A Cleaner World Blog
Five General Stain Removal Guidelines
- Don’t wait --- We’ve said this so many times, but never let a stain sit for too long before
addressing it. The longer a stain sits on a garment untreated, the more difficult it becomes to remove. That applies to both at home cleaning and even cleaning by a professional.
- Know when to say when --- Some stains don’t lend themselves to home methods. Most medicine stains, fingernail polish, adhesives, and paint are difficult to remove and should be taken to a professional cleaner. Don’t attempt home stain removal on leather, suede, fur, vinyl, fabrics that are heavily sized like taffeta and organdy, nets, satin, and those with fugitive colors.
- Watch for invisible stains --- Fruit juice and soda spills tend to disappear into the fabric and leave no visible stain once dried. If you spill juice or soda on a fabric, flush it out immediately with water - even though the stain is invisible, and then spray with a pre-treating agent. Follow the care label directions when laundering. Washing or dry cleaning without treating the stain first may cause the stain to turn brown as the garment dries, making it even more difficult to remove.
- Rust stains can be treated at home, but carefully – We’ve never discussed this stain before; approach it with caution. Rust removers are sold at grocery stores but use them only on fabrics that can be laundered immediately after treating. If the substance isn’t removed, it could burn the skin. Never use a rust remover on a dry clean only item or on any fabric containing metallic threads.
- Use bleach as a last resort only --- If you’ve resigned yourself that you must use bleach, test it first on an unexposed seam or a sample of the material. Be sure to wait five minutes for a reaction. Keep in mind that many white fabrics contain optical brighteners that can turn white when bleached. Some brightly-colored fabrics may also contain optical brightening agents that may become dull after being bleached.
With today's styles and fabrics, there are so many things to remember when it comes to stain removal and garment care. If you are ever in doubt, feel free to call or stop by one of our locations. As Certified Sanitone Master Drycleaners, we are happy to share our knowledge so that you can continue to look your best.