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CleaningMatters logo sm November/December 2010


Nancy Bock   2010 [320x200]

Remember when you were in school and Show ‘n Tell was a favorite classroom activity? Well, that's just what we'd like to do with this section of Cleaning Matters. We'd love to hear more from our readers! Here's an acceptable place to air your dirty laundry . . . to tell others how you coaxed spots and stains from your favorite outfits. Do you have a funny story about what was left in the pockets? What lessons have your kids learned the hard way about doing their own laundry? You decide what's next! Send Nancy an email at and write "Tell Nancy a story" in the subject line.


Q: Can you use steam mops to clean sealed engineered hardwood floors?

A: As a general rule, the hardwood flooring industry does not recommend using steam mops on wood floors of any type. The manufacturers have recommended cleaning practices and solutions, and using other products and machines will void your warranty. Contact the manufacturer of your flooring to get their cleaning recommendations

Q: I have a blouse made of 95% cotton that I need to launder. However, the manufacturer’s care label says professional dry clean only. Why can’t I hand wash or put it in the washing machine?

A: There are many reasons why your garment might have a “professional dry clean only” care label. Washing might harm the buttons or the trim. Or the dyes might run if the garment is washed. In addition, some fabrics, such as cotton, shrink when washed—unless they have been preshrunk in the manufacturing process. Even if the fabric in your blouse was preshrunk, the garment manufacturer may fear that some residual shrinkage could occur. Most manufacturers choose care labels that cover the “worst case” scenario. So, if you decide to wash the garment, choose hand washing in cool water—and know that you do so at your own risk.

– Nancy Bock is Vice President of Consumer Education at the American Cleaning Institute® (ACI?)

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Cleaning Matters® is compiled by the American Cleaning Institute and is not copyrighted. Such information is offered solely to aid the reader. The American Cleaning Institute and its member companies do not make any guarantees or warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to the information contained in Cleaning Matters and assume no responsibility for the use of this information.