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Talking Dirty Laundry with the Queen of Clean

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Once upon a time, in a world fraught with shrinking jeans, dry-cleaning debacles, and endangered delicates, laundry was a dreaded chore. Then one happy day, the Queen of Clean put an end to the vicious wash-and-dry cycle -- with her all-new collection of ingenious tips and natural solutions for stress-free washing, ironing, sorting, and stain-busting!
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2001 Plastic Comb Our goal with every sale is customer satisfaction, so please buy with confidence. Every order is shipped the same day or the next day. This is a used book, in ... good condition, that may show some signs of use or wear. Read more Show Less

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Talking Dirty Laundry with the Queen of Clean

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Overview

Once upon a time, in a world fraught with shrinking jeans, dry-cleaning debacles, and endangered delicates, laundry was a dreaded chore. Then one happy day, the Queen of Clean put an end to the vicious wash-and-dry cycle -- with her all-new collection of ingenious tips and natural solutions for stress-free washing, ironing, sorting, and stain-busting!
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
What do you know about doing laundry? Like us, you probably know enough to not be offensive when entering the public space. But did you know that your washer also needs cleaning? A very simple task, yet essential to a smoothly operating and long-lasting machine. So whether you casually leave your laundry in someone else's hands or obsess about it every week, the Queen of Clean will provide all you need to know about airing your dirty laundry.
From the Publisher
People Magazine Linda Cobb, the self-styled Queen of Clean®, sweeps into the big time with spotless timing for a book on dirt....Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean®...has certainly cleaned up.

New York Post There's no stain Linda Cobb can't tame.

The Herald (Seattle) No stain has beaten Cobb yet, and she has tried and tested almost everything......

The Arizona Republic There isn't any stain or cleaning problem for which Cobb doesn't have a solution....

Scott Pasmore News Anchor, Good Morning Arizona Lipstick on my collar, ring around the collar? Are you kidding! Since talking with the Queen of Clean® my life has never been so clean!

Cathy Blythe Host, "Problems & Solutions," KFOR Radio, Lincoln, Nebraska I am a huge fan of Linda Cobb, the absolutely undisputed Queen of Clean®. Our listeners love her terrific advice — and you will too! As a matter of fact, after reading this book, you may even look forward to doing your next load of laundry!

Jana Bommersbach author, TV commentator, and Phoenix Magazine columnist It is comforting and refreshing to know that for once — not in our state capitals nor in Washington, D.C., not in Hollywood, nor in the boardrooms of large corporations — dirt is being wiped out. Thank you, Queen of Clean®.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743449175
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 384

Meet the Author

Linda Cobb first shared her cleaning tips with readers in a weekly newspaper column in Michigan, where she owned a cleaning and disaster-restoration business dealing with the aftermath of fires and floods. After moving to Phoenix, she appeared weekly as a guest on Good Morning Arizona; since then she has shared her housekeeping advice on radio and television shows across the country, and compiled hundreds of helpful tips in her #1 New York Times bestseller, Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean®. Linda Cobb lives in Phoenix with her husband. Visit her popular Web site: wwwqueenofclean.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Care and Control of the Washing Machine

How difficult can it be? You add water and detergent, drop in the clothes, select the cycle and walk away. When you come back the clothes are clean. Okay...but have you ever considered how clean your washing machine is after all that hard water and all those dirty clothes?

Your washer needs some TLC from time to time, especially if you have hard water in your area. So if the clothes seem dull and gray, maybe you don't need that new and improved detergent. Maybe all you need to do is clean the washing machine. Here's the easiest way I know.

Fill the washer with hot water. Add 1 quart of chlorine bleach (no detergent, please). Run the washer through the longest wash cycle. When the washer is still wet — this should be immediately after the bleach cycle — add 1 quart of white vinegar and run the washer through the same cycle again. This will clean out soap scum and mineral deposits from the spin basket and also from the hoses. If you live in an area with hard water you really need to do this every three months — otherwise, every six months will do. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make.

