So if you are like me and cannot keep yourself from addressing a dribble while dining out, or better yet, if you have a mishap and are about to present earth-shattering information to a crowd of 10,000 onlookers, I’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts.
- Know the fabric of your garment; this is helpful for a number of reasons. Water-based stains will stand a better chance of coming out of synthetic fibers. If your garment is silk, then definitely leave the spill alone; anything you use on silk to try and remove the spill will likely leave a ring. If you carry a stain remover pen with you, know that these many times work safely on washable garments, but they shouldn’t be used on dry clean-only garments or certain fabrics.
- Never, ever rub a spill. Gently blot the area with a dry, clean white cloth or napkin; if you use a cloth or napkin with color or print, the color could transfer to the garment. Rubbing can easily remove garment dye on certain fabrics, like how dark denim jeans get faded and eventually turn white on the knees. Finally, rubbing will cause the ingredients to go deeper into the fabric, which will make the stain spread and more difficult to remove. If you are determined to do more than just blot the stain right then, you can use a technique known as ‘flexing’. This involves pinching the fabric with each hand on either side of the stained area. Once pinched, make a rolling motion back and forth, keeping the right hand slightly ahead of the left. This rolling action pushes stains up and out of the fabric rather than driving them in deeper.
- In certain instances, club soda can be used sparingly on spills, but there’s always a but with using it. First, never use it on an oily spill from things like French fries and salad dressing because it can cause the spill to spread and sometimes cause the dye to bleed. Oily stains are best removed via the dry cleaning process. Second, the chances of removal are greatly increased if applied before the stain dries. Third, there are some stains that club soda can make worse. For instance, if club soda is used to remove a water and solvent combination stain, like ballpoint ink, it can actually set the stain permanently. Finally, if you do use club soda to address a stain during an emergency, be sure to have it professionally cleaned as soon as possible after your event. Point out both the original stain and the club soda when dropping off the garment.