Wash before wearing.

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New clothing comes with more than just a new look. Almost all fabric is treated with a cocktail of chemicals that can cause irritation. Clothes are treated with preservatives to prevent mold or mildew during shipping. Formaldehyde resins, dyes and chemicals used in manufacturing can lead to contact dermatitis, eczema outbreaks or respiratory problems from simply breathing the fumes. Some fabrics, like denim, can transfer color to your skin. Happily, laundering or cleaning removes much of the chemical residue.

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From:: Wash before wearing.

Leap Day.

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Tomorrow’s the bonus day we get every four years. It keeps our 365-day calendar synched with the astronomical year. There’s even a leap second inserted to keep the length of days lined up with the slightly irregular rotation of the Earth around the sun. Leaplings, people born on leap day, are allowed to celebrate on Feb 28 or Mar 1. Have a happy leap day.

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From:: Leap Day.

Hats and gloves.

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Keeping warm is a lot more pleasant when winter wear items are clean and fresh. If you chose to home-launder, a few timely tips from Real Simple: Wash knit caps and gloves like sweaters; machine-wash knits on delicate cycle in cold water. Spot-clean structured newsboy and baseball caps to keep brims in shape. Handwash leather trimmed gloves. Or bring everything to the experts. We’re skilled at even the stickiest stains.

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From:: Hats and gloves.

Pet laundry?

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You can safely home launder pet bed covers, collars and leashes on the gentle cycle in cold water with an all-purpose laundry detergent. Throw in grimy washable chew toys. Use small loads but use large-load settings to flush out hair and dirt. Tumble dry on lowest setting or air dry.

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Greener and cleaner.

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Spring’s a great time to change habits for a cleaner, healthier environment. Start by cutting down on water waste with shorter showers, full loads of laundry and dishes, filtered water instead of bottled. Repair and recycle appliances, furniture and clothing. We do more than clean – we can help keep your wardrobe repaired, fitted and functional. And please, bring your wire hangers back for recycling.

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From:: Greener and cleaner.

Spring fashion alert.

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Harpers Bazaar predicts trends for the coming season including oversized disco collars on coats, jackets and button-downs. Crochet gets a cool update, and short short hot pants stage a revival. Highlighter-inspired neon colors pair easily with black, white or tan. Bermuda shorts put a spin on the classic business suit for a relaxed look and look for tailored vests. There’s tiered formal wear, feathered fluff, saucy bra tops and 60’s wallpaper and more coming this spring.

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From:: Spring fashion alert.

Hit the slopes.

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Get the most out of your ski wear. Check for salt, grit or food spills après ski. Close zippers and release tension on drawstrings or elastics, dry thoroughly before storing. Specifically follow care instruction tags: high tech fabrics need special attention, sometimes more sophisticated than your home washing machine. We’re your garment cleaning and care experts — even for technical sportswear.

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From:: Hit the slopes.

Home dryer tips #2.

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Double-check wet laundry before throwing in the dryer — exposed zippers can snag, pens and lip glosses will melt. Sort by type and weight, pull delicates like sweaters and lingerie to avoid pilling or shrinkage. If you have the space and time, hang dry large bulky (and linty) items like bedding and towels. Load the dryer drum no more than ¾ full and use a minimum number of dryer sheets – or none. Grab a level and make sure your machine is sitting level. Wobbling is not just noisy and annoying, it may affect performance and can shorten the life of your machine.

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From:: Home dryer tips #2.