If you start to notice little brown, rusty-looking spots on clothes when they come out of the washing machine, well, it probably is rust! Look your spin basket over carefully when this occurs, and check for any chips in the finish. Chipped areas rust and transfer to clothes, and the only way to remedy this problem is to replace the spin basket. Check with your appliance dealer and be sure to get the right basket for your machine. And a word of caution: Take care when using detergent balls or fabric softener balls. They can chip the spin basket with their weight.

For information on removing rust stains from clothes, turn to the spotting section. It's easier than you think.

Quick Clean Method

When you don't have time to give your machine a really thorough clean, just fill the washer with hot water and pour in 1 gallon of white vinegar. Run through the entire wash cycle.

Cleaning the Fabric Softener Dispenser

Clean the automatic fabric softener dispenser every month to 6 weeks to keep it working well and to prevent it from leaving softener stains on clothes. (Liquid softener can leave blue spots on clothes; marks from dryer sheets can look like small grease patches.) To clean the dispenser you first must warm 1 cup of white vinegar (I use the microwave), and pour it into the dispenser as you would softener. Make sure you use warm vinegar, and make sure you do this when the washer is empty. Large pieces of sticky fabric softener will occasionally be flushed out during cleaning, and they could adhere to clothes. Not a pretty sight. I suggest cleaning the fabric softener dispenser when you are cleaning the machine with one of the methods recommended in this chapter.

Cleaning the Bleach Dispenser

It is equally important to keep the bleach dispenser clean. Clean any removable parts by washing with hot water and dishwashing liquid. When you clean the washer with white vinegar, be sure to add some to the bleach dispenser too.

QUICK TIP

Use less detergent and you will have less soap buildup on
clothes and in the washing machine. Use 1/2 cup of Arm and
Hammer Washing Soda™ — and about half the amount of detergent
you would usually use. Adjust this formula by increasing or decreasing detergent per your individual needs.

Tips on Buying and Placing a New Washing Machine

If you don't have space for a washer and dryer to sit next to each other, remember that you can buy some very efficient stackable units. Just make sure to measure the area before you buy.

A front-loading washer is definitely a space saver — the top makes a great work space for spotting clothes. You'll need to protect the top of the washer if you are going to work off it, though. A plastic breadboard is ideal.

Another good feature of front-loading washers is the way they tumble clothes. They generally tumble clothes the way a dryer does, and that's gentler on fabric than agitating. It is also less wobbly when spinning. The downside is that front-loaders generally have a smaller capacity than toploaders, and they're usually not as good at cleaning heavy, ground-in dirt.

There are many top loaders to choose from. Consider your needs carefully. You may want an extra-large capacity washer if you wash large loads of towels and sheets, but do make sure you don't overbuy. It's a waste of money to buy bells and whistles you don't need — and there's more to go wrong, too!

Give your washing machine plenty of room to vibrate. Allow an inch of space all the way around the machine.

To keep the exterior of your washer and dryer clean and shiny, make sure you apply a coat of Clean Shield® (formerly Invisible Shield®) as soon as you buy your machine. This will put an invisible nonstick finish on the surface that will keep it looking like new. Water will bead up and wipe off, as will detergent and spotters. Re-apply as needed.

Important: If your washer's power cord does not reach the outlet, have the outlet moved or the power cord replaced with a longer one. Absolutely never use an extension cord between the washer's power cord and the outlet. If water touches the connection between the extension cord and the power cord, you could be electrocuted.

Do not install your washer in an unheated garage or utility room. Water that is trapped inside can freeze and severely damage the machine.

One last installation tip: If you are installing a washing machine in a vacation home that is not heated during cold weather, have it drained completely by an appliance service technician before shutting up the home for the winter. Again, trapped water can freeze and damage the machine.

If I can leave you with a final piece of advice concerning washing machines it would be this: NEVER leave home when the washing machine is running. It only takes seconds for a hose to break or a malfunction to occur and that can cause damage and flooding in your home. I cannot tell you how many water damage cleanups we did when I owned my cleaning and disaster restoration company in Michigan. The amount of water that can pour from a small hose is unbelievable. So is the damage that can be done — not only to things that can be cleaned or replaced but also to precious treasures that can never be saved. It's heartbreaking.

