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A Cleaner World Blog

Common Office Clothing Stains and How to Solve Them

My brother-in-law is a welder and a mighty good one at that.  His ‘uniform’ is one of a few pair of grungy pants and long sleeve shirts that he peals off as soon as he walks into the back door.  They go in their own laundry basket and are washed separately.  He doesn’t worry if the grunge comes off because they are just going to get grungy again.  On the other hand, my sister is a school teacher, and like many of us, wants to look clean and crisp.  So, unless you are a welder, you’re likely to fall into that category with the rest of us – you don’t want to show up at work looking unkempt, but you’re going to have some mishaps, and it’s important to know how to handle them.

Let’s talk about General Guidelines first:

  • Never rub at a spill, doing so will push it further into the fabric.
  • Time is of the essence.  Act quickly because the longer the spill sits on your clothes, the harder it is to remove.

Now let’s address specific Common Office Stains:

Marker and Ink -  These are common stains, especially when you work in some sort of office-type environment.   Our first piece of advice is to wait and address it when you get home; many times, a mark or a smudge can be treated with a grocery store spotter and laundered according to the directions.  But if it’s a leak from an uncapped pen, it’s highly possible that the stain cannot be removed.  Instead of trying something at home first, leave it alone and drop if off at any one of our locations as soon as possible.

Coffee – Sometimes it’s a little dribble from missing your mouth; other times, you accidentally knock over an entire mug, and it ends up covering your lap.  Whichever it is, coffee can sometimes be a difficult stain to remove because coffee with cream and sugar is a combination stain because there are three components in the mug.  You might be able to spray the stain with a good-quality pre-treater and then launder according to the care label’s directions.  If that doesn’t work, then try soaking in warm water with color-safe bleach, then laundering according to the care label.  Always check the area to make sure the stain has been completely removed before placing the garment in the dryer.  The heat from the dryer will set the stain.

Chocolate -  The afternoon munchies always get me, and that’s usually when I head for something chocolate.  Inevitably, unless it’s M&M’s, I end up with little chocolate shards sprinkled on me somewhere.  The best way to handle chocolate mishaps is to take an item with a blunt edge to gently scrape off the excess once it’s dry.  Once you are at home, turn the garment inside out and place under running water to help remove additional pieces (that’s assuming the garment is machine washable).  Then apply a stain remover or some liquid detergent to the area, gently massage in, then let set for a few minutes.  Wash the garment according to the care label’s directions, making you sure to check to see if the chocolate has been removed before placing it in the dryer.

The list continues with things like dry erase marker, copy toner, highlighters, soda; it’s all in a day’s work.  Luckily, A Cleaner World is an expert at stain removal, so anything you are uncomfortable with or unsuccessful with addressing, we will gladly pick up where you left off.  Just be sure to point out the stain at drop off; the more we know, the more likely we can remove the stain successfully and easily.

coffee stain
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