PIECE of Mind: The Women of Celsious

PIECE of Mind: The Women of Celsious

Piece of Mind shares a quick plunge into the worlds, details, and insights of women who inspire us.

Meet sisters Corinna and Theresa Williams — the co-founders of Brooklyn-based Celsious, a modern and eco-conscious laundromat in Williamsburg. With a business centered around education and small swaps you can make in cleaning up your cleaning game, we asked the duo to share their best advice and specific tips for ensuring your favorite garments will live a long life (little preview: it involves low heat, investing in a bamboo toothbrush, and a five ingredient all natural toolkit).

Piece of Mind: Celsious
What are your top tips for sustaining the life of a favorite garment? 
  1. Spot cleaning: if you can, tend to a stain as soon as it appears. And white vinegar, baking, and washing soda as well as vegetable soap will go a long way. For spot treatments, use a bamboo toothbrush.
  2. Fight like with like. Acidic stains caused by coffee, tea, or fruits, are lifted by acids like white vinegar. Blueberry stains? Just pour some white vinegar on them and rinse. For grease stains: use an oil-based soap bar rubbed on a wetted stain.
  3. If you treat stains immediately, you can get away with washing at lower temperatures, which saves energy and preserves the fibers of your clothes – making them last longer.
  4. Wash less: Brushing away superficial dirt and airing out your favorite garments (and periodically spritzing them with linen water) reduces the wear and tear to fibers caused by machine washing.

Piece of Mind: Celsious

What detergents or specific products do you swear by for clothing care?
Detergent: Meliora Laundry Powder for everyday wear and Sonett and Tangent GC for specialty items such as delicates, wool/cashmere and sportswear
Dryer sheets? No! Conventional ones are toxic and wasteful. We like to go for dryer balls instead.
A steamer: We had to get the powder pink version of our favorite Jiffy standup steamer. It just makes us happy every time we steam…
Piece of Mind: Celsious
Any tips on air drying or methods you like that avoid the dryer? Or any secrets you’ve got about getting rid of wrinkles in garments?

The lower the heat, the better for the longevity of your garment. This applies to washing and drying temperatures. It’s great if you can hang or flat dry (don’t hang wet wool or cashmere, as it may lose its shape), but we also understand the space and time constraints. Tumble drying will definitely prevent wrinkling, especially if you add dryer balls and fold immediately after the drying stops.

If you tumble dry, opt for a low setting whenever you can. (Some dryers, like ours at Celsious, even have a No Heat setting which will be safe for delicates, wool and cashmere, and sportswear.)

A last note on wrinkling: if you’re drying natural fibers like cotton, silk, or linen, they will wrinkle – the only way around that is ironing or steaming. A “wrinkle-free” cotton garment is an oxymoron, i.e. it is most likely coated in toxic chemicals!

Piece of Mind: Celsious
How do you recommend we sustain the longevity of nicer pieces without succumbing to chemical dry cleaning treatments?

Everything can be washed with water, without the use of petrochemical solvents used by dry cleaners. The most widely used of these solvents is called perc, short for perchlorethylen, which is carcinogenic! It is harmful to the planet, to garment care workers who come in contact with it every day, and also to you – the wearer. There will be traces of it left on your chemically treated garments, which will are absorbed by your skin.

So, if in doubt: wash as infrequently as possible, removing superficial dirt with a garment brush and if needed, hand wash using a delicate detergent. If your washing machine has a Wool setting you can use that, making sure especially delicate items are placed in a delicate bag to prevent any snagging or ripping.

PIECE of Mind: The Women of Celsious
What hangers do you recommend? And what should be hung vs folded?
Anything you definitely don’t want to see wrinkly after washing, drying and/or ironing should be on hangers. We hang button-down shirts, trousers, skirts and dresses.
We are still looking for the perfect hangars but are curious to check out Arch & Hook. They just developed the first hanger made entirely out of ocean plastic!
Any other great hacks for sustainable cleaning that we need to know?
We mix all our home cleaners using five ingredients we buy in bulk: castille soap, baking soda, white vinegar, alcohol, and essential oils. Easy, sustainable, non-toxic, and literally all you need to clean toilets, floors, windows, and stainless steel appliances.
Writer, Apiece Apart
Photography, Erica Gannett