Are Essential Oils Safe?

Essential oils have become very popular in the last few years. These aromatic oils are used to freshen the air in homes, rubbed on the skin to brighten moods and boost the immune system, and even used in diffusers at night to help bring on a restful night’s sleep. So, are essential oils safe? And if so, what are the best ways to use them?

Essential oils - pine and lavender
Photo by Cosiela B. on Unsplash

Essential Oils are Safe if Used With Caution

Essential oils like lemon, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint are all safe to use topically and diffused in the air. Studies have shown that the scents of these oils, and many others, can be soothing to the brain and can help with anxiety and depression. However, it is NEVER safe to ingest essential oils. Many oils are not regulated by the FDA, and you never know what else may be in that bottle, so save your oils for home use only.

Keep Away from Pets

Animals are very sensitive to essential oils. Since oils are in a concentrated form, they can be extremely potent to cats and dogs. Most of the time the smell alone will keep your pets away, but always make sure they’re kept out of reach and never put them in your pet’s food or water. You wouldn’t want your pet to get sick and have to see a veterinary doctor and take medications.

Be Careful With Fabrics

If you plan to use essential oils topically, like rubbed on the wrists, for example, be aware that they can stain clothing. While some oils will easily wash out in the laundry, some may cause stains if allowed to dry and set. But not to worry, it’s nothing that can’t be solved with a trip to the local dry cleaner.

Use a Steam Diffuser

Steam diffusers are a great way to safely enjoy the benefits of essential oils. Diffusers are generally inexpensive and use water and heat to spread your favorite scents into the air. You only need a few drops of oil to enjoy the effects for hours.

So remember, essential oils are safe when used with caution. Enjoy!

How to Care For Your Handmade Clothing

Handmade clothing items, like knitted scarves or crocheted shawls, are some of my favorite things in the world. If you’re into handmade or recycled clothing items like I am, you know that it can get a little tricky to care for them. Besides taking these items to the Boston dry cleaner near me, I can also care for my handmade scarves or shawls and other items at home. Here are some tips for how to do that.

knitting a scarf
Photo by Rebecca Grant on Unsplash

Items Made From Yarn

If you’ve been gifted a homemade item knitted or crocheted from yarn, there are several different materials that yarn can be made from. If it was given to you, be sure to ask whether it should be hand washed or dry cleaned, as the instructions would have been on the yarn label. But if you’re not sure what kind of yarn it was, always hand wash it. Cotton and acrylic yarn is usually machine washable, however, wool, bamboo and other delicate fibers are just too sensitive to throw in the wash. Hand wash your item in cool water with just a tiny amount of detergent, and then lay flat to dry.

Handsewn Garments

Handsewn clothing is another tricky thing to wash. Unless you were given specific instructions on how to care for it, you should always hand wash. If there are stains that you just can’t get out yourself, check with dry cleaners nearby, they will most likely be able to treat the item. Lots of handsewn clothing are a mix of different fibers, so although one fiber may be machine washable, another may not. So instead of throwing it in the laundry, take the time to hand wash and lay flat to dry. This will also prevent the garment from shrinking or losing its shape.

If the garment is very precious to you, you might consider using a fine dry cleaning service, where personal attention is given to the garment by a trained specialist at the dry cleaner. So take care of those special clothing items, and they’ll last for years to come.

How to Remove Stains Around the House With Easy to Find Ingredients

Stains can be extremely frustrating, especially if it’s on something noticeable like the carpet or a favorite piece of clothing. Some items might be able to be saved by taking to a Boston dry cleaner, but let’s try to salvage them at home first. Read on for ways to remove stains around the house using easy to find ingredients.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is pretty much a superhero when it comes to stain removal. To make a stain-fighting paste, mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with a little bit of water at a time until it forms a thick paste. For carpet stains, rub the mixture on using an old toothbrush, let dry and then vacuum up. This is a great method for pet stains because it acts as an odor remover as well. For clothing, blankets and comforters, mix a bit of laundry detergent with the baking soda paste and pre-treat stains with a toothbrush or small nailbrush. Let sit for about 20 minutes before washing normally. You may need to repeat the process once or twice more for complete removal. Sometimes, big items are a bit too bulky to handle on our own. In that case, I always get a laundry delivery service in Boston to pickup the household items for cleaning.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a great natural ingredient to use on armpit and sweat stains. Scrub stains with equal parts lemon juice and water and then wash normally. For ink stains, make a paste with lemon juice and cream of tartar and rub stain with a toothbrush, let sit for 20 minutes and then wash normally in cold water.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great way to treat upholstery stains. Mix with a little baking soda and gently rub on the stain to loosen. Then treat with the desired method or cleaning products. Don’t use coconut oil on suede or leather furniture.

