Home Stain Removal Techniques

People often call asking how to remove a stain. Drycleaners do not like answering that question. We want to be helpful. However, there are so many variables. What follows is a quick list of the most common home remedies - THESE ARE FOR MACHINE WASHABLE, COLORFAST GARMENTS ONLY!

*Trade names are used for illustrative purposes only. Other similar product may perform as well.

WISK*: for pre-treating ring around the collar and not-so-difficult stains. Be sure and let the garment sit for about 20 minutes before washing, and follow all manufacturer's instructions.

BIZ*: I love this product. It is for pre-soaking difficult stains. Be careful as it is easy to pull colors and bleed a garment. A couple of hours soak is generally enough. Warm water can make this a much more aggressive technique.

Ammonia: Use at 50% strength diluted with water to flush out fresh blood stains on a shirt. Be patient and blot thoroughly then wash. BLOOD: If you are going to get blood out, be sure you are prepared to work at it. Use COLD water and DO NOT GIVE UP. Once you have worked on the stain - if it is still there, and you wash and dry the garment - it will be a permanent stain

Bleach: I do not recommend bleach. If you must, be sure to rinse MUCH MORE THAN YOU THINK IS NECESSARY. Bleach will eat the stains and the fabric - resulting in holes and other damage.

Pet Stains: Blot with a vinegar/water mixture - one quart warm water to 1/2 cup white vinegar.

Fabreze*: Another product I love. It is excellent for removing odor. A light spray and some sunshine can do wonders to restore a musty, smoky or smelly item.

"Old Wives' Tales" (that do not work); CLUB SODA - considered by many as a "cure all" for practically every mishap, it usually just spreads out the stain and can make removal of oily stains like butter and gravy almost impossible. Then there is WHITE WINE to remove red wine (please don't try it!). HAIR SPRAY to remove ink and WATER to remove almost anything. But when a spill happens in a social situation and a napkin dipped in water or club soda is used and rubbed, it breaks fibers and causes color loss ("crocking").

These remedies often appear to be helping, when in fact the majority of the time, a very expensive piece of you clothing investment is being ruined.

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