Dry cleaners have truly seen it all. That's why we asked Myriam Testa, manager of Brown's Cleaners in Santa Monica, to tsk and tell.
  1. "You know that label on the neckline of your new blouse? Please don't cut it out yourself-it's probably sewn right into the seam," Testa says. "If you bring it to me, I'll remove it for free."
  2. "Never iron a garment right-side out, especially anything made of silk. If you don't turn those gabardine pants inside out first, they're going to end up as shiny as a mirror," Testa says.
  3. "Don't douse a stain with club soda-the sodium in the water just makes it penetrate more deeply into the fabric."
  4. "If you get food on your favorite outfit, don't wet your napkin and blot the stain. White restaurant napkins are usually soaked in bleach at a commercial laundry-and the water can activate the bleach and discolor your clothes."
  5. "Whatever else you do, don't lie to your dry cleaner. Even if you panicked and used some crazy remedy you got from an old book, just tell me-I need to know what I'm dealing with before I can fix it," Testa says.

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