My Favorite Coat

Running around with the kids doing errands, grabbing lunch, shopping for dinner and all the other parental responsibilities keeps me hopping—and tired. I don’t have time to do much for myself at home. When you are on the go, you look for shortcuts. Let me tell you about my latest trick to avoid the dry cleaners. I don’t need to wait in line to spend a bundle on a very expensive service.

The washing machine is going strong most days with all the kids’ stuff, so I just toss one or two personal items inside along with the rest. It doesn’t matter what is in the load: towels, sheets, pajamas, jeans or filthy tee shirts. Why dry clean anything since the kids mess up everything I own. If you are a mother, don’t bother to buy anything fancy unless it is for that rare date night. Even then, I don’t buy anything that isn’t machine washable. I do have one exception. I have a beautiful coat I bought before my kids appeared on the scene. I try not to wear it often to keep it pristine, but I threw it on the other day when it was a bit cold. It was chilly weather as in down parka; so, this lightweight gem was perfect for a fall day before the real stuff sets in: sleet and snow.

The kids begged me to visit their favorite food truck a few blocks away, so off we went. I love the food as much as they do, and we grabbed one vacant table big enough for our entire gang. Unfortunately, a table of chain smokers was nearby. When you think about second hand smoke, you don’t often consider the impact on your clothing. Good fabric soaks it up like a sponge and never lets go. I was pretty unhappy about the odor when we got home. My favorite coat reeked. Even the kids made comments. I had to take it to the dry cleaners, but other chores stood in the way, saying aggressively “choose me.”

So, forget the dry cleaners. I will have to deal with the problem myself using old-fashioned ingenuity. Surely there are ways to freshen up nice fabrics without harsh chemicals that destroy the pile. I found this page which had some tips – I thought I could probably take care of the matter in the time it would take to drive and park. First, I placed the coat on a hangar and set it on the back patio hanging from a convenient plant hook. I would let Mother Nature do her handiwork. Later that evening, the coat was better but there was still a telltale odor of smoke.

Now it was time for perfume or spray. I chose Febreze “lite and airy” scent and aimed the nozzle over both sides of the coat front and back. I stood a foot away so as not to dampen the fabric. Instantly, the smoke was gone. Miracle worker is this product! You can use it on furniture, bed linens, rugs and the like. Save on dry cleaning when you are exposed to smoke.