gamble product that comes in a variety of formulas for different washer types as well as different uses.

detergentMethod. Going green? Method might be your best, well, method. This one is a thrice concentrated formula that boasts being biodegradable and is phosphate-free. Want an extra boost? You can use Method to pretreat your toughest stains too.

Purex. With a 12.5 percent share of the market, Purex is one of the big boys of the detergent world. This should come as little surprise, considering it’s a member of the Dial Corporation family. With both conventional and high efficiency formulas, Purex also comes in a variety of scents and sizes.

SA8. Produced by Amway products, SA8 is a concentrate available in standard as well as high efficiency formulas.

Seventh Generation. Seventh Generation is yet another in the “green” category of detergents. Not only it is available for standard as well as high efficiency formulas, it’s a cleaning powerhouse as well.

Tide. Of all the detergent big boys, Tide is the biggest of the big boys, with more than a 28 percent marekt share. Along with its sister product, Gain, Tide is available in concentrate form which gives you double the number of cleaners for the same price. Want a bonus? The maker of Tide and Gain also offer a number of other detergent products, each with their own specialties.

At The Laundry Center, we are committed to returning your wash to you not only when and where you want it, but in a condition that will remind you of the time when your mother did it. When you call The Laundry Center, we use any of the detergent products that you would use on your own laundry. It’s part of the personalized service that has made us a household name.

Wash, Dry, Sort, Fold, Repeat: Getting Control of the Laundry Cycle

busymomWash, dry, sort, fold. Repeat. Over and over again. Doing the laundry is never a fun job, but it’s made even worse when you consider the fact that it has to be done regularly…very regularly in some cases, to even resemble keeping up with the chore. If you are looking for a way to get your laundry deluge under control, here are some tips.

* A load a day. Would it help you if you knew that the only thing you needed to do was to wash one load of clothes in a day? If that’s the case, why not? The truth is that many famous people kept their work under control by limiting what they needed to do to small quantities. Authors Jack London and Ernest Hemingway each had a personal goal of only 1,000 words written per day. That’s a modest output, to be sure, but look what they accomplished with it.

* A person a day. Whether you have a significant number of people to wash for or not, trying to keep an entire brood in clean clothes is another difficult task. Why not resolve to clean clothes for only one person each day? When the laundry is done for that person, the laundry work is done for the day.

* A blowout laundry day. How much laundry can you accomplish in a day? Why not find out? Schedule a day for yourself to make sure that all of your laundry gets done on that day. Further, promise yourself a reward if you accomplish your goal. Even better, why not schedule a special “Me Day,” when all of the laundry is done? Go to the spa. Get your nails done. See a movie. Do anything to reward yourself.

* One section per day. One of the difficult things to do on a given wash day is to separate and wash so many different types of clothes. If that’s a problem for you, why not separate your different kinds of clothes and wash them separate on given days. Wash a load of cotton undies one day. Bras on another day. Colors on still another day.

There’s an old Zen saying, “Before Zen, chop wood, carry water. After Zen, chop wood, carry water.” That might seem perplexing to some, but the point is to change your mindset about what you are trying to accomplish. Whatever the task is, whether it’s cleaning the laundry, finally losing some weight, working in the yard, or practically anything else, “By the inch, life’s a cinch. By the mile, it takes a while.” Besides, it gives you more time to smell the roses.

If going Zen is not for you, then just call The Laundry Center and we’ll pick up and deliver your dirty laundry making your life a little easier and less busy.

Color Care Tips and Tricks


Bold hues give off a happy feeling, which is probably why most people like a pop of color in their clothes. Preventing the color from fading could be such a big problem, however. The more these garments are washed, the more they fade.


Washed out garments can be such a pain in the eyes. To avoid looking drab and dowdy, here are some basic tips in color care that must be kept in mind. You can get more instructions from The Laundry Center website.


1. Organize laundry by color intensity

Before diving into the actual washing process, sort out clothes into brights and pastels. Keep those with the same hues together. This will prevent the colors from bleeding into the paler fabrics.


2. Choose the right detergent

Make the clothes’ vibrancy last by using detergents that prevent color loss and fading. There is a large selection of specially formulated cleaners in the market. Opting for the shortest cycle and lowest heat setting in your washing machine also helps.


3. Use the correct temperature

Check the care labels of your clothing in order to know which to use for different garments. Cold water is more appropriate for washing colored fabrics. It is less likely to fade colors and do less damage to delicate garments. Most color care detergents also work best in cold temperature.


4. Treat stains before washing

You can pre-treat colored clothes for tough stains. A little detergent or stain remover will do. Make sure to rub it into the fabric and allow it to work for several minutes. Wash the garment as you normally do after pre-treating.


5. Turn clothes inside out

Most damages on clothes come from washing. Fabrics rub together and create unsightly fuzz balls. To prevent wear and tear, turn the garment inside out. This will prevent them from pilling.


6. Avoid overdrying

This is particularly bad for bright colors. Overdrying can cause clothes to lose their vibrancy. Make sure that the garments are still slightly damp when pulled from the dryer.


7. Add vinegar

One practical tip in color care is to add a cup of vinegar to your washing machine. It helps prevent colors from fading, with the added bonus of being a natural fabric softener. Do not worry about the smell. It goes away in the wash.


If you live in the NYC area, make your life a little easier and schedule your next free laundry pickup with The Laundry Center.

First order is 50% Off with code BUBBLES50 and your second order is Free!