Attack of the Clothes Moth!

Clothes moths do not attack your favorite garments just because they want to.

Some facts about the “clothes moth”.
Some facts about the “clothes moth”. Scientific name: Tineola bisselliella

They are attracted to left over particles of protein-laced food residue that get imbedded in the fibers. Most damage can be found around “spill” or “splash” zones including the chest and stomach areas, lap, sleeves and cuffs. Perspiration residue under the arms attract moths as well. When our little winged pests find those areas they not only eat at the goodies, they make a comfy little nest to lay eggs. It is hard to see this without a microscope. The moth larvae imbed in the chewed up area and actually cover the holes, thus masking the damage. The area may look a bit rough but most people have no reason to assume anything is wrong. Washing or cleaning the sweater rinses away the larvae along with the damaged fibers thus exposing the moth holes.

Webbing-Clothes-Mothhole in coat

So…you bring your favorite sweater in for cleaning and it comes back with holes. This is most likely due to moth damage that you didn’t even know existed. Let’s say you bring something in that has existing holes – guess what – there are probably more that are not visible yet.

What can be done about the damage? Sometimes darning will work, but for more extensive damage re-weaving could be the answer. It is common for your dry cleaner to suggest cleaning the garment first before ever suggesting repairs to make sure no more holes appear. Beware that re-weaving could end up costing more than a new garment!


The best way to prevent moth damage is by washing or dry cleaning your favorite woolens or garments made of natural fibers. Do not store these items over the summer thinking you will clean them right before you want to wear them. Always store seasonable garments clean. A cedar closet is great for keeping moths away. If you do not have one, there are cedar chips available that you can put in your drawers and closets that will help to deter them. Be cautious of mothballs as they can be harmful to pets and children.

Raw Eggs and Halloween

Every dry cleaner has their favorite Halloween challenge or horror story.
Unfortunately, it’s a night when at least one customer coming home from work is going to ‘get hit’ with raw eggs, shaving cream or some variation of a trick -or -treater’s juvenile idea of funny.

For me, my first Halloween in the business brought a deluge of customers who had been the victim of World Series caliber pitching of raw eggs!  There were trench coats, pants, leather jackets, hats… a whole array of egg stained garments were brought through our doors that year.

Now, I have to tell you, raw eggs are NOT a commonly seen stain in the dry cleaning business.  So I had to stop, mentally break down the stain and think about the best way to proceed before I began any stain removal work. You see, if I had simply started by working with live steam to break up the dried egg – I would have wound up with scrambled eggs, which would have been a double mess to remove!

But such is the life of a dry cleaner.  We have to do far more thinking and testing, and exercise far more patience and spend way more time removing stains than outsiders realize!

This year, if your child comes home wearing an egg or two, and you want some guidance on the best way to deal with raw egg stains (which are albuminous by nature), send me an email, and I’ll be happy to give you some guidance.


The weather is getting cooler and that means sweater season! YES, get out those warm, cuddly, sweaters.

A group of Sweaters
I need freshening!

Oh my, you forgot to clean them so they would be ready? If you are like me handwashing is not what you want to be doing with your spare time. Not only that, where in the world do you have space to let them dry–FLAT! Oakwood Cleaners can help you out. Bring us your favorite sweaters and in no time have them back as good as new. Our GreenEarth process is gentle, non toxic and actually good for your clothing as it adds moisture instead of drying out. Please make sure the label is still present with fabric content and cleaning instructions so we make sure to handle them properly.

Packaged Sweaters
Ready to be worn

Packaging of your clean sweaters can be hanging or in a sweater bag, which ever you choose.

Remember, we are NOW OPEN in Cool Springs for your convienence and as always offer FREE Pick-up and Delivery right to your home or work place.

Our new Cool Springs address is: 2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 170

Franklin, TN 37067    615.764.0222