Copyright © 2001 by Linda Cobb

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Part I The Basics
1. Care and Control of the Washing Machine 3
2. Drying: How to Succeed Without Really Trying 8
3. Getting the Hang of Line Drying 13
4. Laundry Detergents and Great Alternatives 16
5. Be a Spot Hot Shot! 20
6. Bringing Out the Big Guns 23
7. Stain Removers That Are Hiding in Your Cupboard 26
8. Bleach 101: Whiter Whites, Brighter Brights 30
9. Fabric Softeners--The Soft Sell 35
10. The Hard Truth About Water Softeners 40
11. Starch and Sizing 43
12. Cry Me a River--The Color Ran! 45
13. You Can Be a Rescuer of Things That Reek! 48
14. Care Labels: What Are They Good For? 50
15. Doing the Laundry Sorting Boogie 53
16. Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em 57
17. Taking the Dread Out of Dry Cleaning 60
18. The Dirt on Home Dry-Cleaning Kits 63
19. Final Thoughts on Dry Cleaning 66
20. Ironing and Ironing Boards: Taking the Heat 70
Part II Palace Predicaments
21. Work Clothes 77
22. Perspiration Stains: They're the Pits! 79
23. Socks and Panty Hose 81
24. Getting in the Swim 83
25. Hats and Handbags 85
26. Ties: Don't Let Them Tie You in Knots 88
27. Snap, Zip, and Hook! (No, It's Not a New Breakfast Cereal!) 90
28. Beads and Sequins: Let's Face the Music and Dance 92
29. Furs: Real and Synthetic 94
30. Sheepskin 96
31. Table Linens 98
32. Let the Light Shine: Cleaning Lampshades 102
33. Slipcovers 104
34. Don't Throw in the Towel! 106
35. Window Treatments 108
36. Bedtime 110
37. Preserving Your Wedding Gown 115
38. Cleaning Guide for Fabric Types 118
A to Z Palace Spot and Stain Removal Guide 127
Resource Guide 163
Index 169
Your Personal Tips and Hints 177
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One: Care and Control of the Washing Machine

How difficult can it be? You add water and detergent, drop in the clothes, select the cycle and walk away. When you come back the clothes are clean. Okay...but have you ever considered how clean your washing machine is after all that hard water and all those dirty clothes?

Your washer needs some TLC from time to time, especially if you have hard water in your area. So if the clothes seem dull and gray, maybe you don't need that new and improved detergent. Maybe all you need to do is clean the washing machine. Here's the easiest way I know.

Fill the washer with hot water. Add 1 quart of chlorine bleach (no detergent, please). Run the washer through the longest wash cycle. When the washer is still wet — this should be immediately after the bleach cycle — add 1 quart of white vinegar and run the washer through the same cycle again. This will clean out soap scum and mineral deposits from the spin basket and also from the hoses. If you live in an area with hard water you really need to do this every three months — otherwise, every six months will do. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make.

If you start to notice little brown, rusty-looking spots on clothes when they come out of the washing machine, well, it probably is rust! Look your spin basket over carefully when this occurs, and check for any chips in the finish. Chipped areas rust and transfer to clothes, and the only way to remedy this problem is to replace the spin basket. Check with your appliance dealer and be sure to get the right basket for your machine. And a word of caution: Take care when using detergent balls or fabric softener balls. They can chip the spin basket with their weight.

For information on removing rust stains from clothes, turn to the spotting section. It's easier than you think.


Quick Clean Method

When you don't have time to give your machine a really thorough clean, just fill the washer with hot water and pour in 1 gallon of white vinegar. Run through the entire wash cycle.


Cleaning the Fabric Softener Dispenser

Clean the automatic fabric softener dispenser every month to 6 weeks to keep it working well and to prevent it from leaving softener stains on clothes. (Liquid softener can leave blue spots on clothes; marks from dryer sheets can look like small grease patches.) To clean the dispenser you first must warm 1 cup of white vinegar (I use the microwave), and pour it into the dispenser as you would softener. Make sure you use warm vinegar, and make sure you do this when the washer is empty. Large pieces of sticky fabric softener will occasionally be flushed out during cleaning, and they could adhere to clothes. Not a pretty sight. I suggest cleaning the fabric softener dispenser when you are cleaning the machine with one of the methods recommended in this chapter.


