Dry Cleaning Dilemma

Dear Mary,

My daughter has a letterman’s jacket that has real leather sleeves and a wool body. The regular dry cleaner doesn’t want to clean it because of the leather sleeves and the leather cleaner doesn’t want to clean it because of the wool-blend body. Do you have any suggestions on how I might spot clean it at home? Toni, email

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Dear Toni,

I checked with several manufacturers including LogoSportsware who tell me the leather sleeves in these jackets are typically specially treated to do well with dry-cleaning. I know that in the past I’ve had my son’s jacket cleaned without harm. You might consider asking your best dry cleaner to allow you to sign a release of liability form. Just understand that if something should go wrong, you will not have any recourse. But what do you have now? A dirty jacket. I believe I’d take that risk. 

Dear Mary,

Is there any advantage to sending in my credit-card payment early? Or is it better to keep the money in the bank where it is earning interest and then sending it closer to the due date? Jeff, New Jersey

Dear Jeff,

Because interest on credit-card accounts is calculated according to the “average daily balance,” it makes a difference. In fact, the sooner you can pay during the billing cycle the sooner your balance will drop, which means you will pay less interest. If you cannot make your entire payment early in the cycle, consider sending (or making your payments online) one-quarter of it every week or half every two weeks. Just make sure you have sent at least the entire minimum due before the due date. Getting socked with a late fee will undue all kinds of effort you’ve made to reduce your balance.

Dear Mary,

We purchase fresh broccoli at the local supermarket, cut off the large stem, wash the flowerets and place them on paper towels to dry before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They sometimes grow sour within a few days before they can be consumed. Is there a better way to handle broccoli? Clarence, email

Dear Clarence,

According to the home and garden information center at Clemson University, you should not wash broccoli until you are ready to use it. Store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Just before preparing wash, don’t soak, broccoli in cool running water. Store broccoli at 32°F with adequate air circulation. Broccoli should not be stored with fruits, such as apples or pears, that produce substantial quantities of ethylene, as this gas accelerates yellowing of the buds. Ideally, you should use broccoli within three days of purchase, since the vitamin content will decrease the longer it is stored. However, broccoli will remain perfectly edible for between 10 to 14 days under these ideal storage conditions.

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8 replies
  1. Butch says:

    My only comment would be that I wouldn’t put a picture of a girl with a jacket and bra on my web page. Seriously – did anyone proof that photo?

  2. Linda says:

    I’ve had great results storing broccoli by slicing about 1/8 inch off the bottom of the stalk when you bring it home and immediately stand it in a container with at least an inch of water. Cover with plastic and store in the fridge. The broccoli takes up the water and is just like fresh cut. The flavor improves as well. Cook within a week for best quality.

  3. kaetra says:

    I pay my credit card balance in full every month and I pay zero interest. I’ve never paid a credit card company a single penny of interest. I know Mary isn’t a fan of using credit cards because you tend to spend less if you use only cash – but a cash-only system just does not work for me personally. I use my credit card for safety, convenience and cash back rewards. I treat it like cash, track my account regularly, and stick to a strict budget. Credit cards are too much temptation for some people though, I know.

  4. says:

    We own a dry cleaner and we are certified leather cleaners. Unless the sleeves are VINYL instead of leather a leather cleaner can clean a letter jacket with no problem. Remember you get what you pay for–Start with real leather sleeves, then take it to a certified leather dry cleaner. Top of the line cleaners can also preserve letter jackets–my son graduated in 1983 and his jacket looks as good as it did when he quit wearing it. Merry Christmas!!!!

  5. Twin sis says:

    I washed my daughter’s letter jacket in cold water on the gentle cycle in my washing machine. The wool is blue and the leather is white. I hung it up to dry and it turned out beautifully!

  6. Pepperth says:

    Shoe cleaner works amazingly well on cleaning the sleeves of a letterman jacket.. Spray it on. Wipe it off and your sleeves look like brand new.

  7. Becky says:

    Dear Mary, I own a dry cleaners so I speak with some expertise. Your reader needs to try to find a good leather cleaner. We send our letterman jackets to a dry cleaner who specializes in leather and they have no problem with the wool content of the jacket. The problem with many of those jackets is that the sleeves are color sprayed and many times have to be refreshed after cleaning. Unless it is old and cracked this usually comes back looking very good. The wool can fuzz up some but this can be smoothed with a lint roller and defuzzer if necessary. Depending on the type of solvent a regular dry cleaner uses it can be dry cleaned but the leather can become brittle because it removes some of the oil and the color will probably fade if not come off. The bottom line is that it is not cheap to clean leather right so don’t try a discount cleaners unless you want your expensive jacket to be ruined.


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