Avoid the dryer when dyeing jeans
QMy problem was one that you mentioned in the paper about dyeing jeans. I tried on three occasions to dye faded jeans using RIT dye, (Royal Blue) and I got the colour I wanted. Then I tried setting the dye with cold water and salt. Every time I put the jeans in the wash after that (normally just one wearing) they all faded out to the original colour once again. Do you have any suggestions for setting the dye that will work in the long run? I haven’t talked to anyone in the clothing business that has a successful suggestion. Thanks, Angus (Winnipeg) ANSWER: The manufacturing process has a lot to do with the colourfastness of each particular line of denim. The salt and water combination is typically great for reducing colour loss in fabrics but be sure to hang denim to dry and avoid the dryer. Turn them inside out and use cold water in the wash. Here is another tip that someone shared as a great option to hold the colour of denim dye: purchase Dryel and use it according to the directions. QUESTION: I found a very interesting antique watch that has a stamped calfskin watchband. However, on the band, near where the watch touches the band, there’s a blue-green sort of stain. I almost think it’s the reaction of sweat and the metal. Does that sound like something that can be cleaned? I don’t want to buy the watch if the band can’t be cleaned. Thanks. Thom (Winnipeg) ANSWER: This may be due to the chemical used in the tanning process, metal touching the calfskin, or a reaction to the acid in the wearer’s skin, much the same as when a finger turns green while wearing a metal ring. The green stain is difficult to remove without damaging the calfskin. In order to prevent further discolouration, you can stick adhesive backing onto the wristband to avoid direct skin contact. QUESTION: You would not believe how much toilet paper my husband goes through every day! What a waste (pardon the pun). Which toilet paper is the best to purchase to save money? Salena (Brandon, Man.) ANSWER: Buy toilet paper in bulk and you will save a bundle. For example, if you purchase a bundle of 24 rolls versus packages of four, you can save up to 60 per cent off the cost. Check for supermarket coupons and sales, which are often at the beginning and midway through the month (a great time to stock up). Purchasing generic brands instead of name brands can bring you a savings of another 20 per cent. If you are concerned about the environment, look for packages labelled 100 per cent recycled. QUESTION: I packed a wet bathing suit coming home from a vacation a couple of winters ago, and even though I unpacked it and washed it right away, it has a mildew smell. I rewashed it, hung it up to dry, tried special bathing suit soap and washed it in vinegar with no luck. Couldn’t part with it, so I put it in a cupboard with my two other bathing suits. When I pulled them out recently, all three had a mildew smell. I rewashed them, hung them outside, let them sit in water with vinegar, and rewashed them with vinegar and bathing suit soap — to no avail. I’ve worn two of them in a chlorine pool several times this winter, and still the mildew odour remains. I always wash and hang dry right after use. Any chance at all I can remove the smell? What is the best thing to do? Thanks for your ideas! Louise (St. Eustache, Man.) ANSWER: This is another example of odour that may be caused by dyes and chemicals in the manufacturing of the garment. Before washing your bathing suits in the washing machine, soak them in hot water and borax. Borax contains no phosphates and no bleach but is wonderful at zapping hard-to-handle odours. If you cannot find borax, use a generous amount of Oxy Clean or baking soda instead.