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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Home Stain Removal

Over the years, we’ve shared a number of stain removal tips – from ice cream to mustard to strawberry jam, and we’ve tried to educate you on the different types of stains and knowing when to say when.  One thing we’ve said time and again is that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ stain remover.  And as much as I share all this information with you, I am always one to try to remove a stain at home before bringing it to A Cleaner World.  My husband would tell you that it’s because I don’t like to be beaten;  I’ll tell you that it’s the mom in me – you know, I try to fix everything.

The truth is that there have been many times I’ve looked at a stain and the fabric and immediately determined it was beyond me.  When it comes to instances like a stain over a really large area, delicate fabrics, and heavy-duty grease, I don’t bother.  But many small, every day, common stains can be removed at home, and we recommend that you follow these general guidelines before proceeding.
  • Address all stains as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting into the fabric.
  • Always read the care label before trying any stain removal method or products.
  • If you’ve never made any stain removal attempts on the garment, be sure to test for colorfastness first.  Just apply a small amount of the agent to an unexposed area of the garment, let it stand for about five minutes, then rinse.  If there is no color change, then it’s fine to use the product.
  • Never rub a stain.  Doing so could cause the stain to be worked deeper into the fabric.  Instead of rubbing, blot the area to help remove the substance without causing it to spread.  Rubbing is especially a no-no when dealing with a silk garments.  In fact, I never care for silk at home.
  • After spotting and laundering the garment, check to see if the stain has been removed before placing the garment in the dryer.  The heat from the dryer can cause the stain to permanently set into the fabric.  If the stain is still there, repeat the cleaning process or bring it to us. 
  • Never iron a soiled garment or a garment with a stain.  Again, the heat from the iron could cause the stain to permanently set.
  • Be mindful of oil-based stains.  Many times they dry invisible, so you won’t even notice them when pre-treating in preparation for laundering.  With time or after cleaning, they tend to turn yellow or brown and become even more difficult to remove.
  • Avoid being overly aggressive when trying to remove stains at home; too many attempts can lead to color loss or damage to the garment. 
If you’ve made an attempt at home and cannot get the stain or spill to come out, drop it by one of our locations.  When you do, point out the stain and tell us about your removal attempts, and we’ll be glad to take it from there.

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