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February 05, 2023

When Laundress Lucca was a child growing up in Del Mar, a common visitor that made it home from the beach was an unwanted tar stain threatening to mar her precious pedicure. You see, there was a massive oil spill in the 70's off the California coast that caused untreated crude to wash up on our pristine shores. Lucca remembers the ritual of her father treating the unwanted splooge with turpentine before we beachcombers were allowed back in the house. Efforts to date have brought us to this pristine setting and finds our mascot frolicking.

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Whether it's oil, pitch, or tar, the unsightly stain is strong, so immediate attention is paramount. Once treated, it's time to add it to your weekly laundry subscription with

We'll discuss treatment options in this post, but first, for a snippet of what happened in San Diego society this week. 

Every January, the Ballentoni Museum of Modern Art in Presidio Park debuts their star artist for the year and the subsequent show that runs through April 15th. Celery Ballentoni always chairs a fine premiere; her wardrobe is bespoke, her jewelry bedazzling, and her second body- illustrious. This year, however, her Chanel mini and Cartier bangles were no competition for the featured artist Liam Elias. Liam comes with stunning Nordic looks, a hip and cool entourage, his own security team, and celebrity following. It was hard to concentrate on the medium of his black-and-white photographs of celebrities, royals, and moguls. In most art circles, his work was commercial and sensualized and showed very little expression other than sellability. Critic or not, one can't deny that his work is highly acclaimed, a bit brash, and far-reaching. Liam is popular, gorgeous, and charming, and where he shows up, the party soon follows. Turns out he was hosting an intimate group of friends and influencers for a week-long bash at his winter safari park in Northern Norway. Of course, Laundress Lucca worked her wiles and was able to score a personal invite! 

Trudee Cartwright (of the Cartwright Foundation) was also at the opening. Once she had learned that Laundress Lucca received an invite, she did what she could to claw her way in, too. It had taken an evening of working the room at the last party, but she was successful, nonetheless. And while at the glam Aurora Safari, rumor had it she was seen leaving Liam's pod, although Liam had personally invited Lucca…

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You see, after Stanford, Liam was a bush pilot and photographer in the Kenyan plains. His modest plane flew excited, wealthy tourists from Nairobi to his simple but lavish safari camp. The setting was famous for its down-low celebrity clientele, 18th century Reid Barton silver, Frette 1,000 thread-count sheets, and a former Michelin star chef. Range Rover safaris by day and lunching on white linens amongst the lions, cheetahs, and occasional giraffe sauntering by and all while sipping a bubbly champagne float. After all, this wasn't a hunting venture that involved violence, but rather a friendly gathering in nature with free-flowing cocktails & love. Lingering libations in the evening are followed by scrumptious meals that rival any Parisian restaurant. Only this dining experience uses indigenous ingredients like bush-meat kabobs and Ostrich scrambled eggs.  

After selling his African spread, he returned to his native Norway and created his newest venture, Aurora Safari Park. A radical turn from his savage digs, only at Aurora you are stocking the Aurora Borealis and all the winter falderal that comes with it. Being above the Arctic Circle, Liam's old trusty plane makes the pilgrimage from Oslo each week to his remote little hamlet. There are a total of 12 cabins from the original fishing camp built in the 1870s. And to squelch the chill likely to follow the evenings outdoors, each cabin has a private soaking tub. In addition, Liam added an amazing lodge, a dining room, a library, and outdoor igloo-style viewing pods. Not only did the pods offer a skylight fashioned out of sheer ice, but they also allowed for comfortably enveloping the guests with seating adorned in mink, sable, and woolen throws. Serious luxury here!

The closest road is 122 miles away and serves as the only way in and out. To say the venue is remote is an understatement! Transportation is either by ski plane in the winter or seaplane in the summer. However, Liam has a knack for bringing hard-to-find luxury goods into incredibly remote locales. You could say it is his unique forte!   

Stains, stains, stains; they are everywhere! Those pesky devils can find their way onto any and everything. You tinker with the engine on your 76 450SL...BAM. Your sassy chassis just cost you your favorite frock! A skip across a freshly-paved intersection...BAM. Your satin Manolo Blanics just got splotched with tar. This sticky, icky black stuff gets traipsed into your house after nearby roads have been resurfaced. So watch out for it after a trip to the beach because, for some reason, it's often found in sand. While turpentine might have been the preferred method for tar removal in the 1970s, the options today are more earth-friendly, readily available, and much easier on the skin and respiratory system. 

What is tar? a black and viscous material used to stick asphalt products together. You commonly see it used to make the pavement of a highway or base for the construction of infrastructures such as roofs and tiles. Tar is particularly unsightly on any material because, from a distance, it looks like you might not have made it to the loo in time. 

Following are steps to dislodge this nasty goo:

1. Scrape carefully with a blunt knife to remove surface deposits. 

2. Use Ice - Wet tar residue might cause further spreading and damage to your clothes, so be sure to let it dry out before the next step. 

3. If the residue sticking on your clothes is not yet dry, you can use the ice method. By applying ice to the residue, you can harden it and make it easier to remove. To do this process, you need two things: ice cubes and a dull knife, or something comparable, to scrape with. 

4. Just place the ice on top of the tar and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, with the help of the dull knife, you can poke it to see if it's hardened completely. 

5. Use paper towels - If the tar is already dry, you can pick it out with your hand with the protection of a paper towel. 

6. Pre-treat the stain - With pre-treating, you can make washing out the stain easier and more successful. And you can do a couple of treatment methods when it comes to a tar stain. 

7. Before putting on any stain treatment, you can put on any oil-based product for easier removal. You might be wondering, tar is an oil-based product, so why would you add more oil? The answer to this is that when the tar is dried out, it will be hard and solid, so with this pre-treatment, the substance will lift off with more ease due to the grease produced by the oil. You can use different products such as petroleum jelly, vegetable or any cooking oil. If you are going to use a stain remover, be sure to test it out to determine if it's color-safe first. Most stain remover products have bleach in them and can damage some materials. Oxygen-based, color-safe bleaching products can be safe to use on some. However, check the garment's care label first, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. 

For washable fabrics, hold an absorbent pad (such as a wad of paper towels) over the stain and dab it from underneath with paper towels moistened with eucalyptus oil (readily available at spas and pharmacies). WD-40 also works well. Move to a clean area of the pad and towels frequently. Repeat the process until no more of the stain transfers to the towels. Next, rub liquid detergent into the remnants of the stain and machine wash at as high of a temperature as the fabric allows. Or better yet, ready it for convenient pick-up and delivery with! After all, you've put in enough work removing the stain, so let us finish the job for you. You can then just sit back and relax and await your clean, dry, and freshly folded clothing to return, conveniently placed at your front door! 


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