Try these simple methods with easy to find ingredients to treat your stained items. If all else fails, that’s what your nearby dry cleaners are for!

How to Repurpose the Clothes in Your Closet

The New Year is right around the corner, so it’s time to unclutter your life. When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Are there clothes that need washing, or even professional cleaning by a dry cleaner? Put them in a pile and if there are a lot of clothes that need cleaning, it is wise to use a laundry delivery service.

It’s a great idea to donate the clothes you no longer wear, but what about those pieces that aren’t quite in shape to donate? Or the pieces you want to hold onto but aren’t sure how to use them? Read on for some ideas on how to repurpose the clothes in your closet.

Woman picking clothes in her closet

A T-Shirt Quilt

Have lots of old band or travel t-shirts sitting around? A t-shirt quilt is a super cute way to preserve your memories while repurposing those old shirts. If you’re not the crafty type, don’t worry. There are several different companies and services that do this sort of thing for you or, ask around for local artisans.

Turn Long Sleeve Shirts into Wrap Skirts

Most dress shirts last 6 months to a year, whether you use a shirt laundry service or not. Cotton shirts lose their shape after a while, but there’s no need to throw them out. By wearing the torso portion of the shirt and wrapping the sleeves around your waist into a bow in the front, you’ve got a comfortable wrap skirt you can wear over leggings or on its own. This works for solid colored shirts of course, but prints are even better!

Turn Tees into Cardigans

Have some old tees that are a bit too tight but you’d love to hang on to them? Turn them into cardigans! This awesome hack lets you hold on to your favorite old tees while repurposing them into your current wardrobe. And you don’t even need to know how to sew! Using a pair of scissors, simply cut a line straight down the middle of the tee. Then use hem tape, which you can find at any craft store, to straighten the cut edges. If I want to add buttons or fastens, I can simply ask the expert tailor at the Boston dry cleaner near me to do it for a small charge.

So time to go through your laundry piles and clean out that closet! After gathering up donations for your local organization or shelter, try some of these fun ideas to repurpose your clothes.

Surprising Items That Can Be Dry Cleaned

When most of us think about taking clothes to our Boston dry cleaner, we think of our work casual wardrobe, suits, dresses and maybe some of our fancier attire like gowns, dresses and delicate materials. But there is actually more items that are safe to be dry cleaned than you realize. Read on for some surprising items that can be taken to the dry cleaners nearby.

Boston dry cleaner

Designer Jeans

When most of us think about taking clothes to our Boston dry cleaner, we think of our work casual wardrobe, suits, dresses and maybe some of our fancier attire like gowns, dresses and delicate materials. But there is actually more items that are safe to be dry cleaned than you realize. Read on for some surprising items that can be taken to the dry cleaners nearby.

We all have at least one pair of designer jeans that we splurged on because they just fit so amazing. To keep them fitting so amazing, did you know you can take them to the dry cleaners? Dry cleaning services include denim garments like jeans and jackets. Premium denim can lose it’s shape and color in the laundry when you run them through the washer and dryer. So to get your money’s worth, take those fancy jeans to the dry cleaners.

Comforters

Depending on what material your comforter is made of, you may be able to get away with washing it at home. If you have a down comforter, you should avoid taking it to the dry cleaners since the products used could damage it. However, most non-down comforters dry cleaned once a year. This is a great way to freshen up your bedding and have it look like new again.

Don’t forget that you can take advantage of a laundry drop off service in Boston for these bulky items. If you have a senior adult at home with in home living assistance, the home health aide can do this as well.