Cleaning the Bleach Dispenser

It is equally important to keep the bleach dispenser clean. Clean any removable parts by washing with hot water and dishwashing liquid. When you clean the washer with white vinegar, be sure to add some to the bleach dispenser too.


QUICK TIP

Use less detergent and you will have less soap buildup on clothes and in the washing machine. Use 1/2 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda™ — and about half the amount of detergent you would usually use. Adjust this formula by increasing or decreasing detergent per your individual needs.


Tips on Buying and Placing a New Washing Machine

If you don't have space for a washer and dryer to sit next to each other, remember that you can buy some very efficient stackable units. Just make sure to measure the area before you buy.

A front-loading washer is definitely a space saver — the top makes a great work space for spotting clothes. You'll need to protect the top of the washer if you are going to work off it, though. A plastic breadboard is ideal.

Another good feature of front-loading washers is the way they tumble clothes. They generally tumble clothes the way a dryer does, and that's gentler on fabric than agitating. It is also less wobbly when spinning. The downside is that front-loaders generally have a smaller capacity than toploaders, and they're usually not as good at cleaning heavy, ground-in dirt.

There are many top loaders to choose from. Consider your needs carefully. You may want an extra-large capacity washer if you wash large loads of towels and sheets, but do make sure you don't overbuy. It's a waste of money to buy bells and whistles you don't need — and there's more to go wrong, too!

Give your washing machine plenty of room to vibrate. Allow an inch of space all the way around the machine.

To keep the exterior of your washer and dryer clean and shiny, make sure you apply a coat of Clean Shield® (formerly Invisible Shield®) as soon as you buy your machine. This will put an invisible nonstick finish on the surface that will keep it looking like new. Water will bead up and wipe off, as will detergent and spotters. Re-apply as needed.

Important: If your washer's power cord does not reach the outlet, have the outlet moved or the power cord replaced with a longer one. Absolutely never use an extension cord between the washer's power cord and the outlet. If water touches the connection between the extension cord and the power cord, you could be electrocuted.

Do not install your washer in an unheated garage or utility room. Water that is trapped inside can freeze and severely damage the machine.

One last installation tip: If you are installing a washing machine in a vacation home that is not heated during cold weather, have it drained completely by an appliance service technician before shutting up the home for the winter. Again, trapped water can freeze and damage the machine.

If I can leave you with a final piece of advice concerning washing machines it would be this: NEVER leave home when the washing machine is running. It only takes seconds for a hose to break or a malfunction to occur and that can cause damage and flooding in your home. I cannot tell you how many water damage cleanups we did when I owned my cleaning and disaster restoration company in Michigan. The amount of water that can pour from a small hose is unbelievable. So is the damage that can be done — not only to things that can be cleaned or replaced but also to precious treasures that can never be saved. It's heartbreaking.

Copyright © 2001 by Linda Cobb

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2001

    Don't waste your money

    This book does not offer much help at all. Every stain I've looked up for help is not listed. And many of her suggestions include regular stain removers you'd buy to do the job anyway. No need to purchase a book for information tv & magazine advertisements give you for free! This book is in my 'bring to the used book store' pile. I should have known just by looking at the cover! If you really want to know how to get rid of stains, take care of a home, I *highly* recommend 'Home Comforts' by Cheryl Mendelson.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2001

    THE QUEEN OF CLEAN IS TOPS AT TALK

    By now many of us are familiar with the 'Queen of Clean,' the duchess of the dustmop, the princess of pressing problems - she's frank, funny, down to earth Linda Cobb, author of 'Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean.' Who can forget Tang in your toilet? This foe of all that dulls the sparkle of our homes is evidently also a bundle of inexhaustible energy as she is a regular on morning television, and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter. Now, she's come to cure our Monday blues - laundry! If your T-shirts shrink, your socks are unpaired, your drip dries don't, the iron spews instead of steaming, give a listen to 'Talking Dirty Laundry with the Queen of Clean.' In addition, she has more remedies for spot removal than linen has wrinkles. These cures for grape juice on gingham or jelly on jumpers are all inexpensive, effective, and surprising!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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