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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leave These Stains to the Experts

I never like for a stain to get the best of me.  If you read back through past blog posts, you will find a number of instances where I ruined a garment over pride.  But I decided I needed some basic guidelines to follow – to know when I should take a stab at a stain and when I should just leave it to the experts.  So I called one of my favorite experts, Mike Taylor. 

I’m a list sort of person so I asked him if he could give me the top three stains to never tackle at home.  I just figured with the list of stains – protein, oil, water-based, and dye – that he could put it in a neat little package for me.  Three pages of notes later, I came to the conclusion that I should leave these stains (along with marker) to A Cleaner World:
  1. Yellow Mustard – The traditional yellow mustard that everyone uses on hot dogs is an incredibly difficult stain to remove.  The mixture of mustard seed, coloring from turmeric, and liquid make it combination stain.  Taking a shot at it at home will likely remove the dried on portion but the discoloration from the coloring will remain. 
  2. Any Kind of Oil or Grease – Grocery store pre-treaters typically cannot break down oil-based stains.  The solvent dry cleaners use is a degreaser.  From a stick of butter to Vaseline to motor oil, this type of stain is one that A Cleaner World can get out. 
  3. Lipstick – Lipstick is an oil-based product which makes it difficult to remove from clothes if laundering at home.  But since it is an oil-based product, the solvent used by most dry cleaners can usually break it down and remove it from the garment.  
I went over my conclusions with Mike.  He agreed, and he added a qualifier – if you plan to take a garment to the dry cleaners, then don’t mess with the stain.  Just wipe off the excess with a white cloth and then leave it alone.  Spraying it with hairspray because your neighbor suggested it or pouring club soda on it because your mom told you to only makes it harder to remove.  That’s one thing he doesn’t have to tell me twice.  I’ve ruined too many garments thinking I was the expert when in fact, we all know that I’m not. 

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