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A Cleaner World Blog

I like my spring and summer clothing much more than my fall and winter clothing. Mostly because I prefer warm weather, but also because spring and summer clothes are fun and playful. So, I am always delighted when it’s time to pull my spring and summer wardrobe out of storage. But have you ever pulled your items out of storage only to find several garments with yellow stains and discoloration? Yellowing while in storage is a common problem which is particularly noticeable on whites, but it can affect clothing of all colors.

What are these yellow spots?

The short answer is the spots likely come from leftover particles that are on your garments when you placed them in storage. Your next questions are likely, “What are these particles, and how did they get on my clothes?”

If you didn’t wash or dry clean every piece after wearing and before placing in storage, the yellow spots are likely food or beverage spills or dribbles, body oils, or perspiration that have oxidized while in storage. Even if the garments looked clean, they could have invisible spills (think Sprite or white wine that will initially dry clear) on them. Over time, that spill, which is exposed to oxygen, will slowly breakdown, creating a chemical reaction that shows up as a yellow or yellowish-brown stain.

The solution to this problem is simple: Make sure you wash or dry clean all items you plan on placing in storage. This eliminates the likelihood that there’s something on the garment that will oxidize and set, creating that ugly stain, while items are in storage.

Tips for Proper Washing

  • Always check the care label and follow any special instructions.
  • Be sure to use enough detergent to breakdown dirt, grime, and spills but not so much that a soapy film remains on your clothing. If you need help determining the proper amount of detergent, check your machine’s instruction manual.
  • Thoroughly rinse garments to ensure all the dirt and grime lifted from your clothing is flushed out and away from clothing.
  • Exercise caution when using bleach. Bleach, if used in excess or not completely removed from a garment, can cause yellowing. Use sparingly, and always rinse thoroughly.

Tips for Proper Dry Cleaning

If you have questions or concerns about yellow spots, or any spots for that matter, feel free to contact us. We are here to help.

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