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A Cleaner World Blog

Is Your Clothing Stain a Combination Stain?

You spill something on your outfit, so you stuff the item in your express bag and drop it off at the nearest A Cleaner World location.  When our CSR writes up the order, they notice the stain and tag it for the spotter who must make an educated guess as to the components of the stain. 

Before I started working for A Cleaner World 20 years ago, I thought a stain was a stain. Not so.  Some stains can be made up of compound elements beyond just the obvious presumed cause of the problem.  For instance, coffee stains often contain milk and sugar, making the stain more difficult to remove because coffee is a tannin stain and milk is a protein-based stain, and protein-based stains require more work to remove.  With combination stains, each stain must be treated individually.  

Common Combination Stains

  • Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing: the oil part is soluble in dry cleaning solution, but the vinegar is water-soluble.
  • Steak and other red meat: the oil from coking is soluble in dry cleaning solution, and the juices from the meat contain water-soluble blood.
  • Spaghetti Sauce:  If made with meat, spaghetti sauce stains can contain grease from the meat that is soluble in dry cleaning solution, where the tomato sauce is water-soluble.
  • Crayon: Crayons contain both oil and dyes, so the oil portion must be removed first, then the pigment and dye portion addressed second.  

The stains listed above contain two components, but what about something like Dijonnaise mustard which contains wine, mustard seed, color from turmeric, and has oil from mayonnaise?  Because of the complexity of stains and spills, providing our staff with as much information as possible at drop off increases the likelihood of it being removed completely.  Share things like what the spill contains, how long it has been on the garment, and any of your stain removal attempts.   

Our trained staff has years of experience tackling and beating all kinds of spills and stains.  I can give personal testimony to the fact that they’ve saved many of my garments over the years.  Feel free to call or stop by one of our locations if you have a tricky stain that’s getting the best of you.

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