Throw Pillows

If you have throw pillows made of delicate materials like wool or silk, it’s best to leave the cleaning to the professionals. Home washing machines can be too harsh for decorative pillows. I would take them to a dry cleaner near me to clean your throw pillows thoroughly while maintaining the shape of the material.

Shoes and Sneakers

Yes, you read that right. You can have your shoes and sneakers dry cleaned. Check with the dry cleaners nearby about your specific shoes, but most will take gyms shoes and dress shoes. Suede shoes, in particular, should always be professionally dry cleaned as opposed to washed at home.

If you have an item at home that you’re not sure is safe to be dry cleaned or not, don’t be afraid to ask the dry cleaners.

Condo Living in Boston

Condo prices have gone up again this year in downtown Boston, according to Boston Magazine. For example condos in the South End area cost nearly $1 million while in Back Bay they are over $1.2 million. As more and more businesses in the innovation economy move to Boston, mostly technology and life sciences companies, the demand for residential condo units go up. Most of these condo developments are in the high end category and concentrated in the Seaport District, Back Bay, West End and also across the river in Cambridge.

South End is one of the most desirable places to live in the City of Boston. There you’ll find interesting upscale specialty shops, coffee shops and restaurants, convenient services like dry cleaners, salons, and friendly community pharmacies. The brownstone lined streets are charming and relaxing with plenty of green public areas. It’s also a stone’s throw from major shopping centers in Copley where you can find major luxury brands. There is metered parking on major thoroughfares like Tremont Street and residential parking mostly in the side streets. Of course, it is also served by the T, which is Boston’s mass transit system.

If you want more floor space, you might want to move to the Boston suburbs instead. For example, in the city of Newton, there are many condos, old and new, as well. Newton is known as the Garden City with plenty of green spaces, parks as well as beautiful gardens in private houses. There are major shopping centers in Chestnut Hill with a variety of specialty shops, boutiques, restaurants, luxury brands as well as many medical offices, banks and schools. Parking is readily available in all the village centers (there are 13 villages in Newton). Finding a laundry and dry cleaner in Newton is easy, as is a local prescription pharmacy. Newton has many residential housing complexes for the elderly, including independent living, assisted living, nursing homes and other choices. There are also many home care agencies in Newton, offering in-home care services for elderly and disabled adults.

Boston is a great place to live and work. You’ll love it!

Preparing Clothes for Dry Cleaning in Boston

Do you want the best results from your Boston dry cleaner? Take a few minutes to prepare your clothes before bringing to the dry cleaner. A little preparation before sending your laundry to the dry cleaner helps make sure you get satisfactory results.  Here are a few tips for preparing your clothes for the dry cleaner.

​Read the Care Tags

Make sure you send the right clothes to the cleaner. Their tags will tell you whether or not an item can be dry cleaned. If the label says “machine wash or dry clean” or “dry clean only,” you’re good to go. Notice whether items have any additional special instructions for handling, and separate them from the rest so the dry cleaner in downtown Boston can easily identify clothing that requires special care.

​Empty the Pockets

We all accumulate things in our pockets: pens, gum, makeup, and even small toys.  Things like lipstick, gum, and ink pens can damage clothes if you leave them in the pockets. Cleaners do check clothes before cleaning, but it’s easy to miss something. Be kind to your dry cleaner in South End Boston and empty the pockets.

​Mark Stains

Make sure that stains can be easily identified.  Put a bit of masking tape around or on the stain so the cleaners can find it easily. You can also mark it with a safety pin and a piece of paper.  Be sure to let the cleaners know what caused the stain so they can choose the appropriate method for that type of stain.

Get the item to the dry cleaners as soon as possible after the stain occurred.

​Check for Worn or Weak Areas

Let your dry cleaner know about any loose buttons, broken zippers, or other wear and tear so they can take special care of those areas.

Preparing your clothes properly for the dry cleaner will  help you look your best in clean clothes!

About Utopia Cleaners
Utopia Cleaners offers laundry and dry cleaning services in Boston from three stores in downtown Boston. Laundry pickup and delivery in Boston as well as same day dry cleaning service are available.